If you’re not asking the right questions at the start of every new client relationship, you’re setting the partnership up for failure before it even begins. Luckily, we’ve made it easy for you! With this six page questionnaire, you’ll be able to easily cover all the necessary ground with your new web design client. Download the questionnaire here.
Our free web design client questionnaire will help you discover:
- details about your client’s company, target market, unique value propositions, and competitors
- their goals for the brand new website
- what type of existing content they have and what content will need to be created, laying the groundwork for a project plan
- understand their brand guidelines, brand personality, and design style
- what keywords they’d like to target and how they plan to optimize the site for SEO and mobile users
- what social media platforms they’re active on and what role social media will play on the website
- key technical aspects such as hosting details and preferred CMS system
- who will be the main contact(s) throughout the plan and how ongoing site maintenance will be handled
Simply download the questionnaire, available in both an editable word doc or PDF format, and present it to your client during the discovery phase to gather all the necessary information you need to get started. You can easily add your own branding, or use it as is.
Plus, here are six tips for a productive new client discovery session:
1. Meet face to face
If possible, a face to face meeting will make all the difference in establishing a strong working relationship from the very beginning. It’ll be far easier to show off both your agency’s personality and expertise in person rather than over the phone or via email, and in our experience, clients ultimately want to know that they’re working with real people. If a face to face meeting isn’t doable for a myriad of reasons, take advantage of Skype or Google+ for a slightly more personal meeting.
2. Create an open and creative meeting space
It may not be obvious to some people, but your workplace atmosphere can make a huge impact on a client- especially when they’re still building a first impression of your agency. It’s a great idea to set the tone for your discovery meeting by considering what space you’ll hold it in, what kind of tools you’ll have at hand to stimulate creativity, and how you can make your client feel at ease. Consider holding the meeting in a bright colored conference room for a cheery mood, or even in a lounge area for a casual meeting. Have a whiteboard and markers available for brainstorming or sketching out quick initial concepts, and/or a computer screen to show examples of creative work or inspiration. And make sure to have water and even snacks available, and let your client know where the restroom is so they don’t have to ask.
3. Get to know each other
Of course most meetings start with formal introductions, but try to make this part of the meeting a bit more personal. Ask everyone involved to introduce themselves by saying their name, describing their role, and something personal about themselves, such as where they’re from originally or what their favorite food is. It’s an easy icebreaker, and will help to put your client at ease. Also try to stimulate some small talk instead of diving straight into business – again, clients want to get to know who they’re working with, and you’ll have fodder for future conversations with your client that show you really listen and care.
4. Ask a lot of questions!
Our client questionnaire is designed to help you cover all the necessary initial details for your project, but you should absolutely dig deeper into each section by asking follow up questions. For example, design style is a very subjective thing and it will be very helpful to get your client to really think about it and explain their preferences. Additionally, not all clients will be 100% sure on all of the details, such as how they see the site changing over time, so they’ll need you to help anticipate web design challenges or additions to their site down the road.
5. Provide materials
Always have an agenda pre-planned, and consider having hard copy materials that your client can take away with them, such as copies of their completed questionnaire, examples of past work, and a tentative project plan. This will help the client feel that the meeting was productive afterwards, and they’ll continue to think about the project once they leave your office. Also be sure to provide business cards so the client can easily contact anyone on your team at any time.
6. End with actionable next steps
Finally, be sure to end your discovery session with actionable next steps. Don’t be vague – know exactly what you’re promising the client to be sure you can deliver on it. Having a hard copy outline of next steps will help you be extra clear and solidify a timeline that holds everyone accountable. Be sure to follow up on specific items that came up during the meeting, also, and end the meeting on a positive and inspired note.