The importance of client dialogue

Mobas’ Digital Project Manager, Jon, highlights the benefits of continuous client dialogue, without which a project could crumble.

It’s all too easy to fall into potentially damaging habits. An agency talks to a client at the beginning; comments are made in passing, but there’s a lack of documentation and communication between relevant parties. The agency makes a few assumptions about what is required and the product or service is developed internally. A few well-intentioned modifications later, then it’s finished and presented back.

But throughout that process it’s transformed into something which barely resembles the client’s original idea, and even the slightest tweaks to appease them could be extremely timely. Before you know it, you’ve spent well over your target time for the project.

We call this the ‘drive-through approach’: a customer orders at the first window, collects it from the second and drives away. Half-way down the road, they realise that the Coke they asked for is actually Diet Coke, and the requested burger-no-mayo has mayo. They are forced to accept an unsatisfactory product or go back and replace it – and the situation has escalated into a waste of resources for everyone involved.

With more thorough dialogue and planning, however, there will be no nasty last-minute surprises. The best client-agency relationship simply begins with a basic request, such as a website. The rest will be developed in partnership, starting with your objectives. Based on these, Mobas can suggest the best technology for you and keep it tightly focused on outcomes. A whizzy app might look sharp, but will the cost correlate to the value it will add to your services?

The next area of development is your target audiences: understanding what environment they’re in and what their requirements are. Again, if it emerges that what you’ve asked for isn’t actually relevant to your consumers, Mobas will work out how to maximise your appeal with them. Mobas prides itself on transparency and honesty, recommending how a chunk of budget could be put to better use elsewhere.

After the basics are laid out, a sizeable amount of time is dedicated to agreeing everything down to the last detail. Do you have all the images needed to fill a certain template? What would you like your rotation speeds to be on slideshows? Even the latter can be a two-hour fix to amend the coding, have it tested and send it live again.

Time is precious, and time is money – for both the client and agency. That’s why Mobas wants to get it right first time. In essence, this is all about moving away from a straight service provision and towards expert consultancy. The experience is tailored just for you, and the product you end up with will be custom-built, just for you.

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