If you come from the corporate world, then you’re used to the performance appraisals from your managers. Although this may not be so often the case in freelancing, it’s actually very useful. All of us should promote them.
It might happen that clients feel unhappy about the results, turn back and return no more –but you never learn what you did wrong to their eyes. Or maybe they’re happy with your performance but anyway there’s something you could still do to improve.
In the freelance world, clients seldom take the time to give us their feedback on our services, unless we ask them to. This is a fact: getting direct feedback from the client is difficult for freelancers. And it’s essential for two main reasons –it helps you to grow as a professional and to learn from your mistakes.
At Workana we’ve been thinking about this benefit from the very beginning so we’ve implemented the Ratings and Feedback. Every time you complete a project you can get a rating from your client i.e. a score from 1 to 5 and a comment with their recommendation, which will appear on your profile.
What’s so good about getting feedback from your clients?
- It invites you to develop new skills
- You earn respect and a reputation as a professional
- You create new ideas and spot specialization areas for your business
- You identify situations where you should improve your performance
Besides the feedback you might get at the end of a project, it’s really useful to ask about your performance in the middle of an ongoing project, as you develop your work –for instance, when you reach some “milestone” or sub-step.
This information will help you fix any deviation as you move forward on the execution process, preventing a potential negative effect on the results. Here, it’ll be key to anticipate and improve some working method, behavior, style or general performance that the client might be dissatisfied with, so as to make the necessary adjustments.
How should I ask for feedback?
Your questions have to be simple, accurate and to the point. Some examples: “what do you think about my performance so far?” or “is there anything you think I should improve to deliver better service?” Put up a short list of basic questions to ask for feedback from your clients.
Any special considerations?
The idea is to get honest, objective feedback from your client, so:
- You might get negative feedback: use it to learn and improve
- Don’t be defensive. Take your client’s comments objectively. You can benefit a lot from them!
Once you get your client’s feedback (in the middle or at the end of your project), welcome the praise, if that’s what stands out –you might even find out skills you didn’t know were there! However, if the negative comments outweigh the positive, the next step will be, taking action. What good would it be to get feedback if you ignore criticism or disregard suggestions?
Things might not always look bright –the truth is the client has taken the time to assess your work. Then it’ll be your turn to thank them for their time and make the most of their feedback to develop and grow as a professional.