7 Qualities You Should Expect From Your Digital Agency
You can’t throw a rock without hitting a business owner who’s had a horrible experience with a website development, design or marketing digital agency. Most of the time, this is a result of the agency not setting or managing expectations throughout the process. When something goes sideways, it’s usually because of a disconnect between:
- What the client was expecting
- What they were paying for
- What they were getting in the end
The thing is, people get burned by agencies even if they’re incredibly good at what they do. Why? Because it’s a matter of communication, not just talent (although talent can certainly be an issue as well).
So, once you know a team is talented, what else should you expect from your digital agency?
Seven Things Clients Should Expect From Their Agency:
1. You Can Tell They Care
The team should care about your brand and your business, be excited to work on your project, and they should show it. They should be asking questions about your brand, your business’s history, why you do what you do, and demonstrating actual interest in the answers.
2. They Set and Manage Your Expectations
If your agency promises you everything you ask for, no questions asked, that’s a huge warning sign. They should be asking questions about what, specifically, you want, in detail, and telling you when things aren’t possible, or aren’t best practice.
3. They’re Constantly (and Transparently) Communicating
Communication builds trust and removes room for error. We keep all of our client communication inside Basecamp, so there’s always a paper trail of who said what, and when, that the client can see and refer back to. We also schedule regular calls and meetings throughout the course of the project to address any questions and give status updates. If you’re going more than a week without hearing from someone, that’s a bad sign.
4. The Project Has Structure
In the initial meeting, you should get a plan with the deliverables (logo, website, e-commerce store, etc.) and milestones outlined every few weeks. All communication and action should seem like it’s headed towards a specific outcome; it shouldn’t ever seem aimless or confused.
5. They Have Established Systems and Processes
Look for things like standardized contracts and client onboarding information (for example, these are the tools we use, this is what’s going to happen throughout the project, etc.). The team should seem organized and it should never feel like this is the first time they’ve taken on a client.
6. Their Team Has Experienced Talent on Board:
Talk to the team members one on one, if you can. Do they seem like they know what they’re talking about? Ask them how long they’ve been doing what they do and working with that agency. You should feel like you’re working with a team of competent professionals.
7. They Have An Adventurous Spirit
There are a lot of agencies that let themselves stagnate. They don’t stay up on trends and they aren’t willing to try new things or think creatively. You want the opposite: a team that won’t say, “No, we can’t do that,” but will say, “It hasn’t been done before, but we have some ideas on how we could make it work!”
If They Aren’t Interested, Be Worried
Even if an agency has every single other quality on this list, if they don’t appear interested in your project, go somewhere else. Don’t waste your time trying to tell an agency about your brand if they aren’t asking.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the types of projects you’ll be hiring a digital agency for are complex, and they often change throughout the process. We like to think of ourselves as a partner throughout the process, and that’s what you should look for.
What you really need is someone who will walk beside you on the journey and help you figure out where you’re going. That’s what we do at Metacake, and in our minds, it’s the best way to create a fulfilling partnership (and project).