I wanted to chat about what to do when your clients go rogue. Like literally fall off the face of the earth in the middle of working together.
Over the last few years and as Facebook groups have gotten more popular, I have seen so many posts about “I can’t get an answer out of my client – we have to go to print tomorrow”, “they are 3 weeks behind on their guest list”, “they won’t fill out their form!” and so on and so on!
We *thought* booking the client was the hardest part, but now that you have them on board you sometimes have clients go MIA and it can be really frustrating. Especially if it’s a tight turnaround or if you’re waiting on that final approval for payment.
There could honestly be multiple reasons for a lack of response from your clients. But let’s break down some of them and some ways we can work to avoid it and resolve it if it does happen.
Your client has onboarded (signed the contract + paid the deposit) — now you can’t get them to answer your emails or fill out your questionnaire:
Let’s be real, your client feels like they’ve done the hard part, signed your contract, and paid your deposit. Whew – check invites off their list! Well – not quite. They may have moved onto the next item on their wedding list. Sometimes outlining your process right up front when they onboard and letting them know that you can not start their designs until their questionnaire is filled out may light a fire. And let them know that it needs to be filled out by XX date in order to stay on your design schedule. If not, you will have to adjust their delivery date. Let them know that it is still in their court!
Design proofs have been sent and you now can’t get a response out of them or they won’t submit their edits/feedback:
There is nothing worse than sending a design proof and then crickets. Did they hate it? Did they love it? Are they trying to find another designer? Trust me, no matter how experienced you are, all these thoughts run through your head when you hit send on a proof. And it only escalates when you haven’t heard back in a week. First, take a deep breath. If you are using a CRM like Dubsado, check to see if they have read your email and viewed their form. If not, it may have gone to spam depending on their email settings. You can also have it in your email and on the form what date you need feedback by to give them a deadline. You can also set an automated email to remind them the day before it’s due. We have to remember that while they are our client, they are still probably running a crazy life with work, wedding planning, and more and could honestly just be busy and need a little reminder!
They’ve approved their design but haven’t paid their balance or are way behind on their guest list:
Whew! The easy part is done, they love their design and have approved it! Now time to collect final payment, guest addresses, and get these babies to print! I think… No lie, I have sat on save the dates before for FOUR months waiting on a guest list. And of course, they wanted them out ASAP when they finally sent them over.
First – let’s address the final payment part. If you’re not currently doing it, I highly recommend that you collect their final payment after they approve their final design and before sending everything to production. I do this in a simple print release form that they sign off on and has a link for the invoice to pay the final balance and I have them initial a section that says “delay in final payment will result in the delay of production and final delivery”.
And for the guest addresses, I know that is the bane of our existence, especially when we get every format under the sun. I highly recommend starting this process at the very beginning of the design process. Send them your recommended excel sheet format and ask that they start at the beginning because it always takes way longer than expected to gather everyone’s addresses. And let them know that you can not go to production until you have them.
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