What consumers should expect from Remote Design Professionals – Part 2

Read Part 1

Many questions come to mind when a potential consumer considers remote design (outsourcing) as an option for their business. The most common would be “How can it work?” Numerous concerns arise regarding quality, time management & integrity. Some have tried it & failed, while others shy away due to the misrepresentation from colleagues. Like any industry, success and failure are determined by satisfied clients.

Below are some expectations for consumers should have for remote design (outsourcing):

  • Fact-Finding

This critical step can make or break a relationship. There should be an extensive process of fact-finding to determine what each client’s expectations and criteria are. Each client is unique, as is its level of service requirement. Collaboration between the client and the design professional must be extensive, detailed and specific. The criteria must be defined clearly, allowing efficiency.

  • Familiarity

The design professional should have familiarity with standard practices in their industry. They should also be current on innovations that will affect their service and be willing to adapt. In niche industries, the level of familiarity must be broad. Without this key ingredient, success is not likely.

  • Feedback

When does anyone ever measure success? We are quick to re-evaluate when something falls short, but are we willing to evaluate when it is working? Feedback should be requested by the design professional regularly, via surveys, email, mailings, etc. Policies and protocols must be adjusted based on this priceless information.

  • Features

Is your design professional one-dimensional? What features can they offer you? This is an overlooked quality in most cases. With so many resources available, the “stand-out” factor becomes of great importance. Just how many ways can they assist your company? If the answer is just one, then you are selling yourself short.

  • Feasibility

Feasibility seems like a silly thing in this case. But let’s consider that the design professional has misrepresented. You are assuming that they are not. Did you find them on the internet, or were they referred?

  • Finished Product

Any viable company will stand behind its finished product. They will also be able to show you what it should resemble before you are required to purchase anything. And if they are genuine sources of assistance, they will want to see your finished product before quoting new clients a price! After all, the finished products is what the end user is purchasing right?

  • Flexibility

So many companies are “set in their ways”, unable to be flexible. The old adage “the customer is always right” is more truthful today than ever before. With the internet, there is a plethora of resources available to consumers. Flexibility can make or break a relationship.

  • Friendliness

Customer service is about going out of your way to make the interaction experience friendly. With the design professional, this should be no different. They must speak your language. The smart money is spent where relationships are built on a friendly, ethical manner.

  • Growth Potential

Can the design professional grow with you, or are there limitations? We are living in a “one size fits all” era, where consumers are willing to spend more capital. The design professional that has the most resources can seize the most business. When qualifying your design professional, make sure you ask them if they can support all of your needs. Then ask them to prove it by sending you something tangible. Never decide without proof.

  • Guidelines & Parameters

Specifically, boundary definitions. A true design professional with credibility will be able to outline specific information, relevant to the relationship, without hesitation or delay. A fly-by-night will not.

  • How-To

The critical ingredient to soup is the “stock”. For design professionals, it is educating the potential consumer on how to do business with them successfully, with a minimal effort on the consumer’s part. Does the design professional have a Powerpoint presentation, webinar or some other means of quick education that they can give you? If success is to be achieved, or the soup is to be edible, the “stock” must be top-quality.

  • History

What does the design professional’s history look like? If there is any doubts whatsoever about their history, red flags must be raised. Good business people always check a new alliance partner’s history. History has a way of repeating itself. This simple fact is true with anything on earth.

Stay tuned for Part 3…