Over the weekend, I gave a presentation at WordCamp Asheville that focused on customer service. As part of my presentation, I suggested that a freelancer has a process that they put each customer through. That is a onboarding, project work, and offboarding. Adhering to a process like this keeps everyone on the same page and helps to keep an open line of communication.
As I mentioned during my presentation, part of my onboarding process is to ask a series of questions to each client, a questionnaire if you will. I personally don’t have one written down but just a group of common questions that gets the drives our conversation. I don’t keep strictly to these questions, but it’s a good place to start.
Since my presentation, I had a request to share my questionnaire. Since I don’t have anything written down, I figured that I would put together the most common questions I ask my web clients.
What will be the purpose of your website?
This is a great way to start out a conversation about a project. You should at least get an idea of what their primary goal is from this, that being a place to sell their projects or just an informational site.
Who is your primary audience?
This can often dictate what layout you use on the site but also possibly dictate how large the font should be.
What is your budget for this project?
This is probably the most important question I ask for several reasons. For instance, it tells me how I approach the project. If this number is low, I’ll simply use an existing theme. If the number is reasonable, I’ll probably go with a custom design. If they say they don’t have a budget, try and narrow it down. Try to come to a number, even if it’s a little high for them. You can always come in under budget.
What are some other sites in your industry that you like?
I’ll often use this question to get an idea of what the client’s taste are. They know what they dislike in other peoples sites, so you can factor that into your mockups.
These four questions are a good place to start with a questionnaire. Remember, a questionnaire does not have to be five pages long. Again, I don’t even have my clients fill out anything, I just ask them the questions and jot down the answers. What do you do?
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