When you are searching for a new website you tend to browse web agency websites for their online portfolios of work. While there is a value in reviewing their work, how much time do you spend inquiring about their website process?
Start to finish, how am I going to get my new awesome business website?
I have been in many marketing and web agencies over the past 20 years. Some agencies had a form of a process and others literally had no process. The agencies with a process never really followed the process, they just jumped into some type of rough wireframe and then rushed into designing things. The web agencies with no process just winged it and hoped a developer, department manager, or account person would sort it out for the client eventually and get the job done.
All of this leads to a bad experience for the client and the agency. And, a bad product. Over the client’s stated budget, never on time, expectations definitely not met and the relationship is soured. Sometimes irrevocably.
So, when you are researching who to use for your new business website provider, please ask them about what is their process to walk you through to get your new website live. Here are a few good questions to ask:
- What is your process to get me my new business website?
- Will you provide me a formal production schedule?
- What do you need from me so we stay on scope, within my budget and keep to the delivery timeline?
- When do you need me to make decisions like wireframe and design approvals?
- How and when do you need messaging and image content?
The better the process, the better your new business website will turn out. The better the web agency and the client then stick to the process, the better the new business website will turn out.
Agency and Freelancers: Use a Process
If you are a freelancer or an agency, the steps to remove the relationship frustration for your clients is a five-step solution:
- Have a formal process.
- Follow your process.
- Don’t give up on your process. Keep following your process.
- Deliver on what you originally promised. Value-added extras are also nice but only after you deliver what was expected first.
- Afterward, review and refine your process.
You will need to make a process that fits how you work well and also takes away the most pain points from your client. For websites, you want a process that starts with planning first, then wireframes and design next, programming and coding front end and then back end, testing everything, going live, and post-launch steps.
These are the main milestones but you need to make sure you have checkpoints within those categories to not miss crucial steps.
Within your process, map out when you need the client to be engaged. I recommend having them engaged minimally overall so they do not feel a lot of pressure or stress from you constantly asking them for things along the way. Get as much engagement as you can from the client upfront and let them know when you will be needing their input or approvals along your process.
Then, you handle the rest!
It’s so important to follow the process you create. It’s easy to slip out and just wing it or skip things to avoid possible awkward conversations or moments. Trust me, it’s so much worse if you skip and then have to deal with the consequences later. Simply following your thought out process makes a huge difference in the relationship and the outcomes.
Once you get a process in place, refine it over and over to keep making it an even better experience and relationship with your client. Now, go help businesses win online!