I signed on to write about something absolutely and entirely different than this post, but a comment by a reader really grabbed my attention and my fingers ended up punching in different keys in response . . .
Bill had responded to a post I recently made regarding overpriced hosting. If you haven’t read it, please do so now, especially if you are considering a business website or if you already have one and feel you may be overpaying.
Many clients that I work with really have no idea about websites, and they ask many questions in the start up in order to gain experience. I can explain about cpanels and uploading files and domains but it would be like a doctor explaining in detail a surgery to me: I would have no clue. I wouldn’t know the technical terms, what it would actually look like while he was doing it and when he was done or whether the payment he wanted was a good price, a bad price, or fell somewhere int he middle.
My mom recently suffered a stroke, and then had to go on for carotid artery surgery. The staff acted like it was no big deal: To them, in fact, it wasn’t. They do it every day.
To my mom, it was someone cutting open her neck with a knife. Big deal, right?
If you don’t know about something, you have a lot of concerns, and in order to get correct information you will need to ask a lot of questions. And in order to get answers, you’ll need to be able to contact someone.
A complaint that I have heard a lot about lately regarding design companies, website hosting companies, and other internet related companies is that of poor customer service.
Someone has a problem with their site or their hosting, they make a phone call, and they don’t receive a person on the other end.
I frequent quite a few message boards that deal with different business-type people and that have areas in which people can seek web designers. On one board I frequent, one particular company has popped up over and over again for not answering emails.
If you are looking to hire a company to do some work, make sure that they are accessible either by phone or by email every single day.
Think you would seem like a stalker if you called everyday beforehand? Personally, I’d rather seem like a stalker than pay $1000 or up for my site and then find out that the company didn’t answer any emails or phone calls as needed.
If you know about running your site, chances are you won’t have a lot of questions. Yet you will want to know that you can talk to the designer during the process, and that if you have any follow up questions when the site is up and running you’ll be able to reach him, or her as the questions arise. A good designer/programmer will be available for quick short questions via email or phone after the completion of the site.