Why We Asked You to Fill Out a Long Discovery Questionnaire


New website? Online marketing project? We look forward to working with you! But, first, we’re going to ask you to put some time into our detailed questionnaire.

This may seem tedious. You have a hundred things to do. Yet taking this time is one of the best ways to ensure you are 100% satisfied with our services.

Here’s the more in-depth explanation of why the questionnaire matters.

We value communication.

We know we can do our best work for you when we have a better understanding of your business, goals, and needs. We also know we’ll do better if we can identify your plans, both in the short term and in the future.

While it would be possible to get some of that information over the phone or a video call, your time is limited. It’s often faster to go through the questionnaire than to conduct a series of lengthy calls. The questionnaire also ensures we don’t miss anything, and ensures we get a record for the entire team to refer to as the project progresses. This keeps our team working efficiently, which helps to preserve your budget.

We don’t like surprises.

We know you hate them too. After all, when surprises crop up during a project they can be costly, creating change orders and time delays. This can cause the project to veer off-budget and off deadline.

Since our commitment is to complete each project on-time and on-budget, this matters to us. The questionnaire lets us offer you a fixed price and fixed deliverables in many cases. It ensures a neat, clean, stress-free, and reliable project progression.

We want to make sure we are a good fit for you.

Every client isn’t right for our agency. Every agency isn’t right for you.

Since marketing is so vital to your business’ bottom line, we want to be sure that we’ll work well together before we begin any projects. Taking this deep dive into your business helps us anticipate issues that might arise later, and propose solutions.

For example, if your business requires 24/7 website support, that’s not something we can provide. We’d suggest a larger agency for you to work with instead. Or, does your website require a technology we are not proficient in?

While these aren’t examples of situations we encounter every day, it is illustrative of the kinds of issues the questionnaire can help us uncover.

We deliver custom work.

We don’t do cookie-cutter projects. We customize every project to every client so that the result of everything we do ultimately fits and serves your business. This means sometimes we add project components that aren’t always typical for us. Or we remove entire pieces of a typical scope-of-work because you’ve already covered them yourself.

The questionnaire gives us a starting point for pinpointing what this custom work product needs to look like. This eliminates wasted time, wasted money, and wasted effort. It also helps us outline exactly what responsibilities we’re agreeing to and what you’ve told us you’ll provide.

For example, if you tell us that you have your own photographer, then there is no need for us to spend any time sourcing stock photography, and there’s no need for you to pay for that. Instead, we need to build a step into our workflow wherein we know we’ll be receiving collateral from your photographer.

It allows us to scope the project correctly.

This post has touched on this point a little bit already, but it’s worth repeating.

Scoping a project correctly is one of the most important parts of the entire process.

We want to eliminate miscommunications and our questionnaire is born out of years of doing business.  You’re getting the benefit of what we learned from communication snags in our past, such as a client saying they wanted many buttons when they really wanted a gallery of thumbnails or a client saying they needed a portal when they actually needed a password protected page. The questionnaire helps us correctly identify not only requirements, but also your end goal, so we can design a solution to achieve it.

Everyone’s human and nobody’s perfect, but experience can make a big difference when that experience is taken and implemented into a system like this one to prevent future problems.

Of course, there can always be unforeseen circumstances that may require a pivot (like Covid-19). Still, normally we can sail smoothly through our projects without initiating change orders.

Feeling intimidated?

We know we’re asking for a time commitment, and we know your time is valuable. We appreciate that you’re thinking seriously enough about working with us to take this deep dive into your business. So we encourage you to push ahead, even though it’s difficult.

If it seems hard, it’s likely because many of these questions require thoughtful answers and a deeper understanding of both your business and your future goals. Yet before you embark on any SEO or website project with any agency it is important to say, find out more about your advertising strategy (section 3, question 5), or to understand exactly how your company differentiates itself from competitors (section 5, question 5).

Otherwise, any agency might take you in the wrong direction.

Knowing all this information helps us get your proposal just right. That will be the next step after you complete the questionnaire: creating and delivering your customized proposal so you know exactly what we can do for you.

By articulating exactly what you need for your business you give us the opportunity to rise to the occasion and provide it without fail. That means you’ll be happy with your new website or the results of your SEO project.

We’re partners in this. We’re not successful unless you’re successful! So think of that long questionnaire as an investment: a few hours spent now to help you save thousands…and make thousands more…later.

Related: What to Expect When Working With Us

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