My family and I are planning on moving this summer, and because of that we’ve had to interview and hire a lot of different people… Realtors, contractors, movers, etc.
It’s not often I do this, so it’s easy for me to forget what that process is like — but I’m trying to take this as on opportunity to see things from the other side, because this is how clients probably feel when they are looking for a web agency like us.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed about how I’m feeling…
- Overwhelmed by the number of choices of companies/people to hire
- Unsure of how the process works, how things are priced, when I should get started
- Weighing the pros and cons of just doing some of this myself
Some of these are big decisions, that have real consequences — and every bit of it feels expensive to me. So what I think I’m really looking for is the vendor that will put my mind at ease.
But, to be honest a lot of them are failing at that.
They’ve made me question if their a good choice or not when they:
- Don’t send me info or call when they say they will
- Leave out some of the details I specifically asked about
- Seem to be making things up as they go or on the fly
Like most people, I’m not just looking for the cheapest option. I’m honestly willing to pay a premium if:
- I know exactly what to expect
- The vendor is reliable (even by just following up when they say they will)
- I have a clear understanding of how things will work from start to finish
- I feel like my concerns are being addressed
I’ve found these things to be really interesting observations. Even though they are in completely different industries than ours, I can imagine our customers feeling the same way.
So, how to we put our clients minds at ease and make ourselves the best choice?
I have a few initial ideas:
- I need to finally get a “welcome/intro packet” together. This is something a lot of folks in TABLE have done and had success with. I think if any of these vendors would have sent me over a little PDF that gave me a broad overview of how the process works, I would have felt a lot more comfortable.
- I need to take notes or record conversations. It’s impossible to remember every little detail a client mentions on a call, but you never know which one of those little things is really important to them. I think vendors can easily forget to address these things as they seem obvious to us — but they are key to showing your client you’re listening.
- Being over communicative is better than the alternative. I feel like I’ve been reasonable, and as a business owner I know that things “come up” and throw schedules out of wack. But if I’m not going to be able to provide something when I said I would, then I need to communicate that and provide a new timeline.
- Show them I’ve been there before. One vendor used a story of a client they worked with that was in a similar situation to me, and explained how things turned out. This was super powerful. I know we all have these kinds of stories we can share (and this makes a great argument for case studies!).
I don’t think it really comes down to who has the best product or price — it’s who can identify what’s important to a person, communicate clearly, and prove that you’re reliable.
I think if I paid half as much attention to these things as I do playing with tech & tools, I’d have twice the business I have now.