Why do some customers hate their web designers? Several of my clients have had it bad with their former web design companies. After hearing their complaints, I learned most of these clients felt ignored or abandoned, and for very good reasons. But I’m grateful they weren’t referred to me. It’s always rewarding to finish projects for clients in desperate need of help. Want to know the most common client frustrations I hear?
Here are 3 reasons why customers hate web designers:
1. The slow acting web designer
“My web designer was slow. The website took so long to complete and when he said it was done, it was empty and I had to fill it.”
This one likely stems from the web creator and client never accepting responsibility for the website’s content. Writing is not their specialty because web designers simply are not writers. They may have a writer on staff or will hire a freelancer for the job but usually will not take on that responsibility himself. Not knowing who will be writing the content is the likely cause of a project stalling.
How To Avoid It
Establish who will be writing your website content early on. Setting the right expectations is key to a successful content strategy and should be established during the initial consultative phase.
As the client, you may have a content writer or someone on staff who will be tasked to writing your pages and blog sections. If not, your web designer will have access to a freelancer to hire or have an in-house copywriter. Too many projects are stalled because the web designer completes the design end of a project but the website does not go live due to missing content.
2. The absent web designer
“My web designer would just disappear weeks at a time,” or “He never responds to my emails or phone calls,” or “I don’t know what’s happening with my website.”
Unfortunately, I’ve heard frustrations like these, a lot. Clients think their designer is non responsive. It’s as if their designer fell off the earth so they feel abandoned. What clients sometimes forget is that web designers love to just work on your project for blocks at a time and from their own creative space. They don’t want to be interrupted.
And here’s another thing. Web designers may not be the best communicators especially at giving daily progress reports. Their creative minds see constant status alerts distracting and stressful. It’s kind of like someone constantly looking over your shoulder while you work. Web designers really hate that. Who can work that way?
How To Avoid It
Just like the above, it’s best to come up with an agreement from the beginning regarding work progress and updates.
If there’s no middle man like an account person to brief you on your project’s progress then the designer will have to provide you with updates himself.
Open communication between client and designer is essential. But daily progress reports may not be too realistic, especially if your web designer has more than one client they’re working with or is a one-person shop.
Too many alerts can increase the potential to delay a project especially when changes are pointed out prematurely. Designing websites occur in stages and require lots of coding. And yes designers won’t be happy to accommodate changes that require additional time or resources not discussed in the initial scope.
A good designer should ask you early on what your preference is to be notified. Whether emailing or phoning you works best, determine if a weekly check-in is sufficient. This frees the designer to do his work, lets the client be informed of progress and most importantly provides reassurance that work is being done.
3. The incompetent web designer
My website is so different from the mock up” Or “He said it would look like this but my website doesn’t even work like it’s supposed to” Or “I don’t have access to make changes,” Or “He went out of business”.
I lumped these complaints together because ultimately these frustrations led to problems that couldn’t be fixed. These problems required hiring another web designer for a solution.
One of the worst situations a client can experience is lack of control over their project because:
(A) The designer over promised and under delivered
(B) Can’t access their website because company doesn’t exist anymore
(C) Designer was in over his head, lacked capabilities and couldn’t execute.
How To Avoid It
Make sure you research your web designer’s portfolio. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of clients that never looked up a prior work. Read through testimonials of what clients had to say about them. Find out if these client relationships are still current. For example, do they have maintenance care packages? Is the web designer readily available when additional changes are needed?
Then choose wisely. A credible and seasoned designer would have no qualms giving you this information, so just ask. They too, want to be certain you’re legitimate.
Next, make sure during your consultation your designer asks you important questions regarding your current website, such as your long term and short term goals, current marketing plan, etc. A web designer doesn’t just want to build out your website project. A great web designer wants to constantly improve your website and maintain a long term relationship to help drive your business forward.
So there you have it. These are three of the more common frustrations I’ve heard from clients. It’s such a difficult place to be in when you feel stuck with your vendor. But just so you know, we’re not all bad! Some of us (eh–hem), are here working hard for our clients and designing amazing websites. So choose smartly because the good guys still exist.
You’ll know if you’ve got a reputable designer if you’re asked informative questions from the start. In fact, want to know some of the questions I ask my own clients? Click here.