My last client was every company’s worst nightmare. They were constantly late on deadlines. They wanted to tweak every detail. They changed the content so many times that we were way out of scope of the project with number of revisions. THEN they were upset about the extra billing time. And – to top it all off – nothing we did pleased them!
Before we go any further I should fess up and tell you that client was… me! Yup – I was my own worst nightmare. After three years, my old website needed a redesign in the worst way. It was dated and staid and the branding was … bad. It didn’t represent who or what my company was at this stage. Instead it was who my company was several years ago. Fortunately I’ve grown both as a company and a brand and it was time for a redesign!
Looking through the eyes of a client, I was able to go through the process my clients do and have realized – there are some helpful hints that will make this process smoother, easier and – dare I say it – actually fun for clients!
Remember it’s not about you!
It’s about your prospective clients and what they need and how they need to hear it. When I found myself going away from this and onto my company language, the branding and the messaging started to fall out of alignment. I started going into “tech speak” that my prospects will probably not understand. I started to bore myself! Trust your web company when they tell you the branding, messaging and content is not speaking to your prospects.
The “not so secret” secret of web designers is not that we are late – it’s that clients are late. They disappear for days, weeks, months and yes – sometimes – years on us! Then when they do finally resurface, they expect their work to be done within the next few days. Are you that client? If so, take a realistic look at your time commitment – or lack thereof – and work with your website designer for a timetable that works for you both.
Let your web designer be the expert.
We want to give you the best product that will grow your business and let you retire to the Bahamas in just a few short years. We want to give you a website that represents your company and who you are. We want to give your prospects a terrific experience when they visit your site. We want them to stay on your site for hours because it’s got great content and it’s a “go to place” when they need information. So let’s us do our job because we know best. We know that color of green that you want to use will not work (FYI – green isn’t ADA compliant – for folks that are color blind it looks like yukky gray.) Listen to us!
Be prepared, be on time and do not be in the Starbucks line.
Honor us both and be present for our meetings. Personally, I usually do my presentations on Zoom so I request my clients be in front of their computer. We typically only allow a certain amount of time for our meetings (we bill by time so for us – time is money!) so be prepared, be in a quiet place and take care of the kids for 30 minutes or so.
If you don’t understand, just ask!
Techno speak can be the equivalent of the Charlie Brown teacher – waa, waa, waa, waa, waa. (You did that in the tone too – right?) Like any of us in any industry, we forget that “web design” is a foreign language to most but we are very happy to explain anything you don’t understand. And… hopefully in a manner that makes the concept or idea simple for you.
Along with this concept – we usually do what we are doing for a reason. We study trends of design and just like the clothes we wear – we know what will be in style for a long time with your website and not just a current fad/trend. We also know what makes a good client experience on your website. There are typical places the eye goes when looking at a website – it’s called eye-tracking and is a science in and of itself. It is also an important component of a successful website.
Work within the process.
The process is there for a reason. The process allows for the flow to be smooth and to be uncomplicated and to be timely. Anytime I’ve deviated from the process with a client – it just hasn’t gone well. Process can be the order of delivery or the way the content is sent in or the flow of communication. Allowing for a seamless process will keep both you and the web designer on track and on time.
For any company, good customer experience starts with being a good client. When you are a prepared client, you will have a great experience. When you are an informed client, you will have a great experience. When you are a client that recognizes you hired a company (in this case web designer) for a reason and you let them do their jobs, you will have a great experience. And isn’t that what we all want?