If you’re a freelance web designer like me, it’s likely that you have read a post online and put into practice an ultimate checklist for launching a website.
While it’s very important to proof read your website, do cross browser checks and validate your code before launching, there are also some important steps that must be taken with your client post launch. In this article, we’ll focus on how to handle the post site launch client communication and how to develop a strategy for this stage of follow-up.
This post project client follow-up was something I had taken lightly in the past. When a site was launched I’d send an email to my client that basically said “Your website is up and running, please email or call with issues or any small changes you require”.
What’s wrong with this?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, it lacks feeling and it lacks important information that the client should be reminded of. So I sat down one day and constructed a canned response template in my email that empowered the all mighty greatness of launching a website.
First, I had to jot down some important facets I wanted in the email. What did I want the client to know? What kind of feedback do I want from the client? So I came up with the following list:
Provide for the Client.
Provide the client with the tools they will need to access their site and the tools to help them in the event you cannot. This is when I provide the client with all their account passwords and login information. I give them awesome links like the WP101 Basix Training or WP Ecommerce Video Tutorials.
Remind the Client.
One of my services is offering a short term complimentary maintenance of any website I design and launch. In reminding the client that I will be maintaining it, this ensures that the client knows I will not work for free after the 30 days. This gives them a small window of time to check the site for any changes they require. Within the email the date is recorded so this helps ease any miscommunication.
Sell to the Client.
If you offer any services the client could use for after a website launch, now is the time to bring it up. I was a kitchen salesperson for five years, so I have a little voice in my head that pushes me to upsell to clients, which is useful for growing a freelance business. I want to offer my website maintenance packages in this post site follow-up email, just in case they want to hire me to upkeep their site in the future, .
Reap from the Client.
This is where I ask the client for feedback of my services. I want to know that the client was serviced above and beyond what they expected. I need to know if I had failed in any way as a service provider. Asking the client for a testimonial can be tough, but if you slip this request into a post launch client follow-up email, it improves the odds that you will get what you ask for.
Make the Client Smile.
It is a goal of mine that anytime I speak or write to a client that I ease up any tension they may be experiencing from their busy day. Find small ways to relate with your client, say something funny, say something encouraging.Say anything that will break up that robotic feeling that may come from a long day of coding and designing. It can help your own self esteem when you cheer people up! It also reminds the client you are human, not just a computer nerd doing work for them.
Say anything that will break up that robotic feeling that may come from a long day of coding and designing. It can help your own self esteem when you cheer people up! It also reminds the client you are human, not just a computer nerd doing work for them.
Sample Template for Client Post Site Launch Follow-Up
Congratulations [client business name]!
Your new website at [client website] is now live and running on the Internet as of [date of release].
As part of your website design package, your new website has now been submitted to major search engines and you will be receiving a monthly report on the visitors to your website.
[Your company Name] will be maintaining your website for the next [30 days] as a complimentary service. During this time, please contact [Your company Name] if you notice any bugs, odd functionality or would just like something changed up a bit. If you require maintenance after this time, please contact [Your company Name] to discuss our website maintenance packages.
Attached to this email is your important account information. Please save this email and keep a printed version in a safe and private place. Here are a few links with easy to follow videos that will help you to understand your website a little better:
If the service you received from [Your company Name] was top notch, please consider supporting her small freelance business by writing us a testimonial and referring her to all your friends and family.
If the service wasn’t what you expected, please explain in detail so we can iron out any problems and create a better experience for you in the future.
Enjoy your new online business! It was a pleasure working with your eccentric and easy going company!
Note: You will notice that I highlighted “write us a testimonial” in the email template above. That is because I made it easy for the client by providing that text as a link to a form they can fill out for the testimonial/feedback.
How do you handle this stage of post project completion follow-up with your clients? Let us know in the comments below what has worked for you.
This is a post written by me that was published back in July of 2012 when the website Freelance Switch was a big thing.