Tips for Checking Web References
When assessing web design agencies, many businesses often go wrong because they are blinded by their razzle and dazzle design capabilities, and often, ignore to consider other critical aspects.
One sure way to keep out of such trouble is to verify the agency’s references. This way, you will procure some important information about the agency that will help you to make an informed decision.
An agency that cannot provide references is not worth considering. So steer clear of agencies that cannot provide references.
Here is a step-by-step guide to smartly verifying the references provided by a web design agency:
Get References of Clients with Similar Goals
Ask for references of clients that had a similar project with similar scope and goals. For example, if you are looking to build an eCommerce website with 25 products, then the agency should be able to find some references for a website that fit this description as much as possible.
Ask the Agency
Begin by asking the prospective agencies what their clients are likely to say about their service. This will provide a good starting point for your reference check.
You can say something like, “the agency tells me that you seemed very happy with the branding and design work and ongoing support” and have the client take it from there.
Talk to the Right People
If you talk to someone who is way too high up the hierarchy, they may not be very familiar with the project and might not be able to provide a detailed insight. If you talk to someone who is way down the ladder, you will not get a strategic perspective.
The ideal contact person for each reference would be someone who was closely involved with the project, while also in a position to assess the overall success of the project. Generally this would be the person assigned to communicate about the project, for most small business this would be the owner directly.
Ask the Right Questions
Don’t settle for superficial feedback, which won’t help you make a decision. Ask some specific questions to understand the agency’s capabilities and quality of service.
- What were some of the objectives you had set out for your new web design project? How well has the website lived up to these goals?
- How long did the agency take to deliver your project? If there were any delays, what caused them? What could the agency improve in their planning process?
- Did the agency live up to your expectations?
- Was the agency easy to work with? Were challenges/problems/questions addressed quickly, professionally and thoroughly? Can you give any examples?
- What, according to you, are the agency’s strong points? What are they excellent at?
- Would you hire them again for your next project? Why or why not?
- Are there any aspects that the agency could show improvement on?
Do Some Research
Look up online for reviews about the agency. A simple Google search for “[company name] reviews” will bring up some in-depth and revealing reviews about the web design company.
When it comes to your website, it’s best not to leave any stone unturned. So don’t be shy about verifying the references. Delve deep, ask the right questions, and verify their credibility. This will help you make an informed choice while also helping you choose the right fit for your requirements.