What web design clients value seems to be difficult for all web development companies to provide.
These things don’t take a lot of effort, but they make a big difference, because they help establish trust.
Like we’ve talked about, trust is everything — in life, in business, in all things that matter.
Boiled down to it’s essence, clients value honest, timely communication.
In other words: get back to them.
When they send you an email, or they call you, either pick up the phone or get back to them within a day.
Responding To Clients Shows They Matter To You
I’ve got to be honest.
There are two things that I hear over and over from clients seeking me out who had another web provider in the past.
Be Available To Communicate
Number One: “It was hard to get a hold of them”.
Whether these businesses are describing communicating, getting on the phone, or emailing their old web providers, this statement is consistent.
The most common variations of this are:
- Getting the runaround
- Being handed off to many different people within the agency for simple changes
- Flat out not responding or getting back to the client
Whether you’re a web agency or independent developer, please don’t make this error.
If someone calls you, pick up the phone, or if you can’t take a call right then, call them back that day.
If someone emails you, email them back! If you can get back to them within 24 hours, that is ideal.
I know that fighting your inbox is a big challenge for a lot of people. I get it.
For many business owners, it’s the same situation. Their inbox is also full to the brim.
But when you get back to people, it shows that they matter.
That’s the thing about people. They want to know that their business matters to you!
If you don’t call or email them back, it shows they don’t matter to you.
Even worse, if you start a business relationship with them, and then you stop taking or responding to them, it shows that they didn’t matter once you got them to sign on as a client.
So that’s the #1 reason businesses switch web agencies: when it’s hard to get a hold of the agency or get them to respond. Let’s look at #2.
Don’t Make It Difficult For Clients To Ask You For Things
Number Two: “Getting changes made was super difficult”.
This complaint comes in various forms:
- “I just wanted a simple change, but I had to talk to four different people to get it done.”
- “I just wanted a simple change, and weeks and weeks went by, and it still wasn’t done.”
- “The agency started ducking my calls when the changes weren’t made.” (See #1 above).
If you are an agency guilty of these acts, please understand these actions tell clients that once you have their money, they don’t matter to you anymore.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
For the sake of playing devil’s advocate, let me say, I get it. The more clients you have, the harder it is to find time to do the work they need (depending on the ratio of available staff hours to incoming client work).
Many of the service professionals I work for have multiple clients, and they face the same dilemma of having fit their own client appointments into what time they have available.
But this also means if you communicate openly with your web design clients, they have a better chance of understanding what to expect. But first, you have set and manage expectations through open, honest, and frequent communication.
Managing Expectations Means Communicating
Maybe you can’t make those website changes or start a new project right that second, but do your clients a courtesy. Let them know when you can schedule that work.
Tell clients when you are going to do their work, then make sure you follow through.
This can boiled down to one simple rule.
Do the things you say you’re going to do.
Three Simple Rules For Running A Great Web Agency
Here’s the bottom line rules for growing (not diminishing) your web consultancy:
- 1) Pick up the phone, respond to client emails. Show them that they matter.
- 2) If you’re in an agreement to provide ongoing service, be responsive to people. If you can’t take care of their needs right that second, let them know when you can do that work.
- 3) Do the things you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do them.
People trust people who show their humanity, so it’s important that you genuinely care about other people.
Your clients are business owners and entrepreneurs, just like you. It should therefore be natural to put yourself in their shoes.
Many web agencies mistakenly think they are in the technology business. But for the best agencies, that’s only a small portion of their offering.
I firmly believe that web design and development is a service-based business, and the agencies that end up lasting and growing are the ones that take care of their customers.