We've recently started implementing 3 month follow-up meetings post a site/app/project launch with our clients as a formal part of our process (meaning it actually goes on the task list then turns into a meeting). I'm writing this post at a coffee shop, just a few minutes after completing one such review and reflecting on why we didn't implement this formally much sooner.
Don't get me wrong, one of the things I love about Raised Eyebrow and our relationship with our clients is that we aim to have a very open door policy with regards to feedback, and we've been very fortunate to cultivate ongoing relationships with the vast majority of our clients. As a result, post-launch follow-ups tend to happen kind of organically in the form of on-going conversations, but it's amazing what happens when you build time in to really engage with a process, instead of just coming across something by happenstance.
If you've worked with us, you'll know that we have a strong focus on success measurements as a part of our process. In part, that comes from a place of simply wanting to do good work, but it's particularly important given our client base on non-profit organizations for whom resources can be scarce, so investing in a major digital project needs to have positive impacts and return for the organization. At the beginning of any project we set out concrete goals and success measurements, everything from increased donations online, to increased media hits, deeper social media engagement, document downloads and beyond. Other success measurements look more like "making it easier to post timely information online," which may seem a bit facile bu,t if it translates into saving staff time and resources while also increasing engagement with a broader community, can actually have very real impacts on an organization. The success measurements vary from one client to the next and, as I say, we define them as well as how we'll measure them at the beginning of a project. But those goals and intentions have so much more impact when they go from numbers on a page to living stories. Sitting down with a client and hearing that their email signups have been skyrocking, or checking in on their web stats and seeing that in fact their social media engagement (measured by incoming traffic, traffic leading to donations, downloads or other forms of engagement) are hitting high notes provides us with feedback that we are in fact doing our jobs and serving our clients in exactly the ways we want to. Afterall, I see our job to go beyond running a smooth initial process that results in an attactive and user-friendly final product, at its core our job is to help our clients gain the digital tools they ened to further their mission, and measuring that impact can only be done after a project has been live in the wild for a while. Now, I get to go back to the office and tell the staff who worked on the project what we did right, and we can talk about how to apply that feedback to projects we're currently engaged in and those we work on next, which helps us all in building our expertise.
It's not always about doing things right though. While the meeting I just left was overwhelmingly positive, sometimes the feedback we get is that a goal isn't being met, or that there was something we could have done differently or better. And, while not quite as warm and fuzzy to hear, I welcome that feedback as well. In the case of goals not being met, the amazing thing about digital projects is that they can and should be evolving constantly, so sometimes a small tweak post-launch can help us get closer to reaching those goals. In the case of improving how we work, I can safely say that every single person on my staff is always striving to do better. It's one of the things I love about the people I work with, they are all constantly striving to learn, to improve and to do more in their professional and personal lives, after rough days they are in fact the people who inspire me.
If you're a client of Raised Eyebrow and you haven't had an official "check-in" meeting after your site launch, don't hestitate to drop me a line. While formalizing this is something that's relatively new around here, it's always been an informal part of the way we've done business and as I said to the clients I just met with, my email and literal door is always open. I'd love to sit down and talk about how things are going, and how we can share some of our knowledge and enthusiasm for our work, and the work our clients do, to help you achieve your goals.