Each of us has the responsibility to deliver the highest quality of work to clients. To do this consistently, you must understand the types of mistakes you’re prone to make, learn how to catch, and have a mindset of constant improvement.
What are the consequences of having errors appear in client work?
- It undermines our value as an agency -- or even our intelligence
- It signals a lack of care
- It erodes trust between the agency and client, and potentially between the client and its customers
What are some common mistakes that appear in client work?
- Inconsistent formatting or lack of professional formatting
- Poor grammar
- Incorrect punctuation
- Misspelled names
- Homophones (words that sound alike but have different meanings/spellings)
Tips for catching and addressing mistakes and delivering quality work:
- If you’re unsure of spelling or grammar, a simple Google search will typically confirm the answer
- Memorize any spelling or grammatical rules you tend to forget
- Honestly evaluate your command of grammar, and take courses on Lynda.com to address any weaknesses
- Read regularly and thoughtfully to improve your understanding of sentence structure and style
- Add in more cushion time for review and QC -- a rushed job typically yields mistakes
- Create a personal QC checklist built around your frequent mistakes
- Commit to putting in as much time as needed for extra review until you improve, even if it means working later. This will pay off over time.
- Always run spell check before sending a document to a client.
- Read your document out loud.
- Read your document backwards, sentence by sentence.
- Change the font size during review for a different perspective.
- Review a printed version of your document.
- Set a premature deadline and force yourself to take a break before editing.
- Review your document more than just once.
- Go back and evaluate against the original assignment to ensure that all details have been addressed.
- Compare formatting and style against similar documents.
- Allow an additional review simply to analyze style, tone and flow.
- Evaluate your logic: are thoughts clearly laid out and are conclusions adequately substantiated?
- The more important/strategic the document, the more review it should receive.