Outsource Web Development To Impress Your Clients
As you manage your agency’s client load, you’ll come up against the question of whether it makes sense to start outsourcing website development to a third party. And there are various reasons you might want to do so: Your client may want a site that includes features beyond the expertise of your on-staff developers, or that would require a great deal of time to build. Or, it might come down to the fact that you have too many projects to take on another time-intensive website build.
Whatever your reason, outsourcing website development can help your marketing agency impress clients.
5 Reasons to Outsource Web Development
A Web development firm that’s been around for a while will have the expertise you need to build powerful, engaging websites that impress your clients. Even if you have people with Web development skills on staff, you may need to bring in the big guns for larger clients with high expectations.
You Get a Team
When you outsource website development to a third party, you’re not hiring one person — you’re hiring an entire company. That means you get everyone’s skills, which are applied to your client’s project.
It takes a marketing expert, a skilled designer, an experienced coder, and other employees to create a strong website. Do you have all those people on staff — plus a project manager to oversee the whole thing? When you carefully research and vet a website development firm for outsourcing, you’ll know they have the skills you need to deliver an outstanding final product to your clients.
Outsourcing Website Development Is More Efficient
Hiring a Web development firm costs less than hiring a dedicated employee, and you get more bang for your buck. An established website development firm will have policies and processes tested and improved over the years, so your clients’ projects can flow smoothly through completion.
They Provide Accountability
As with any vendor partnership, accountability is key, and a good website development firm will want to keep your business after earning it. Building a long-term relationship with a Web development company can help ensure continued success for you and your clients. Over time, you may find that your Web development vendor works with you more as a partner, providing a fresh perspective and new ideas as you work through different projects.
Take Pressure Off Your Internal Team
Outsourcing also makes sense if your team is simply spread too thin. You may have too many projects to handle properly but not enough to justify hiring more employees. In this case, a Web development firm can take some of the pressure off your employees and help you manage your client load.
Outsourcing your Web development is a great way to impress your clients. The expertise and wide variety of skills that a web development firm offers can take your clients’ projects to the next level and ensure their satisfaction. Consider carefully whether your staff members have what it takes to put together a website that your clients are looking for, and then consider outsourcing the development.
Looking for a new website development partner to take your team to the next level? Our award-winning team is here to help your next project feel like a breeze. Reach out today to get started.
6 Tips for Working with Clients During Website Development Projects
We’ve learned a few simple tips that help organizations and their agencies work well together through even the most complex website project. Here are tips for maintaining a positive relationship while moving a project forward.
1. Share Your Process at the Start
When your client understands the process you’re following to complete the project, they’ll be more likely to see that you’re doing all you can to work out any problems that arise. If clients aren’t clear about how long a step might take or don’t understand the amount of employee time involved, they may object to the time the project takes or the money it’s costing them.
Teaching clients about all that’s involved in producing the website they want and how long things will take can prevent many problems. Provide deadlines, describe who will be involved at each step, and above all, eliminate jargon so everyone can understand.
2. Get to Know Each Client
Every client is different. Some will hardly look at ideas you send over and say “whatever you think is best.” Other clients like to dig in and walk with you every step of the way through frequent meetings and status updates. You need to be flexible enough to work with clients on both ends of the involvement spectrum and everyone in between.
You also need to develop an understanding of each client’s communication preferences. Whether they favor the phone, email, video conferences, or in-person meetings, they’ll be more likely to hear what you’re trying to communicate if you share in the way they prefer.
3. Be Ready to Ask for Help
Here at 3 Media Web, we’re good at sticking to a schedule and putting in extra hours if that’s what it takes to finish a project on schedule. We also don’t hesitate to pull in extra developers if we need help to meet deadlines. It’s important to build relationships with trustworthy freelancers you can call on if you hit a wall and need to keep projects on track. And don’t delay making that call if it looks like you could use a helping hand.
4. Identify Who’s Causing the Holdup
Project delays from the client can be frustrating, but you can’t force them to get you the information you need to move forward. Clients are usually fully aware when the holdup is on their end, but when they’re not, you need to be ready to explain what you need to continue the project — without assigning blame or pointing fingers.
I like to give clients an example of what the next step will be once they get us the missing information: “All we need from you is the content and the one graphic for the landing page, and then we can build the page within 24 hours and get it to you for approval.” That way the client knows what they’re missing out on because of the delay on their end — and what they need to do to get the process moving forward again.
5. Track Project Communications
We use a project management system to keep clients informed and track any issues. Anyone on the project can log in and see how it’s progressing. There are a few clients who prefer to communicate directly through email, and we accommodate them as well, but we do try to push clients to use our ticketing system to keep us informed of what they need.
6. Work With the Client to Solve Problems
Phone calls and emails are good for telling clients what they need to know, but screen share technology is a great way to show them what you’re talking about. We’ve used screen sharing to identify problems in websites that we just couldn’t quite solve over the phone. We also use Usersnap, which allows clients to mark up a live site and provide feedback on how the project is progressing.
Open, honest communication is vital for agencies working with clients. They hired you because they like your work and are eager to see results. Keeping them in the loop can go a long way toward managing challenges if they arise.
How to Hand Off Web Projects After a Project
No matter what your agency-client handoff looks like, three things will help make it a success. Here’s how we’ve learned to make web project handoffs go smoothly.
Follow a Process
Any project handoff needs a process to get it right. Whether it’s a checklist or a long shared document that everyone on your team can add to, following steps every time will ensure you remember to include everything — passwords, editing information, special instructions, and so on.
I have a WordPress project management launch document, and I print it out at the end of every project to follow the steps. I’m often adding to it to make it better.
This is especially handy when your internal systems change. We have a new ticketing system and use our process documents to ensure nothing gets lost in the transition.
Here are a couple of items I recently added to my end-of-project to-do list:
- Review all icons on the website admin dashboard to ensure they’re intuitive. This is such a small touch, but I’ve learned that tweaking icons (for example, adding a chat bubble icon to “testimonials”) make new admins’ learning curve easier.
- Test web pages to make sure they print well. I’ve found that some people still like to print web pages, so I double-check our print styling.
We use this process internally, as well. When we hand off a project from one person to another as it moves through concept and design and building out, we go through checklists to ensure no information is lost. When I hand a project off to Rachel Evans, our client service manager, she uses her own QA checklist to make sure she has all the information needed.
Client communication is always important, but it’s especially crucial at the end of a project. That way, it’s clear to the client that the website is now live and theirs — the deliverables have been delivered. There may be questions about small changes after the final launch, so build some leeway into the project timeline. If one of our clients decides after a week or so that they need to change something in the layout, we have a grace period during which we’ll help the clients make changes. Ensure everyone managing the website is fully prepared to make the handoff a success.
After the agency hands off to clients, we like to get together internally and discuss what worked and what didn’t with a particular project. We stay focused on the process and how to improve it. Identifying things that work and shedding things that don’t will always help your clients in the long run.
Find a New Website Development Partner
The award-winning team here at 3 Media Web loves working with external teams to bring a project across the finish line. Reach out today to find out if we meet the needs of your business.