Sélectionner une page

6 WordPress Dev Mistakes You’re Making (That Clients Are Too Polite to Mention)

6 WordPress Dev Mistakes You’re Making (That Clients Are Too Polite to Mention)

We’ve been a little tough on clients lately, haven’t we?

Not too long ago we spent some time reviewing how to deal with clients who also felt like they had some solid web design experience. It’s true, clients can present some real challenges. But these are the same challenges that almost anyone in customer service ends up dealing with on a daily basis. While it’s fun to make light of the situation, it’s part of doing business.

Today though, we’re turning the tables. We’re going to take a look at some of the more common complaints that clients have when it comes to dealing with WordPress developers. We’ll also look at how you can avoid or overcome some of these customer service issues because as you probably already know, keeping clients happy typically provides a great return on investment.

Common Customer Service Issues

In many ways, web design and development can be a great industry to be involved in. Not only is there a creative aspect that draws many people in, there are also, despite the competitive environment, plenty of opportunities to build a sustainable business.

Web design and development, when done right, can allow you to build a business that provides an ideal balance between transactional and recurring revenue.

That’s why customer service is so important. In 2011, American Express conducted a survey in which over 90% of respondents agreed that good customer service leads to repeat business. The same survey also discovered that fewer than 33% of consumers felt businesses were changing their attitudes for the better towards customer service. Talk about a great opportunity to set your business apart from the competition!

Obviously, the first step is to understand where you might be going wrong. Once we have that answered, we can look at ways to fix the problem. If you thought your clients might help you out in this department, you’d be wrong; they are far too polite for that.

In fact, this Help Scout article reports that a typical business hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers.

Let’s flip that around to make the point clear: 96% of your clients won’t tell you when they have a problem. Yikes!

If you think about it, this is a scary statistic. It only serves to emphasize the importance of learning about the common complaints surrounding web development. That way you can put systems in place to detect and remedy the problems or better yet, avoid them altogether.

So what are some of the common issues faced by WordPress developers? Where might you be going wrong?

1. This Isn’t What I Ordered!

Have you ever gone to a restaurant for dinner and ordered based upon a picture in the menu. After 25 minutes of patiently waiting for your meal to arrive, the wait staff finally show up at the table with your much-anticipated entree. It’s a good thing too because you’re starving. But wait! What you see on the plate isn’t what you ordered. It couldn’t be. The picture you saw looked infinitely more appetizing! I think you’ll agree, this kind of experience can put a damper on your whole evening out. Nobody likes to receive something different than what they requested.

It’s easy for the design of a project to change over the course of time. Sometimes you discover that certain elements don’t fit the way you expected; sometimes the photographer delivers images that require a change in navigation and sometimes you just find a better way of presenting the copy.

While these changes may make sense to you, it can leave clients feeling less than ecstatic about the end result. What’s frustrating for your client is not that you made changes, it that you made changes without explaining the reasons to them first. If you ordered a steak and were served salmon, wouldn’t you want to know that it’s because they ran out of steak?

2. Why Can’t I Make Changes on My Own?

Almost everything these days can be customized and that leaves clients with the impression that their website should be the same. People like flexibility, it makes them feel like they are in control. WordPress is famous for being highly customizable, often with just just a few clicks.

Unfortunately, clients don’t always realize that making changes is not as simple as clicking a button. It’s true, changing the color of a navigation background is a simple task, taking only a few seconds. Rarely though do clients understand the difference between changing a navigation background and restructuring all the divs on their homepage.

If you communicate with clients in advance, letting them know which elements can be easily changed they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Even if they can’t make the changes themselves, just knowing it can be done and that you can help to facilitate the process can be enough to relieve their anxiety.

3. You Missed My Deadline – Again

There is a simple rule with deadlines: Stick to them, but also accept that they are not always in your control.

Although they may not all complain, you can rest assured that deadlines are almost always a source of stress for clients. Their ability to attract new business often depends upon getting their site up and running, so this is one of those scenarios where time really is money.

There are a few solutions to the problem of deadlines that might be worth exploring for your business:

  1. Be generous when it comes to presenting clients with deadlines. Over promise and under deliver (only in terms of deadlines!) is a great philosophy and best accomplished by consistently adding a buffer of time to complete each stage of the development process.
  2. Consider implementing a content first approach. We all know that waiting for website content from clients can be the source of major bottlenecks. What if you insisted on having every piece of content at your fingertips before beginning any project? How much smoother would your workflow be?
  3. Set guidelines for client communication. If you’re emailing clients, request a reply by a certain time or date. Be clear that your expectations are put in place to make sure you can achieve their deadlines, not for your own convenience.

4. You’ve Made an Error on My Invoice!

Nobody likes unexpected bills, including your clients. Part of the challenge in developing a website lies in figuring out exactly how much time will be required to complete the project. Making the situation even more difficult is the fact that specifications often change on the fly. Because clients aren’t necessarily well versed in the planning or development process, it’s difficult for them have an understanding of how long a “small change” might take.

Don’t make the mistake of presenting your client with an unexpected invoice. Chances are they’ll pay it but you can rest assured – they won’t be happy. The bigger the surprise, the more damage it will do to your relationship.

The problem is, we both know scope creep is going to happen – something is always overlooked. So how can you resolve this problem, keep your clients happy and get paid for your time? By following three simple steps:

  1. Provide a detailed quote that clearly covers every phase of the project as well as your hourly rate for anything not included in your contract.
  2. Anytime you’re faced with work that falls outside of your previously agreed scope, notify your client before you get started. Provide them with either a fixed or estimated cost and get their approval.
  3. Invoice your client exactly what they are expecting.

5. What Do You Mean I Need Maintenance?

Finding out that a website requires ongoing maintenance comes as a surprise to most clients. Rarely are they happy to learn that at the end of 6 week project, they’ll need to begin a ongoing maintenance program. It’s an unexpected expense. For whatever reason, they’re still stuck in the days of “build it and forget about it”.

It’s your job to free them of these old beliefs and the process starts as early as your initial interview. Assuming you offer these services, include your rates or maintenance fees in their quote. Help them to understand why their WordPress site will need to be updated and explain the risks of not keeping their website well maintained.

6. Is Anybody Listening?

I’ve saved this point for last because – quite simply – it’s the most important item on the list. As part of an American Express study, it was discovered that 90% of consumers polled in the US want to resolve their issues by speaking to a real person. I’d be willing to bet that the preferred method of communication for most web developers is email. Would you agree? Have you ever asked your clients which method of communication they prefer?

I don’t think this problem falls squarely on the shoulders of developers or designers, this is more of societal issue – nobody listens anymore. Or, should I say, it’s very rare for people to take the time to listen. Don’t be one of the many because you can set your business apart from the competition by being one of the few. Listen carefully to your clients, they’ll notice.

It’s equally important that clients know you can be easily reached. Imagine how you would feel if you hired someone to do a job, gave them a deposit and then out of the blue, they disappeared. It’s nerve-racking. Don’t be one of those developers who is easily reached up until the time the deposit is received and then vanishes. It leaves clients with an uneasy feeling and is no different than when you complete work and then worry about being paid.

How To Solve Many of These Problems

There’s a common thread that runs through all of these issues and it’s communication – or more appropriately, a lack thereof. Not communicating enough with your clients just might be the biggest mistake you could possibly make. So what are some ways that you as the developer can close the communication gap? Here are some simple ideas:

  • Make client communication a priority and let them know you are always available.
  • Be available and easy to reach. Give them your cell number and your personal email address.
  • Put the appropriate communication systems in place. If you’re not using project management software like Basecamp or Trello, consider it.
  • Put weekly or bi-weekly meetings in place to review progress and answer questions.
  • Become an open book. Keep clients up to date with the progress of their project, even when you don’t think they need to know all the details.
  • Establish clear communication guidelines for your clients and hold them to it. When you have a question about their project, it’s okay to expect a reply within a specified time-frame.

Wrapping Up

Here we’ve covered some of the more common clients complaints when it comes to hiring a WordPress developer. Just because you’ve never heard these complaints directly from your clients, does not mean the problem doesn’t exist.

Take the opportunity to quell their worries, and in the process forge a long-term relationship based on openness and transparency.

What are some of the more common complaints you have heard from clients – and what solutions have you come up with? If you subcontract out any of your work, what are some things that bother you about how your contractors communicate? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Bplanet / Shutterstock

Source link

Poster le commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée.