You’ve done your research, read through the proposals and selected your agency. This is often a nerve-wracking time for clients as money has been committed and you are under pressure to deliver.
Developing a good working relationship with your agency and understanding how they work will help you deliver a website that is on time and within budget.
When you meet with your agency, make sure you get the most out of them by sending any relevant documents in advance for them to review. This will make the meeting more meaningful.
What you like and don’t like
Often what you don’t like is more important than what you like. If you don’t like the colour orange, then tell them! Otherwise you will probably get an orange site back.
When you are discussing likes and dislikes, it is important to justify them so the agency can understand your point of view. Your agency will be advising you based on their industry knowledge and experience – if you are asking them to do something that is against standards then there should be a good reason for it, not because “I don’t like it”. Remember that you are paying for the advice and expertise. To not take it on board is throwing your money down a drain.
If your site has to perform certain functions, then these should be outlined in your brief to the agency before a quote is made and then discussed further when the project starts.
It is key that you detail this functionality so the agency understands what they need to produce. If you don’t, chances are this will happen:
If your agency isn’t discussing this with you, then you should raise it with them. If you don’t, and they start to develop, there is a risk that you will not get the site you were expecting and your testing period will become extended. There may also be tears.
When you are and are not available
Let your agency know if you are taking any holiday or any times that you are not available. They can then make any scheduling adjustments and make sure that you receive correspondence such as visuals, emails and invoices at the correct time.
Equally, you should check if your main point of contact will be unavailable at any time during the project.
One point of contact
Your agency is not a mediator for everyone in your company to feed back to – this will eat into the account management time for the project and there can be conflicts. You should collate feedback and resolve any conflicts before sending to the agency.
It is also confusing for your project manager if there are multiple people responding to them. You need to be clear to them what actions you need them to take and this is only possible when it comes from one person who has considered all the points and decided what ones will be valid.