We’re very big on process here. Whether some people care to admit it or not, establishing (and constantly improving) a process is the best way to achieve success.
I recently met with a potential client who wanted a quote on a website. At the end of our discussion, she asked me what to look for when making the final decision. Of course, I mentioned support timeframes, inclusions, experience, and so on. But one other suggestion I made was to ask companies about their process.
While it’s important for the client to understand the process anyway, the real reason behind asking this question is to find out if the process seems clear, well-planned and realistic. Any company who has performed a task countless times should, by now, have a relatively simple process that they can follow. There’s always room for refinement but it should be pretty rock solid.
As an example, our standard website development process is: deposit payment, design, development, training, balance payment. Very simple and clear, and we’ve arrived at that after building hundreds of websites over the past 15 years. It works for us and for our clients, and when anyone asks, we can easily provide that information to them without having to refer to any documents or sales materials.
Having a process in place not only ensures consistency of service delivery, but also means there are less communication breakdowns or misunderstandings.
No matter what product or service you’re looking for, ask the provider what their process is, up front, and this could be a key factor in your decision making process.