Serenity Digital Ltd - web design & web development specialists based in Portsmouth, Hampshire

5 things to build open and honest business relationships

Finding the right supplier in the world of web development

Date: 27-02-2015
Author: Peter Garrett

Finding a good web developer is a bit like finding a good plumber or mechanic - you want to keep hold of them. Using a supplier in any technical profession is an exercise in trust and you want to make sure you’re getting what you paid for.

When we set up Serenity Digital we wanted to make sure that we were always open and honest with our clients to build solid, long-term relationships.

This is our idea of what makes a supplier you can trust:

1. Talk to your client.

Communication is key to any kind of relationship. We’ve all been in a situation with an unscrupulous salesman who bombards us with technical jargon and impressive statistics in an attempt to confuse us into a sale. In the world of web development there’s certainly plenty of jargon, so we try to remove it wherever possible to make sure that clients can understand everything we say to them. We consult with clients, educating them about their options so that they have the knowledge to make the right decisions for their business and keeping them informed of progress throughout a project.

2. Meet your client

We very rarely put together a proposal for a project without first meeting the client. We put together detailed proposals and specifications that are tailored specifically to a client’s business and it’s much more difficult to do that without meeting to get a better understanding of the business, it’s operation and how that will impact the aims of the project. We also know it’s crucial to know the people that you are working with to establish trust and confidence.

3. Be responsive

Responsive is a buzzword when it comes to designing websites for mobile devices but it’s something that suppliers should take to heart for their business as well. I am continually amazed at the number of businesses who tell us how difficult it can be to contact their suppliers. We have even secured meetings with prospective clients simply by picking up the phone when no one else did!

It is incredibly frustrating to be left waiting with a question unanswered or a problem unsolved and with no idea when the matter will be resolved. It’s a simple thing to acknowledge a request and reassure the client that it will be dealt within a timely fashion.

4. Bespoke service

When you're buying a service, you want to make sure that it works specifically for you. We’re not the kind of web agency that will install a paid (or even free!) theme using an off the shelf Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal, change a few colours and a logo and call it a job well done. How can a business stand out if its website, its shop window on the Internet, looks the same as hundreds of others?

By using a bespoke service a business can make sure it derives the greatest value from its website. Tailoring a website more specifically to a company will better reflect the company’s brand and can allow for a more customised user experience.

Bespoke doesn’t have to mean expensive either. Most of our clients use our in-house Content Management System, Serenity Source, which makes developing websites extremely straightforward. Because we built the software we know it inside out, which means we can do more and do it quicker, making any bespoke development very cost effective for our clients.

5. Personality

When I meet clients for the first time I often get told ‘I was expecting web developers to be really geeky but you’re not at all’. Being a geek isn’t itself a bad thing but it helps to be able to relate to a client’s needs on a broader level. And at the end of the day, business is all about people and you want to work with people you find approachable, trustworthy and can engage with.

If you have a web project in mind or just want to chat through some ideas over a cup of coffee then get in touch.

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