PNW Drupal Summit Session: Ask Better Questions to Create Loyal Clients
By Adam Edgerton, Director of Project Management & Operations, October 15, 2011
This session led by Lauren Bacon of Raised Eyebrow Web Studio covered how to ask the right questions to build stronger relationships with your clients. Read on for some key takeaways.
Make yourself indispensable to your clients
- From the client's perspective you're the builder and/or architect. There is a great deal of competition that can simply build a working website.
- How do you become an indispensable advisor for your clients? Make your goals the clients goals. A flashy website is great, but did it achieve what the client wanted to?
- How will you measure success?
- Who are the stakeholders and what are their needs and timelines?
- In 25 words or less, what is the website's key message or takeaway?
- Where does the project fit within the overall organization's strategy?
- When a project launches, then what? It's never too early to plan what happens next. Many clients fail to plan for ongoing maintenance and support. Make those expectations clear up front.
Coaching Clients into Good Answers
- Keep asking "why?" when a client hasn't fully thought through their intentions
- Keep clients focused on their business goals and how/if decisions will impact those goals.
- Help them define key metrics and tie goals to specific numbers when possible.
What does the Development company get out of asking the right questions?
- Create better sites that match client needs
- Exceed client expectations and retain them
- Avoid rework! If you ask the right questions from the start, you'll stay within budgets and keep everyone happy.
Include questions and answers in documentation to improve project effectiveness
- Who: Site audience, who are they, and why do they visit the site?
- What & Where: Define business requirements
- Why: Measures of success for the client
- How: Tech spec
- When: Phases if necessary