I Think My Web Development Agency Is Outgrowing Me
I’m not sure why I have heard this more often lately than I used to. It might be a function of the rise of Craft CMS. That platform is gaining the attention of larger and larger organizations for larger and larger projects. The agencies that have expertise with it are in demand. Often when a big new client comes in the door with a big new fun problem, they get all the attention. This leaves the long-time loyal clients from before feeling like they are not as important as they used to be. They need to maintain a reliable web presence and cannot do that if they are no longer a priority for their agency.
Much of this problem is based on the structure of the web agency. Many of us are set up to be project oriented companies. We thrive on new challenge. We are drawn to the new shiny thing. You, the long-time client, tend to not be shiny anymore and you feel short changed.
There is a natural progression in the relationship between agency and client. There is such a thing as fatigue in the relationship. It is normal, generally, for these relationships to not last forever. That does not change the fact though that you are responsible for maintaining a reliable, stable web presence for your company. You need a partner that you can count on to not go chasing someone else. Sometimes attention spans are short. They say nothing lasts forever.
At Solspace, our experience is a little different. We love relationships more than we love projects. We love your problems, but we love you more. You know what I’m saying? Only with a really strong, healthy, resilient human relationship, can you even hope to tackle complex multidimensional problems. When you develop a client/agency relationship over time you are doing what a lot of people do in their marriages. You build a new third thing that did not exist before. In and of itself it a source of pleasure and productivity. We have seen our clients meet their spouses, get married, have babies, send their babies to their first days of kindergarten and even go off to college. Being authentically connected to people is one of the secrets to happiness. When it happens in the context of business, the value of the connection goes even deeper. When you know and understand someone, a new kind of communication and awareness develops. This new thing is a valuable problem solving tool, but also laudable in and of itself.
We prefer the long-term relationship over the short-term project in a big way. The best way to describe our sweet spot is to say that our ideal client works for an organization for whom their web properties are revenue critical. The web properties are managed by an internal team, but that team is small and it may not include consultants and developers who can get into and sort out really complex ongoing issues. We become the advocate and resource for that small internal team and we serve in that capacity for many years.
Sometimes an agency might get distracted when a big marquee brand comes calling. It’s nice to have clients with big marquee names. Those big names lend credibility. But they are not the same thing as a fruitful, fun, engaging and productive working relationship. Some of our best, most productive and most prosperous client relationships are with companies you may never hear of. These are especially fun since we get a view into the world economy that not many people get. And when a big-name client comes our way, we have developed the discipline to not be easily distracted.
If you feel that you are losing the attention of your web agency because they have been drawn to a bigger, more attractive flame. Or if you feel that your ability to maintain a reliable web presence is suffering, perhaps you should reach out and start a conversation with us. We are built differently. We might be just your size.