Jump to content

Initial client communication workflow

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

As the question says, I'd really like to learn about your initial client communication workflows. In other words, what's your process like from the moment you get a request to provide a quote for a website to the moment you actually send the quote?

My current workflow:

  1. A client fills out the contact form on my site to request a quote.
  2. I review the information provided and send them a Word document questionnaire with a list of questions. I ask for things like project scope, features needed, desired timeline, allocated budget, etc.
  3. They fill out the document and send it back to me.
  4. I review the information provided and make sure I've got everything I need.
  5. I write and send the quote to the client.
  6. Client accepts the quote.
  7. I send them a contract, get it signed and collect 50% of total payment.
  8. I gather some extra information from them, usually just by asking questions via email or by sending them another Word document questionnaire.
  9. I start building their site.

Lately, I've been thinking about changing this workflow a bit. Currently, my online contact form has three fields: name, email and message. What I'm thinking is, what if I provide a select toggle above my form so that clients can choose between a simple, general enquiries form and a larger form (with all the questions I've got in my Word document) to request a quote? This would allow me to do away with the Word document, and would make this a one-step process.

The reason why I haven't done this so far is because I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to have a long contact form with say, 10-15 questions. What's your take on this?

Another thing I'm not entirely happy with is having to send them two questionnaires (steps 2 and 8). The reason why I do this is because I don't want to overwhelm them with lots of questions at the beginning, and also because, to be honest, the questions I ask in the 2nd questionnaire do not really influence pricing, as they have more to do with the nature of their business, their goals with the new site, possible corporate colours they may have, things like that.

What do you guys think? Does my workflow seem sensible to you? Is it similar to what you do? What would you change?

Thanks, and sorry for the brick!

P.S. If some of you guys are willing to share your client questionnaires I would certainly appreciate it.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy @ksymmons,

This is an interesting topic, and one not easily answered as there are many individual preferences.

But my generalized workflow has been:

  • Initial client contact.
  • Needs Analysis - I have only stood face to face with a client and their support team (marketing, documentation, training, IT, SMEs, etc.) and never used email to discuss functionality, unless it is a simple question.
  • Functional Requirements Specification - Which also includes the timeline (milestones), payment options, and my NDA. They return a signed copy along with a check, or they throw the thing away.
  • Upon the check clearing, I begin the project.
  • I submit for review (in person if required) at each milestone, and collect another check upon sign-off. Rinse and repeat.
  • The product is delivered upon clearance of final payment.

Now, as with most any project, there will always be feature creep that was not disclosed during the NA phase. I present an addendum to the original spec that outlines the requirements, timeline, and costs of this new mini-project.

Like I said, it's mostly personal preferences. However, there are certain expectations when dealing with large clients. Face to face meetings, for example. I don't know of any company that will hand over a large check without first meeting you. The Needs Analysis phase can last from a couple of hours to a number of days, and even involve travel to other locations. The client pays for my expenses,  and I spend as much time with them as necessary for us both to be satisfied. Nothing is worse than having to go back to the client and ask a question that should have been covered initially.

Hope all this helps.

Regarding your long questionnaire question, I never expect a client (however small) to spend time completing an online form unless that online form is part of the project.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @rick,

Thank you for your input. I mostly deal with small business owners with limited time and resources. I tend to work on small-scale projects. Most of my clients come to me via word of mouth, so there's an element of trust there. In general, they're happy to communicate with me over email and phone calls.

If the client is local, I usually meet them at some point during the initial stage. If the client isn't local, I generally do not meet them face to face, as most of them are not willing to pay for my travel expenses. In such cases, I might interact with them via Skype or something similar if they request it.


Regarding your long questionnaire question, I never expect a client (however small) to spend time completing an online form unless that online form is part of the project.

This is what's kept me from doing away with my Word questionnaire. I just fear it might actually backfire and make me lose clients.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By SwimToWin
      Skip the "Add New" dialog page on Page Tree and elsewhere and go directly to the resulting page that shows all page fields right away. Page creation is now improving from being a two-step to becoming a one-step process.
      When only one Template can be selected: Skip the intermediate "Add New" dialog page by adding a GUID or other temporary page name that is later renamed. Show the final editing page so user can start editing all fields right away On Save: Page name is renamed with title When multiple Templates can be selected: Ask user to select Template on clicking New (before leaving the Tree Page). Then use the "one Template" flow above. (I am aware why the Page Name is needed.)
    • By szabesz
      Warning: it's going to be TL;DR so proceed with caution
      In an effort to come up with an optimized development workflow, I have come up with the idea of implementing most of the required template files in the form of static HTML files first (based on a "CSS framework" which will also serve as the CSS base of the site).
      Basically I want to implement most of the frontend without touching ProcessWire in the first place. The advantage of this approach is that it is a lot faster to work with only HTML/CSS/JS during the frontend design phase of the project, and the end result of the design phase can be "similar" to a wireframe/mockup which can be presented to a client, but this "mockup" actually represents (say) 80% of the final design, so it is something that is rather good to work with when the backend development with ProcessWire begins.
      This also means that my ProcessWire template files will be mostly implemented with <?php echo ... ?> and alternative syntax control structures that can be "just injected" into the above mentioned static HTML template files to turn them into ProcessWire template files later on.
      So far so good, but my ProcessWire template files are going to be separated into "template file partials", and I also want to implement the static HTML template files in the same way, so that they are also separated into "template file partials", and ideally organized in the very same structure.
      E.g. I will include the site's navigation in the ProcessWire template file like this:
      <?php echo $navigation ?>
      So I want to do the same in the corresponding static HTML template file, something like this:
      <div data-template="partials_navigation"></div>
      If it can be done recursively, then I can implement the same in both cases. With ProcessWire, I use wireRenderFile() to render partials recursively, so I just had to figure out what to use in the case of the static HTML template files.
      What else to use if not JavaScript? I started off by googling around, looking for some pre-made solutions... I did not find too much that could help me, the only thing useful I could dig up is "HTML Imports", for example:
      Note, that currently this technique only works in Chrome(-ium), but that is my choice in frontend development anyway. I've read somewhere that other browsers might never implement "HTML Imports", but that is to be seen...
      I have found a lot of articles explaining the basics of "HTML Imports", but I could not find any libraries or frameworks nor even something similar to what I need, so I implemented a proof of concept version of mine:
      I'm quite happy with the result so far. The JavaScript code needs some additional error handling, but otherwise it seems to do what I need.
      Here it is in action (Chrome(-ium) only!!!): [...no longer live...]
      And here is the source code for those who want to take a closer look: [...old stuff, I removed it to save space...]
      However, I'm pretty sure that someone must have already come up with this idea, so I'm asking the ProcessWire community if anyone can point me to similar solutions, something that I can study and/or use.
      So any piece of advice that might help me to take it to the next level, or any objections to this "HTML Imports" technique, any disadvantages? Thank you in advance
    • By thmsnhl
      Hi everybody,
      we started our first Processwire driven project in my new company and for the first time, I was working on one site with more than 2 colleagues on the same site.
      It didn't take long for us to stumble across some problems when multiple developers work at the same time, conflicts with updating the database on vagrant machines, like duplicate entries for page IDs, errors when setting up fields and stuff like this. We ended up working on a dedicated database server, that we linked to our vagrant machines and most of the problems were gone, but the performance of this constellation is really bad compared to our first approach with database running on vagrant machines.
      I already tried to find a solution in the forums but I couldn't find anyone with problems like this.
      So I was wondering: how do you manage projects with multiple developers on vagrant machines in a git-based workflow?
    • By Hector Nguyen
      Hello everyone,
      I didn't play much with ProcessWire, my project has just started and I have no experience about how ProcessWire will be when go live. I'm using a tool to deploy my code automatically to production server after build passed (Magallanes).
      Please give me the answers for the questions below:
      Which folders/files will be created by the application after installed ? Which folders/files usually be overwritten? Which folders/files using as cache, as session, as temporary? Do ProcessWire supports logs? If so, where is it? Which files are using as configuration files? Should I concern about template configuration files? Any help would be appreciated.
      Thank you!
    • By clsource
      Hello folks,
      I was working on different projects and needed to have a better way to organize my code
      and a workflow.
      And I came across this methodology
      Here's a video explaining the workflow

      Hope it helps
  • Create New...