Monday, July 5, 2010

Boundaries


If you believe…”The Customer is always right”, to be the best way to keep clients, then you have realized that demanding customers can cut into profits.


Graphic Investments will always provide more services than what is actually paid for by the client. We try to educate the client as to when the extended service has begun compared to standard product development. We cannot assume that clients have will understand, realize or even care that you have gone beyond the normal “scope of work” to make them happy.
The time to apply the brakes is well before a project gets started. Defining exactly what is to be provided is obviously the best solution to keep all parties on the same page. This works, but, there is always a company willing to provide more for less. We find ourselves willing to provide the customer with what they need at someone elses price. This is exactly when you need to make sure the client understands that you are providing services at a discount and that anything beyond this negotiated price will incur additional charges.
To be clear, I am discussing the average small business owner who specializes in a product or service that has nothing to do with graphic design.
Using the web site package as an illustration, there is way too much information for a client to digest when getting into the specifics of the work. That is why they want a package price to begin with. This package needs to defined so that both the designer and the client know what is included.
A basic web package might include: 5 pages, domain name, email accounts, hosting for 1 year and search engine submission.
This is not enough information to keep a project from getting out of hand. I visited a client who wanted a five page website, then, wanted me to scan over 200 pictures and place them on one very long page, in a specific order, grouping five pictures at a time. This was a construction contractor who thought this would be standard because “prospects need to see the pictures”. A different client wanted custom flash movies to load on each of five pages.
Here is our standard web site package that I submit to a client who just wants a start up web site.
  • Custom design with your corporate branding includes page layout and images for web site design. Logos, copy and product or service images must be furnished by client.
  • 7 pages – Home, About us, Products, Services, Contact us form, Thank you, Privacy Policy
  • 5 Email accounts. (unlimited capability to add more)
  • 5 Web links to outside web sites.
  • 5 Links to PDF's.
  • Up to 20 images for a slide show for 
your products or services
  • Analytics to track your web site traffic.
  • Web site submission to Yahoo, Google, Ask, 
MSN.
  • Meta tags for search optimization.
  • FTP file transfer access
  • Unlimited storage for your files.
  • Free web editing tool (training at additional charge)
  • One year hosting.
Options for additional services to enhance you visitors experience include:
Video Production - Video Loading - Flash Elements - Counters - Maps - Full Tracking - Web Site Optimization Facebook - Twitter - Administration Pages - Administrator Access - Data Base SQL Management - Customer File Uploading Page - FTP Access - Blogs - Feedback forms - Shopping carts - Site Search - Private or Shared Servers - Unix or Windows Based
This almost covers everything. A client gets a good look at what they are getting and also options to get more.

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