10 questions to ask agencies when looking to hire for redesign and redevelopment

Too often, people hire the wrong agency. When I say wrong, I mean it's not a good fit for the needs of the client. We often have people that come to us for website design and development work that are disgruntled and fed up with the people that they're working for and although I want to give them a hug, I also think that maybe there were some crucial questions they didn't ask that would've helped set expectations from the outset and avoid disappointment.

As much as you hope that agencies guide their clients honestly and transparently, not all of them do so you can do some due diligence by asking them some crucial questions up front before getting in to an expensive and long term project with them.

Here goes!

1) What results have you got for previous clients?

When you're on the hunt for a webflow agency, it's crucial to know their track record with previous clients. This isn't just about seeing a portfolio of pretty websites – you want to dig deeper and see what kind of tangible results they've achieved. Did their work lead to increased traffic, better user engagement, or higher conversion rates?

Understanding the real-world impact they've had can give you confidence that they can deliver similar results for you. Plus, agencies that openly share their successes are showing transparency and a willingness to be held accountable, which are always good signs in a partnership.

2) What are you particularly good at?

Everyone has their strengths, and agencies are no different. When you ask an agency what they’re especially good at, you’re not just fishing for compliments – you’re trying to find out if their core skills align with your needs.

Maybe they excel in cutting-edge design, or they have a knack for e-commerce platforms, or perhaps their SEO game is top-notch. Understanding their specialties ensures that you're partnering with an agency whose expertise matches your project requirements. Plus, agencies that know their strengths can often bring a lot more passion and innovation to the table in those areas, potentially making your project stand out even more.

3) What is your process?

If an agency can't clearly articulate and show you their process, it’s a pretty big red flag. Think about it – you're trusting these folks with your business's online presence, maybe even its primary means of generating revenue.

An agency with a well-defined process can walk you through each step of how they plan to tackle your project, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks and that timelines are met. On the flip side, if they can’t explain their process, it raises questions about their organization, reliability, and experience.

You don’t want to end up stuck with constant delays, miscommunications, or, worse, a final product that doesn’t meet your expectations. So, make sure they can spell out how they work, who’s responsible for what, and how they'll manage your project from start to finish. It’s all about ensuring you’re both on the same page and reducing any potential headaches down the line.

4) How will we communicate throughout the project?

Communication is crucial when working on any project, especially one as important as your online presence. Make sure to ask the agency how they plan to communicate with you throughout the project.

Will they provide regular updates? Will you have a dedicated point of contact? What tools or platforms will they use to keep you informed and involved? It's important to know their communication style to ensure it aligns with how you prefer to stay in the loop.

If an agency doesn't have a clear communication plan, consider it a red flag. Effective communication can make or break a project, so you want to be confident that the agency is committed to keeping the lines open and transparent.

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5) How involved will we need to be in the process?

Having your key decision makers available for regular meetings is super important to make sure everything stays on track. These meetings are a chance to address any concerns, make critical decisions, and ensure that the project is aligned with your vision and goals.

Ask the agency how they plan to involve you and your team in these checkpoints. Will there be weekly or bi-weekly meetings? What role will your team play, and how will feedback be incorporated?

This way, you can avoid any surprises and ensure that everyone is rowing in the same direction. Regular meetings keep the momentum going and help in making sure that the project evolves exactly how you imagined it.

6) What is the worst mistake you have made with a client project?

This conversation is maybe quite cheeky but important - by asking them "What is the worst mistake you have made with a client project?", you will know whether they are going to be honest with you and what they have learnt as a team to never make the same mistake again.

This question can reveal a lot about an agency's transparency and their willingness to own up to past errors. It's a good way to gauge their problem-solving skills and their commitment to continuous improvement. If they can share a genuine mistake and explain how they fixed it and what safeguards they've put in place to prevent it from happening again, it's a good sign that they're a reliable partner who values learning and growth.

7) Why shouldn't we hire a freelancer rather than your agency?

By asking the agency "Why shouldn't we hire a freelancer rather than your agency?", they should be able to clearly explain their value proposition. This question delves into the unique advantages that an agency brings to the table, compared to an individual freelancer.

Agencies typically have a wide array of resources and a team of specialists on hand, providing a depth of expertise that one person simply can't match. They might highlight their collaborative environment, which can lead to more innovative solutions and a higher quality end product. Moreover, agencies often have more robust systems for project management, quality assurance, and client communication. This ensures a seamless workflow and timely delivery, reducing the risk of hiccups along the way.

By articulating these points, the agency should be able to show you why they're the better choice for your project's success.

8) Do you offer ongoing support?

If an agency doesn't offer retainer packages for support work, are they going to leave you high and dry at the end of the project? It's important to ask explicitly about the scope and nature of the support they offer. Will they be available for quick fixes, regular maintenance, or even future updates?

This will indicate if they'll be there for the long haul or if they might leave you to fend for yourself once the initial project is completed. An agency's willingness to offer ongoing support through retainer packages often reflects their commitment to their clients' long-term success. These packages can cover everything from regular updates and maintenance to troubleshooting and minor tweaks, ensuring your project continues to run smoothly.

9) Do they offer training included in the package?

Some agencies don't offer training because, let's be real, they want you to rely on them for maintenance – which means more money in their pocket. They might give you the impression that maintaining your website is super complicated and best left to the pros. However, in many cases, it's actually not that hard to manage basic updates and changes yourself. By understanding a few key features and functionalities, you can often handle minor tweaks and updates without constantly calling in the cavalry.

So, make sure to ask whether training is included and consider if you're comfortable taking on some of the maintenance tasks. This could save you time and money in the long run.

Another aspect to consider is whether the agency provides training as part of their package. Training sessions can be incredibly beneficial, helping your team understand how to use and maintain the delivered product effectively. This can empower your staff, reduce dependency on external support, and foster a greater sense of ownership over the project.

10) Who is actually doing the work?

Sadly, some agencies outsource the work that they pretend they're doing themselves. I've even heard of agencies that outsource work to another agency, which then outsources it to yet another agency. Everyone is essentially taking a cut of the project, but only one (very cheap) agency is doing the work.

So, it's crucial to know who is doing the work before beginning! Make sure to ask upfront about this to avoid unnecessary surprises down the line. This will help ensure that you get the quality and attention your project deserves.

Hope these questions help!

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