When you are in a service business like managing websites, it is inevitable that once in a while you will lose a client. We understand this, and are proud at our retention rate which is in the very high 90% range. The thing people should remember is to be very careful when starting with a new provider, as the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But then you get there and the grass is burned out and looks like crap.
I recently had this happen. I had a client for a while and built them a custom site which was built 100% to the specifications of their designer. Fast forward a couple years and they left, unhappy with of all things the design (which came from them). Their other complaint had to do with the content. Funny, the content came directly from their marketing people. So the two reasons they left had nothing whatsoever to do with us.
Now, in their defense they were probably told by some quick talking salesman that he could achieve everything they didn’t like about their old website. Sure enough, I checked it out and not only did they not fulfill any of the things they thought were missing from our site, the site was built with a cheap e-commerce product and lousy looking theme. They basically went from the e-commerce pinnacle used by Nike and other world-class companies to the cheapo e-commerce platform chosen by Joe’s Hemp Jewelry Stand. No one in the world could possibly look at this website and say “wow that’s much better”.
So they went from a custom designed very cool site to quite frankly something that makes you want to quickly go elsewhere.
Now, I am a big enough developer to realize that there are times where somebody builds a better site than I may have. It has happened once or twice. LOL. I also have to say, there are times where personality wise you just don’t click with someone. And they will find any excuse to go elsewhere. My approach is to just wish them the best, and send them on their way. Nine out of 10 times they will come back as they realize not only is the site inferior, the service they are receiving doesn’t come close to matching what we gave them. We answer every support ticket on the same day. No one else in the industry comes close. This people find out very quickly when they’re waiting two weeks on a minor text change.
Bottom line: When you are thinking of leaving, make sure the company you are going to provide you with an ARL. This is an approved requirements list that they need to approve and deliver on. So they don’t come back and say “oh we can’t do that”. “Oh, that’s extra”. “Sorry that will take another three months”. Etc. etc.
Your Thoughts? Let me know your thoughts on the subject. Either fill out the comment form below, or contact us.
Most companies are successful because of a specific product line or service that their customers need and enjoy. But then companies want to be bigger, better and more profitable. This is fine as long as they stick to what they do well and which enabled them to be successful in the first place.
As an example, in a former life I was a racehorse trainer. One of my favorite tracks growing up was Rockingham Park, located in southern New Hampshire. Nicknamed the Saratoga of New England, it was a beautiful little track and in its heyday featured some of racing’s great horses, jockeys and trainers. Seabiscuit even graced the once proud track.
Sadly the track burned down in 1980. A group bought the track and re-built it. They actually did a nice job and the track re-opened in 1984 with a nice clubhouse and facilities. Sadly the ownership was not satisfied with racing and thought that slot machines and/or a casino would be the key to big money. So they let the product go down hill. The nice clubhouse became a smokey, smelly mess. They failed to reach an agreement with horsemen and the track ended racing. They had charity gambling and simulcasting as the plant got more and more disgusting. The casino legislation the owners sought for so long would not pass and finally the facility will close this month.
The moral of the story? As the title says: Dance with the one that brought you. Had Rockingham’s owners stuck to racing and trying to develop and improve the product, rather than seeking bigger and better things they would have been successful and still operating. Ironically, their competition, Suffolk Downs in Boston closed so there would’ve has zero competition today. The shame is the area around the track was a big vacation spot, one of the biggest in New Hampshire. Now all that’s there is the remnants of a once great track which soon will be torn down and developed. Just what the world needs, more retail…
Bottom line: although it’s fine to grow and change and add to your core offerings, remember what got you there to begin with. Never lose sight of that and you will be successful.
Thinking of content is not an easy job, especially if you do not have a dedicated team to work on your website and social media. Most small businesses do not have the available staff to work on these items. Small businesses are just trying to stay afloat and do what they do best. That is the driving force behind opening up their own businesses to begin with. But in 2016, that is not enough. You must have a quality web presence and a social media identity. Now, I bet I know what you’re thinking: I have to hire a social media consultant, a content person (not to mention a pay per click consultant, a security expert, etc, etc.). As a small business you’re thinking I cannot afford a team of experts.
Well, as a small business, I know where you’re coming from. I founded RooSites before social media even existed. So we were on the cutting edge when social media arrived on scene. The benefit of this is I have had much time to contemplate and formulate the best possible plan on how to deal with all the web tasks that a company faces in 2016.
So here is my two cents. In order to do all of the things you want to, you need to look for a solution that is both economical and which covers all the bases. A one stop solution.
We have come up with maintenance plans that allow you to achieve all you are looking to accomplish, but not break the bank. In fact we work with mainly small businesses like yours. We will sit down and discuss what you’re trying to do. Some companies want to get involved in social media but don’t need pay per click. Some want to get involved in advertising but not so much into social media. Then others need to better utilize their blogs. Depending on your business, you don’t have to do every single thing that comes around. We will advise you on where best to spend your valuable resources.
Your next move should be to contact my office and I will talk through what you need to do and create a roadmap for success for your small business. With team members in Boston, Charlotte and Tampa we are equipped to help companies all over the United States.
There is an strategy attorneys universally follow: Do not ask a question you don’t know the answer to. This is so the attorney isn’t blindsided and actually asks a question which will harm his or her case.
This is good advice, but you’re probably wondering what is a web guy doing speaking about strategy for attorneys?
This actually came to me while perusing my email. I receive a weekly email from a popular review site which will remain nameless. They send you an email recapping your past week’s activities. It tells you how many people viewed your profile, and other pertinent data. This made me think of that strategy that attorneys use, as this email actually hurts their businesses and the chances of me spending hard earned money to advertise with them get slimmer each week.
I will help to tell you. Why would I ever advertise with a company who is telling me nobody views my profile and I get no leads? It’s almost like a reverse IQ test. If I advertise with them, I am probably a moron or want to throw money down the drain. So what I’m saying to you is: Before you put out any content on the web for social media, Ask yourself: Will this help or hurt my business? In my example, they are sending emails to countless thousands telling the recipient that no one looks at your profile on their site.
Now that doesn’t mean that everything you put out there is going to equal instant income. No, in fact much of what we put out our social media is to portray ourselves in a positive light. I like to say that anything that shows me as a subject matter expert is a good thing and will benefit my business in the long run.
It is almost like there should be a Hippocratic oath for web developers & website managers. First do no harm. This is great advice for any industry, though of course the damage I can do with content or social media is not quite what the Hippocrates was speaking of…
When you’re putting things out on the web, remember these things are there forever. How many times have you seen somebody put something out there that truly harms their career/business. They rush in and delete the post, but it’s out there forever. Someone has already created a screen shot and/or shared with their friends. So before you post anything ask yourself the question: Will this help and can it hurt?
Being a webmaster or site manager, you get used to working nights, weekends and yes holidays like the 4th of July. (If you want to do right by your clients, that is)
Take yesterday for instance. Most people were off for Independence Day. We on the other hand were working and doing an install for a client. As we didn’t want the client to be down at any point during normal business hours, the 4th of July is a perfect day to do an install. Now although we started just after midnight on Sunday, we didn’t get done until about 9:30 AM with all our install, and testing was completed by mid afternoon.
Now don’t take this the wrong way, I am not complaining. That is the job in a nutshell. When you manage people’s websites, you need to do what’s best by them. This means as little downtime as is humanly possible. Of course there are times when servers go down or horrible things can happen like hackers. These are things are beyond our control though we take every safeguard and measure we can to keep our clients safe. No, I am talking about normal best practices. Do not be down during business hours. End of conversation.
I like to talk say there are things that differentiate companies in a crowded market. The willingness to work around your client’s schedule, and do things at times which are not convenient to you, this is an example of what I called differentiators (if that’s a word).
Unfortunately, most web companies are really only interested in the “sexy” things in my business. They love doing mockups and showing clients pretty images. But in terms of actually managing your site after the launch, very few companies in the world specialize in this aspect of the business today. Why? The answer is simple, this type of work is not as fun as painting pretty images for clients. This is down and dirty, nuts and bolts work. But this is what make websites run. This is what keeps websites always improving and not out of service during peak business times.
So, our holiday may have been delayed as we worked most of the day. By the time we stopped and took a break for some barbecue and to enjoy the family time, the day was mainly gone. But at the end of the day, like most days, we know we did the right thing by our client. We will continue this policy, as that is what drives us and has made us the top website management company in the world. Now I know that comes off as boasting, but we stand behind our boasts with action. If you are not happy with your website management company, contact us today, we can help.