Thursday, December 4, 2008

I can't get no...Satisfaction!

As the Rolling Stones belted it out, so too, unfortunately many organizations are not satisfied with their current website services provider. Whether it's the speed with which your service company answers your need, the results of what is provided as a solution or many other potential irritants, there are ways to avoid this problem. Most of us have enough challenges in our work, adding frustration with the development of services online doesn't need to be another added burden if we undertake a little due diligence.

Here's another real situation that happened recently (two weeks ago) at our firm Mediaforce. A business owner in western Canada calls us and is very frustrated. They have tried to contact their services provider repeatedly for some time (I believe the period was about three weeks, incredible.) to create a change on the company website, and they wonder if there is something we might be able to do to help. To make a long story short, 10 minutes later the change is made for this company while they are still on the phone and we have a new client. So what's my point? Pretty clear I think.

As our relationship with this new client is unfolding we have learned some of the reasons for their frustrations, as there had been many similar events with he former "website service" (and yes, I do use the term loosely here) company. When our new client began working with the former company, they really didn't know what to expect as it was new to them and they had no point of reference...and they didn't seek other points of reference as part of their vetting process. Since your online presence is an increasingly important part of your business plan (or should be) it's really important that you check out who you're going to work with and it doesn't have to be a difficult or long process. As I said recently in another post, it comes down to planning, and if you've have a plan, you will most likely avoid much of this aggravation.

You may already have a process in place for scrutinizing service companies that you will be working with, great. If not just a couple of suggestions regarding your choice of online services provider:
1- How promptly did they respond to your initial inquiry? Quickly, average, slow...remember, once is noteworthy, twice is a pattern, three times a sure thing.
2- Do they have testimonials on their site? Of course this is subject to manipulation but it is a good starting point. If there are names and companies, most likely the testimonial is real and verifiable.
3- How mature are they as a company? If you find a company that is over ten years old, this company must be satisfying thier clients because in the web services business this is a VERY old company.

With that as a starting point, I'll leave you with this thought. Our new client is very happy with the service they are now receiving although it is a little more expensive than the previous supplier. A little more expensive. The results of the small change and others that we ( have made for them so far, have had a positive impact on their business by creating a better website visitor experiece, which has generated new business for them, business that they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to win. What are your decisions regarding your online presence costing your organization? Call me!

We're at the edge of the future!

Andy Xhignesse

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