What do clients want?
They want a kick-ass programmer!
Nope, that’s not what they want. It’s nice, but ultimately it’s not what they want. I’ve gotten many clients over the years who it appeared came from developers who were far better web programmers than I am.
They want a big company, because big companies are better
Nope, not what they want. I’ve also inherited clients that came from big companies. One client, a high end client, came from a large company and I know the guy who basically passed off the project to me was a much better programmer than I am, plus he was working for a prestigious web development firm. I’m not knocking myself, I’m good, but there are just people who are far better and I recognize it when I meet them or work with them. But this company lost their client.
They want cheap prices
Nope, not ultimately what they want. You may not get some clients because of your prices, but most clients are not after only low prices. They’re after something else.
They want an awesome designer
You know what I’m going to say, right? No, that’s not ultimately what they want. It’s part of what they want, but not ultimately what they want.
So, What Do Clients Want?
I know you’re waiting with wild anticipation for the absolutely momentous thing that will catapult your new business into orbit, the secret that I’ve been hiding for many, many years. The Holy Grail of web development that only I know about. Wow, what a build up!
You’re going to be disappointed. It’s really simple. Clients want reliability and availability. Yes, you have to be competent at what you do, but you don’t have to be the best. Clients want to know that when they email or call you because their website is down or having an issue or they want an update, that you will respond and you will get it done. If you say you’re going to do it tomorrow…they want you to do it tomorrow or they want to hear that your dog died and you can’t.
One of the ways I do this is to respond to small requests as soon as possible. When you’re working on a big project you can always stop and do something that takes 15 or 30 minutes. So if I get a request to change a phone number or price in the store, I stop what I’m doing and do it. Clients truly appreciate that. And if I can’t, I respond quickly and let them know when I can. Just make sure it’s very easy to track your time and bill for things like this. It should be automated (I’ll get into this in more detail in another post).
Clients want you to talk to them and help them with their website in a timely manner. It’s not rocket science. There are so many flaky developers out there that if you do what you say you’re going to do and are available and reliable and competent when your clients need you, you will gain a devoted clientele.
Love what you do. Be good at it. But if you’re going to run a business make sure you give your clients a great product…the product that they ultimately want.