Let’s face it: designing websites can be difficult. Even the simplest of projects can bring unexpected challenges and take you down rabbit holes that consume more of your time than you want them to. Unfortunately, it can be tough navigating the pitfalls because, in the end, you want to finish the project and satisfy your customers.
There is a solution, however, and if you take the advice of my grandfather and keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut, you might just learn something. In other words, listen, watch and collaborate.
Collaborating with your customers has several benefits. Not only can it help you speed up the website design process, but it helps you show the customer that you care about them and what they have to say. Communication can allow you to understand their needs, goals and preferences; the more you understand that, the more likely they will want to continue working with you. It’s good customer service, which should be your top priority.
The question is, how can you collaborate with your clients in an effective and efficient way, while creating the best websites possible? Here are some tips and suggestions.
If you don’t set expectations with your clients at the very start of your project, you are asking for trouble. You need to clearly let them know what they can expect in terms of the final project. This means discussing the scope, timeline, budget, deliverables and revisions.
Make sure to put it in writing, too, to help avoid misunderstandings and delays. This doesn’t mean, however, that things can’t change. By collaborating during this stage, you could end up making the project larger and more valuable for both of you.
While you might have plenty of ideas as to what you think the client’s website should look like, so will they. You can save a lot of time by asking questions before getting out of the gate. Find out which modern web designs they like the look of, what colours they prefer, if they have any images or videos they’d like to use (including their logo), and even what keywords they want to rank for.
The more questions you can ask to get a glimpse of their vision, the easier it is for you to develop yours.
Clients can become annoyed if they aren’t kept in the loop with how things are progressing. From email and phone to video calls and chat, we now have more ways to keep in touch with our clients, so we don’t have any excuses for not reaching out.
To successfully collaborate with them, communication is key. Make sure to respond to their inquiries as quickly as possible, address any issues or concerns, and always let them know where things are at. You’ll be surprised how a quick message can help the process.
There’s nothing more frustrating for a website designer than getting halfway through a project, or even completing one, only to find out that their vision is different from their client’s. The best way to avoid this is to collaborate on the project by sharing your ecommerce website design ideas before moving on to the building phase.
You can create mockups to show your design ideas in a visual way, and adjust them as needed so everything is clearly understood by all parties. Incorporating your client’s feedback will help you craft the best web design to meet their expectations. But keep in mind, you may need to ask for clarification and communicate what you believe to be unrealistic or contradictory.
While following the “customer is always right” approach to running your business can be a good practice, always remember you are the expert, and they came to you for help.
Listen and Understand
Listening to your clients—I mean really listening—is by far the biggest key to collaborating with them. You also need to properly understand what they are saying when it comes to website design.
For instance, they may think they know what a pop-up window is, but what if they are referring to something opening in a new tab or a lightbox window? You are the expert, so while you know the right terminology, they might not.
It’s also better to avoid using web-related jargon and instead use terms and analogies the client is more comfortable with. Above all, listen to what their needs are, ask questions for clarification and make sure you are both on the same page before jumping into something.
Document Your Work
Keeping track of what you’ve done, your deadlines and what still needs to be done is an extremely important part of collaboration. While there’s no one correct way to do it, you should document each step of the project instead of trying to remember it all. If you don’t, you are sure to forget something, and when you do, your professionalism might be called out.
You can create a report at the end of every day, use project management software, or even keep written notes. It doesn’t matter which you choose, but by having it at your disposal, you can quickly know where the project is at and answer any questions your client may have at any given moment.
Ask For Testimonials, Reviews and Referrals
We’ve discussed many of the benefits of collaboration in this article, but there is one many web designers miss out on: business growth.
Satisfied clients who give you good testimonials, reviews and referrals can positively impact your business by helping you build your reputation and credibility. What’s more, your network and client base will grow because of it. When the project has been completed, you should thank your client for their business, and ask them for a testimonial, review or referrals.
As one can see, collaboration is key to building an appealing, user-friendly web design that checks off all your clients’ boxes. Collaboration not only helps satisfy your clients’ needs, but it helps you finish your projects faster and on time without misunderstandings. It can also lead to more business in the future by giving you a reputation of being a web designer who can be trusted.
If you’re looking for a quality website design company in Toronto, you have come to the right place! At TechWyse Internet Marketing, we deliver stellar website design services, along with SEO, Paid Media, Content Marketing, and more. To get started, call (416)-410-7090 or contact us here.