Video production and client relations: the main disruptive forces
To be fully available for this client relationship, it’s best to avoid hiccups that can undermine everyone’s good intentions. We can think of hundreds, but we can easily isolate and list the main ones:
- Missing graphical elements or essential information, at the exact moment when they’re needed, which slows down the smooth running of the video production schedule.
- Endless questions from worried clients about the stages of the production schedule or the methods used.
- Trying to find contacts, phone numbers or email addresses halfway through production, which wastes precious time.
- Client feedback scattered across emails, which demotivates post-production teams (whether alone or in a team).
- Loss of information which creates misunderstandings or raises tension, and sometimes additional working hours.
- Going through the whole production history again for a new member on the project, and sending them all the useful material.
- An unexpected number of corrected versions due to lack of communication or because the client team is large and poorly organised.
- Obsolete download links that need to be sent for the hundredth time because the videos weren’t downloaded in time.
In short, the feeling of wasted time and of not being listened to or understood will eventually lead to irritation. These obstacles hamper smooth production monitoring even for the most well-oiled machine. We’ve all experienced it, regardless of our video production methods and how we organise them. And, as we know, the circumstances in which a client receives a draft play a decisive role in how much they like the film.
Provide a clear vision of the schedule
Before throwing ourselves completely into a video production and getting carried away with our enthusiasm, it’s essential to fully involve clients in a clear vision of the project. No one walks quickly and confidently on a dark, blind road. It’s therefore a question of highlighting which stages will lead to success for the video project and how they will be done. The goal is to reassure your clients, of course, but also to make yourself credible in their eyes. If a client is unsure about your methods, they will be unsure about the result too, and their approval will be all the more difficult to obtain. This is the first step in gaining confidence in the client relationship.
This means it is very important to adopt scheduling tools that are clear, simple and flexible over time.
Centralise key media and information
Many of us experienced it hundreds of times before the internet and before online platforms: looking for information which was lost at some point during the previous production stages. You’re sure the data is there – you can almost touch it – “But where? WHERE???” You’ve been going through your emails with a fine-tooth comb for 20 minutes, trying every possible variation in the search tool, but it just isn’t there. You can hardly take it anymore. “If I find out I deleted it…” A terrifying situation!
Fortunately today, we can centralise all media and, more broadly, all our data. It prevents the cold sweats and wasted time not just for us, but for our employees and clients too. This is the second building block of trust in the client relationship: smoothness. When everything is made simple for clients, they are incredibly grateful. We obviously don’t become superheroes overnight, but they will certainly be thankful for all the anxiety spared (and it inspires extra confidence too).
Again, we’ve all been there:
“I definitely said to remove the logo.”
“Did you? But Mary said to leave it….”
When there is a large amount of correspondence scattered all over the place, often vague and even contradictory, it’s bound to cause friction. At their worst, misunderstandings can lead to a terrible atmosphere, and even at best a lot of time is wasted looking for explanations and “proof”.
A simple solution is to have all the correspondence in one place. At a minimum, this should include the key exchanges of each stage of video production. The idea is to always know where to find the notorious proof, which is then indisputable, but above all to avoid duplicates and contradictory information because everyone communicates together at the same place at the same time. Meaningful and credible communication increases trust.
With a collaborative platform, exchanges or chats are centralised by definition. Everyone communicates on the media in question or on a given stage of production.
Announce approval stages
Approval is often linked to potential re-billing and a client agreeing to pay extra. It’s therefore a very important part of the process.
Each agency and freelancer has their own idea of the approval process, the number of steps and how many times feedback can be given… However, we all have the same interest in clearly announcing the deal. The credibility of the approval rests on the fact that each party has accepted it ahead of time.
Let’s use a quick example that everyone will understand:
- “Could you change two of the sentences in sequence 4?”
- “Oh… Do we agree that you approved the script stage and the storyboard stage? Do you remember? Your team, the N+1 and the N+2 too…”
- “Because it will mean a lot of work now that all the animation is done…”
It’s all the more unbearable because the solution is so simple: clearly and visually integrate the approval stages into the production schedule. Propose them as key pivotal stages to move onto the next stage. Approving a production stage should be seen as a commitment.
A video production management platform makes it possible to structure these key stages and make them actionable by the client so that the approval click is logged and binding.
Offer real-time monitoring
Using solutions that provide access to the production progress allows everyone to always know what stage it’s at. Whenever they want, and without having to ask. This is an invaluable comfort for our clients and for production teams, who can stay focused on their tasks undisturbed. If a manager wants to check that everything is going well, or a client needs to know if a draft has been uploaded, they can see the whole process in front of them.
In addition to centralisation, a collaborative platform also provides an email notification system that alerts and informs at the relevant video production stages.
Communication, a virtuous element of collaboration.
In conclusion, we can all admit that we can forget things in the heat of the moment. Through lack of time, motivation, or wanting to go faster: positive communication is the key to client satisfaction. Positive communication is communication which anticipates, explains and provides solutions. It is based on three logical fundamentals
- An informed person acts at the right time
- A trained person acts correctly
- A well-equipped person acts efficiently
Each time we manage a video production, it’s this approach we should take when creating our video production schedule.