Choosing a website design firm is a critical decision. You're not just buying a professional service and putting a project in the provider’s hands, you're entrusting your association to them. In doing so, it is essential to select the right firm to partner with to ensure your association’s success.
Building a Solid Foundation
When first selecting a web design company, ask questions to not only understand the firm’s capabilities and provided services, but also to assess the firm’s ability to communicate. If it seems as if it is taking a long time to get answers, or the responses are very general, there is a good possibility the firm struggles with communication.
Other than asking questions to gain insight on communication capabilities, use this time to ask meaningful questions that dive deeper into how a firm works with its clients to ensure a successful project. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What is your methodology for website planning and execution?
- How much input do clients have in the design suggestions?
- How much time is devoted to analyzing a new client’s business, market and competitors when developing a new website?
- How will you measure the results of this project?
Keep in mind that these are only a few questions you should be asking. Determine what is most important to your association and find out how the firm matches up to those needs. This helps to make sure you are choosing a partner with whom there is a mutual understanding of what your end goals and needs are.
Digging a Little Deeper
In many cases, the success of a project can hinge on whether the web firm hired is just a vendor that is selling you a product or a partner that is invested in the success of your association. To distinguish if a firm is the type of partner you are looking for, take note of the small details. If a firm values partnering with its clients, staff members will take the time to walk you through the firm’s methodology and provide detailed answers to questions.
Additionally, make sure to ask for references and past work examples. Firms that are proud of their work and have established positive past relationships should not be hesitant to provide this information. Once you have received the references’ information, contact them and learn about their experience with the firm. This will provide you with an idea of what you could expect when working with them.
Maintaining the Partnership
Once you have selected a firm that offers open communication and a proven track record, don’t get complacent. Throughout the planning and implementation phases of your project, it is important for teams to communicate. Remember, a successful partnership requires open, honest communication and participation from both partners in order to succeed.
And, the partnership does not end with the site going live. While you may have asked initial questions, there will come a time when you are unsure about a decision or need help after your website goes live. The right firm will understand this and will provide on-going support after go-live. This communication can come in the form of a phone call, Skype chat or email. Having the right partner means never hesitating to reach out with a concern and utilizing all the resources available to you in order to move your association forward.
Take the time to ask the right questions, communicate effectively and utilize the services and offerings of the selected design firm. Building a true partnership is the best way to ensure a successful website project that meets the precise needs of your association today and into the future.