So you hired a Web Design Company, things looked promising in the beginning, yet now you’re having problems getting them to answer your emails and to send you project updates. This can be VERY frustrating when you’re outsourcing work to a Web Design Company, especially if the missed deadlines are causing delays in your other projects. What can you do about this? Here are a few tips that I’ve found to helpful in dealing with an unresponsive service provider.
#1: Stop Making Payments
Sounds really simple I know, but a lot of people are afraid to stop making payments, even when a company has gotten behind on meeting their obligations. But even if you’ve signed a contract to make your payments by a specific date, there’s NO reason to keep paying if the project has gotten behind. Stop payments immediately and require the provider to get back on track before ANY new payments are sent. If you do keep paying, you’re encouraging low value behavior from your outsourcers and compounding the problem.
Tell your Web Design Company that you intend on suspending all payments until communications become clear again and until all deadlines are caught up. If you get significant resistance from the company and/or if they insist that you keep making payments, you might be dealing with a company who has busted your budget. It might be better to cut your losses, cancel the project and call the money which you’ve already invested a loss.
I know this is frustrating, but if you keep trying to work with a company who has underbid your project, you could burn up a lot of time and energy trying to get the project completed. Sometimes, you’ve got to move on and hire someone else.
#2: Start Exploring Other Options
If you’re stuck in the middle of a Web Design or programming project which is months behind (I’ve heard of some which were over a YEAR behind), you need to start exploring other options. Look for a company who can complete your project. Open a line of communication with them about your situation and see what they say. Believe it or not, a lot of projects end up being transferred to new providers, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. At MSI, we get contacts from clients all the time who have abandoned a project with a low value Web Design Company and who need us to complete the job or to start over from square one.
Unfortunately, a lot of these companies make this decision much later than they should have. They keep trying to work with their current provider, hoping that things will turn around and that the project will get back on track. It’s only after months of grappling with the company that they decide they need to find another option. Don’t let this happen to you. Start exploring other options right away, and let your current provider know about it. They’ll either start working hard to retain your business, or they’ll lose interest in the project. Either way, you’ll find out what you need to know.
#3: Make Sure You’re Not Causing the Problem
While there’s no excuse for a Web Design Company to be unresponsive with you, it is possible for you to cause project delays without even realizing you’re doing it. So it’s important to make sure that you’re not part of the problem. Many times, you won’t even realize you’re doing it, but even the smallest things can cause a project to swell in complexity and can create confusion and chaos. Here are a few things you want to avoid when communicating with your Web Design Company or any other outsourcers:
- Avoid changing your goals and/or to your expectations in the middle of a project without renegotiating your payment and delivery terms.
- Avoid adding new features which weren’t negotiated in the original contract, unless you’re adding a new milestone to the project and/or an addendum to your contract.
- Avoid constantly emailing your outsourcer to nitpicking over project details. Save your feedback for the review stage. Many times, it’s easier to take care of feedback all at once as opposed to fixing things as you go.
- Avoid making late payments and avoid being late in delivering requested feedback. If you find that you don’t have time to stay in the loop on your project, delegate the project management to someone else at your company.
If you’re making any of these mistakes, or if you suspect that you are, set up a call with your Web Design Company and ask them what you can do to help the project move along more smoothly. If these three strategies don’t help you get your Web Design project back on track, call MSI, just to speak with one of our representatives and let’s see if we can help you get back on track.
Remember, lost time can be more damaging to your success than lost money. If you feel that you’ve hired a Web Design Company who isn’t going to get the job done right and in a reasonable time frame, maybe it’s time to talk to a company who can.