Client Proofing + Approvals - Creative Agency

Hi - We are a relatively high volume creative agency with a large number of unique clients and deliverable types. We've struggled with getting consistent usage of the proofing and approvals tool from our clients. Some find it difficult and confusing, primarily due to the notifications they receive (e.g. there isn't a single - "this is ready for approval" button that takes them to approve or decline). 

I'm sure we aren't the first creative agency to run into this challenge. Do any other creative agencies care to share how they handle this process today? Currently here is an example of how we do it: 

  • Parent Task: Deliverable (New > Changes Required > Client Review > Complete) 
  • Sub Task: Copy (Workflow: New > In Progress > Internal Review > Complete)
  • Sub Task: Design (Workflow: New > In Progress > Internal Review > Complete)
  • Sub Task: Build [if web] (Workflow: New > In Progress > Internal Review > Complete)

The sub-tasks dates are based on when that specific task date is due. The parent task date is when the entire deliverable is due. The individual tasks require internal approval. The parent task is used for client approval when the deliverable is ready for client proofing. We have client's added as collaborators, and then they are assigned the task + files for review when it's ready for them. 

Challenges:

  • We need to manually tag the client user in order for them to get a notification. This requires a manual step that can get missed.
  • Once that occurs, they are following the task and then get a notification for every single update - internal updates included. As a result, they get too many notifications and miss the important ones.
  • Once added to the parent task, my understanding is they see all detail on the subtasks. All internal communication is exposed at that point which isn't terrible - but it'd be preferable if it wasn't. 
  • We have to manually select the client user to assign it to them - and those with similar names have been selected accidentally before. This isn't ideal and is a security risk. We immediately unshare the task and inform the client - which is not ideal, but required. The workaround here is unique workflows for every single client, but when we did this we ran out of available workflows (160 is the max). 

Any thoughts/ideas? At a minimum, I'm hopeful we can get other creative agencies sharing their process for client approvals in this thread to help each other out. Thanks so much.

Chris McGovern

Presh Marketing Solutions 

https://www.preshmarketingsolutions.com

 

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14 commenti
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Hi Chris McGovern,

you say "Once that occurs [a user is manually tagged], they are following the task and then get a notification for every single update - internal updates included. As a result, they get too many notifications and miss the important ones."

What dou you mean with every follower gets also unnecessary updates? By email or in the Wrike inbox? The last one is only notified by an @mention, the first one should be opted out.

Florian

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Hi Chris,

We have the same issue. We signed up for Wrike recently and were informed that we could share projects/tasks with the client however, we cannot have the client see our comments in the task so therefore we have to create duplicate projects and tasks between our working space and our client's space. This has caused double work for our team which is not what I was expecting when I signed up. We have yet to figure out how to handle this issue.

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Hi Staci Cretu, welcome to the Community! 🤗 Could you please let me know what kind of information you usually share with your clients? Because there are several ways you can share externally in Wrike - guest reviews, Gantt chart snapshots, report snapshots, and inviting them as collaborators (it looks like this is what you are doing currently). So maybe you could try a different way to share - I'm happy to discuss 👍 

Lisa Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

Lisa Wrike Team member Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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Lisa

We want to be able to create a client space and be able to show the client what we are working on. However, we cannot do this because we don't want the client to see any of our internal comments. 

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Hello Staci Cretu,

we have a similar situation where I set up a space for collaborators so give them insight view of the tickets the've created, but I don't want to share all information with them. Instead of using comments containing sensible information, we created some custom (text-) fields for this, and didn't share them with the collaborator's space.

It's a workaround, but it's better than nothing :-)

Florian

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An advanced solution for this issue would be the abillity to mark comments as private. Sounds like a nice feature! 😄

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Thank you for suggesting that Florian Kislich

Have you tried using the Gantt Chart snapshot for this? If you create one for a specific space/folder/project and then share it with your client, they will be able to see what you're working on without any details like comments, etc. 

Please let me know what you think. 

Lisa Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

Lisa Wrike Team member Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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Hey Lisa,

Gantt Chart Snapshots are a very nice feature, but won't help in our usecase.

We need real-time information for our collaborators, and I prefer providing some specific table views, where they even can sort by colums on demand.

Also the comment feature ist essential, as it is the only way for collaborators to communicate with us regarding a specific task. Once a ticket is submitted, further discussion is done in the comments, of course. So private comments for internal communication would be a very nice add-on, but for now we use user-defined fields for this.

Florian

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Thank you for sharing, Florian Kislich! 🤗 

There's a Product feedback thread regarding hiding comments - it's not currently planned by the team, but it might help if you could upvote it 👍

Lisa Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

Lisa Wrike Team member Become a Wrike expert with Wrike Discover

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Hi Chris, did you find a solution to this? We have come across the same issue and end up doing all our internal proofing in Slack, which is far from ideal. 

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Adding in: 

We have a use case where a team wants to use a Request Form to generate what is, essentially, a project scope document for an external client, and then be able to share the notes taken in that request form with the client so that the client can Approve the work starting based on that scope document. The idea had first been to have all of the scope questions in the Request Form, and have it all populate in the description of the Project, then invite a Guest Reviewer to approve the Project so that there is client approval on the notes taken during the scope conversation. 

Because the Guest Reviewer feature is only for documents, this team is having to utilize a blueprint with a blank project scope document attached to it, open the document with the Wrike Document Editor, fill it out, save it back to Wrike, and then manually create a Guest Review for the document. It's a lot of manual work for something that could be automated or streamlined with better options for Guest Reviews. 

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What I've done in the past, and I'm not sure this would totally solve the issue, is have a subtask for "Client Review" and then create a subfolder in the project called "Client." Invite the Client only to that folder and then add the "Client Review" task to that folder while keeping it in the main project folder. 

This ensures the client only has access to that single task, it keeps the task in the main project view under the deliverable parent task, and shields the client from seeing any internal back-and-forth taking place on the other sub-tasks or parent-tasks. 

We would then assign the client to that Client Review task and then conduct approvals and proofing on that task. 

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Some of our teams do a very similar process to what Jacob Bodnar described. Within the larger project/folder, the client is added to a single task so they do not have access to all the internal work going on. Our client managers are responsible for putting the work into the client's task when it is ready and @ mentioning the client to let them know it is ready for review/approval.

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To add to this, for those with external clients who are sending deliverables (information, decisions, files)....  How are you capturing those deliverables in Wrike? Is each deliverable a task?

We can have up to 10 deliverables in some cases so I am hesitant to send a client 10 different task notifications/emails following a call. Currently we are collecting via email so I guess the other alternative would be to assign one task "Deliverables" and create a checklist inside the task?

 

Curious how others are handling this. 

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