“I hired a large company because they had a very impressive portfolio, and they’ve worked with other large companies. But once I started dealing with them, I felt like they didn’t give us as much attention as they did other clients. I saw a big disparity in terms of the quality of work being given to us, versus their other clients. Maybe it’s because our budget is too small, or perhaps we’re just a small fish.”
I have heard this same story quite a few times in my career. Many clients engage large companies after seeing an impressive list of clients they’ve worked with, and being shown an equally impressive portfolio.
Many fail to realize that the works being shown to them are probably their top-paying ones, and more often than not, if you’re not a multimillion dollar MNC, you don’t have the budget to match big clients like StarHub or DBS Bank.
I’ve had clients who then realize that the quality they received were a vast difference compared to what the studio/agency was churning out for other clients. Why?
Well, put yourselves in their shoes. If you are that agency, and you had a large team of people with a vast array of skills and experience levels. Who will you put on your big-budget, high-risk high-reward projects? Surely not your juniors nor interns. Surely you would place your best minds, creative directors and experienced designers and developers who have years of experience under your belt. Which projects do you give the junior or recent hires then?
This is why I am seeing amateur work coming out from presumably experienced agencies. When I say amateur work, I mean myself 10 years ago, when I just started out as a baby web designer as a fresh polytechnic grad.
But wait. The agency fee you’re paying is not a poly grad’s fee. You’re probably paying big bucks for this “popular, top 10” agency because of their brand name. And for what? If they’re not going to care about your project, and pass it on to the junior or intern?
So what can you do?
- Insist on knowing exactly WHO will be working on your website. This isn’t foolproof though, as the agency can lie about it. But you can insist on meeting up regularly with this person. When you ask for a small change, they should be able to do it on the spot instead of having to “get back to you”.
- Clarify on what kind of quality you will be receiving with your budget, and what actually is the kind of budget you need to be looking at to receive work that looks like their portfolio.
- Ask if the company has any other “smaller” clients, and how is their work like, instead of the big-shots they will definitely show you first.
- Who is the first person you’re meeting? Is it the salesman, or is it the web designer him/herself? A salesman’s one and only concern is to make sales, no matter what the budget may be.
Choosing the perfect web designer for your website isn’t easy. And many get burned before they find one that they’re happy with. I hope with these tips, I can help you find your perfect web designer. If you think I’m it, please contact me and let’s discuss your project!