HOW TO SET CLIENT EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR WEB DEVELOPMENT AGENCY?
Know more on how to set client expectations by reading this guide
Acquire more clients for your agency
Web development is a dynamically changing task and hence, it is pretty obvious that you and your client will not always be happy with the outcomes. It is important for every web development agency to set the realistic expectations for the client, which could be actually fulfilled by your team and professionals. The key to making every client happy is in your hands, important is the fact that how you use it.
Are you unsure about how to keep each of your clients happy with your work? Learn how you can do it:
1. Figure out if the Client is Right for you:
Every project which fails is the project we’d expected to go wrong in the beginning. Not always, but mostly. Some clients set unimaginative targets, some want you to build an Eiffel tower at the cost of a house, and some are just unsure about what they actually want. Our suggestion is to stay away from all such clients because it’s going to be too hard to sail along when the project moves forward.
Once a client has picked you, it is your turn to decide whether or not you should do a project. If the project and client, both excites you to work – go for it. Otherwise, drop it before you put in some more time, just to see your all efforts going into vain.
2. Understand every tiny aspect of the Project, which needs to get done:
Completing a web development or designing project isn’t a cakewalk. Your business developers need to understand every small bit of the project, which your team is going to work on for next few weeks. Ask as many queries as are necessary to give your team a better understanding of the project; way better than the client has.
3. Decide if you can Accomplish what client want
So! You have picked a project of your interest and expertise. You understand what’s need to be done. What’s the next?
Well, it’s the time to brainstorm and have a team meeting. Discuss how and in how much time, the project can be completed. Break the whole project into parts and create milestones to accomplish.
4. Stay Clear about what you are going to do and how will it look like?
After a thorough discussion with your designers, developers and everyone else who is involved in the process, you must have got a clear idea of what could be the probable outcome.
We often make the mistake of over-stating what we can do. The project managers, especially, keep on telling clients that the project can be finished in so and so time, with everything in place. That’s where you dig a hole for your own team. Always know the realistic limitations of your team and stay clear about them. Brief your client about it, prior to you start working.
5. Set an Endpoint
Web development projects are scalable. They can stretch to a limit, which you cannot even imagine before you begin. Many times, there is a huge gap in initial plan and final outcome. And it’s not always bad. But the thing to notice here is – a project is more about your time and work, which converts into money at the end.
If you and your client aren’t sure about the goal, it is quite probable that you end up reaching nowhere. To clarify it a bit more – never begin with actual work until you have set the scope of work. If you will do so, either you will have to work too much while getting underpaid or you won’t meet your client’s expectations.
6. Document Every Possible Thing
Developers hate it, designers don’t like it either. Individual or teams, a mistake we all make is not creating a well-fledged document and put a detailed contract in front of our clients.
Stating things in the air, forgetting them and making a client angry is very easy. However, nobody wants it. So, it will be better to pen everything down and get the agreement signed. It is also good for the times when your client states you to do the tasks, which are out of project’s scope. You will be able to quote the contract and tell them it’s not what we agreed upon.
7. Understand their Business and Audience
To make a project big success, it’s important that your web development company understands the end-users and client’s business. Like told earlier – you should understand the client’s business and audience, better than they did. Otherwise, you won’t be able to deliver a product or solutions which can bring profit for the client.
Don’t only think in terms of appearance and functionality. Your experts need to think like the customers of your client, who are actually going to use the system. After all, there are the real targets, isn’t it?
8. Decide Communication Time and Medium. Stick to it
Skype, WhatsApp, Slack, Kik, Hangouts, email, phone or what so ever – Once you are into the business with a client, it is necessary to agree upon a common medium where communication happens. Decide the timing too. These things are required because it will give the client a clear idea about your availability.
Once a medium of discussion is finalized, always be available for them in the given time slot. An even important point to note here is that you shouldn’t be readily available. While working as a remote team or as an individual freelancer, you may get habitual of responding to the clients immediately. It may be a good thing and your client may like it too. But at the end, it crushes the wall between work and non-work timing. Also, it diminishes your productivity and power to innovate. So, work while you work and do not work when it’s not the working time.
9. Communicate Often
Keep telling your client about the progress of work, keep showing them what’s done yet; so much that they should be fed up of hearing your voice.
It’s not. If you want to complete a project with all the client’s expectations met perfectly, regular communication can help you a lot. Read between the lines and understand what your client is trying to convey. Check if you have missed something or not. Comprehend the client’s feedback and use it as the input to your project. By keenly analyzing the client’s reaction and feedbacks, you can figure out if you are going in the right direction or not.
10. Ask for more Time than you Need
Life is highly unpredictable and web development isn’t less unpredictable either. Bugs or hidden tasks, holidays or sick lead developers, there are many causes which can cause delays in the project. So, it is necessary to take calculative measures and state a realistically achievable deadline to the client.
Do not forget that if you delivered before the time after arguing a bit over increasing the deadline, you will make the client happy. On the other side, if you agreed on an unrealistic deadline and failed to meet it, you will break the trust and may lose the client. The choice is yours; pick it wisely.
11. Document Strategy, Keep room for Changes & Create a Timeline-based Action Plan
It’s good that you have adopted the agile approach to development and given your developers/designers complete freedom of what they want to do. Though you need not tell your proficient developers about how to accomplish a task, you definitely need to put milestones about what needs to be done.
For that, involve your client and development team in action plan creation process. Set small milestones and estimate the time needed to complete them. After reaching a milestone, take client’s feedback and re-iterate if he is not happy with what you have. To cut it short, it’s better to make changes while a project is going on, instead it delivering a bad product and start it all over again.
12. Update your Client about Progress Frequently and Take Quick Feedbacks
You don’t need explanations or long lecturers at this point. You know it already, just forget it often. Aren’t we right?
13. Stay Transparent and Discuss ‘Mistakes’ too
We are all human, we make mistakes. Sometimes rarely and sometimes often, but we all do. So when your team member makes a mistake, do not panic about it. Just let the client know about it and explain how you are going to correct it. Trust us, the client will be angrier if you didn’t tell and it comes out as blunder later. Always, remain transparent about the project’s status and progress.
14. Work as if it’s your Own Business
Never take up a project just because it’s paying well. Though payment is one major point to concentrate upon, it is not everything that counts. When you have a project, take complete responsibility for it. Work as if it’s your company and it will never fail. Dig deeper to understand the client’s market, their brand’s value, their customers, their products, their services and every possible thing which could be related to your project. We bet that you will over-deliver without working too hard or for too long or get underpaid.
15. Never set for ‘Good’. Build awesome so that you (and they) can Brag about it.
Competition, competitors, and self-satisfaction you know!
You cannot set for good. Always try delivering the best. It will not only satisfy the client but also help you understand your highest capabilities and get better projects in future. And do you know clients can bring like-clients too? It happens, right? Hence, build a project that your client can brag about and can re-hire or refer you for future.
16. Don’t just treat it as a deal. Build Relationships that pay for long.
It sure is deal but giving personalized services to the clients doesn’t take too much. However, it can make larger impacts for sure. So alongside giving amazing services and work quality, also focus on building long-term business relationships with your client.
17. Don’t Work Too Much
Take enough time to complete a project and never work for too long hours; neither make your team work so hard. Do you know why? It’s because of the fact that over-working may harm your power to think and stay creative. Nobody wants it. If you’ll do that, the project is more likely to suffer (or your team may hate you). Sometimes, such working style does not have an immediate impact but affects the later projects. Think about it.
18. Be Flexible and Over-Deliver Every time (But, within realistic limits)
Be flexible about your methods, and stringent about the perfection.
It will bring you streamlined words of appreciation if you could manage to deliver an unexpectedly-fantastic project, why don’t do it huh?
However, make sure that you are doing it in a limit. It is not witty to deliver a dozen for a dime.
19. Automate and Analyse
Use the best project management and time tracking tools along with the best technologies while working on any project. Using the right tools lets you optimize the process and resources without wasting too much time on who’s doing what, or what’s left vs. what’s done.
20. Hire the Enthusiastic Professionals
Do whatever, but it’s your team which decides whether a project will fail or set benchmarks. So, go with the people who are enthusiastic about what they do. At the same time, your development team should be proficient in the technologies you are working on. If they don’t know how to perform a task, it will take too much time to complete the projects than actually expected.
Choose experts and fresher employees in moderation so that the project quality and its extra-ordinariness do not suffer. As the lead leader or manager, it is required that you keep motivating your team and discuss that problems arriving in accomplishing the set target. Staying involved in figuring out the solution will be another plus.