Many veterinary website companies have highly effective and polished sales pitches. But a good sales pitch isn’t a great predictor of ability, insight and earnestness in web design. In order to effectively choose your next website partner, it is important to know the right questions to ask. These shouldn’t be questions they hear all the time and thus prepare for. Rather, they should be questions that require insightful and intelligent answers. Teaching you what those questions are is precisely the focus of this article!
Question 1 – What’s your vision?
If the representative isn’t able to quickly and concisely tell you their company’s vision when asked, it’s unlikely that they spend a lot of time thinking about the real problems they need to solve. Rather, a non-answer or a fluff answer is indicative of a company that prioritizes sales over a long-term vision. It’s important that you select a website partner that has a vision concerned with some important challenge that you face, such as making your new client acquisition predictable or infusing empathy into the digital client/veterinary relationship.
Question 2 – What does your design process look like?
With many companies, the answer may sound a lot like this:
“We’ll show you different sites we’ve done before in order to get a feel for your preferences. We will make sure to customize your site based on what you want, and match it with your color scheme.”
This is effectively a non-answer, and is indicative of an amateurish approach. Great web design is about storytelling; the representative’s answer should be about how the company takes the time to understand your story. This process may include them asking things like: what are you proud of? What are your assets? What makes you unique? What are your beliefs?
The right company’s design process will be about unearthing your unique narrative, and bringing that story to life. Anybody who just talks about colors, templates, or buzzwords is playing an entirely different game, and is unlikely to contribute to your future success.
Question 3 – How will veterinary web design change in the next 3 years?
What you’re looking for here are signs that the company puts real thought into the future of the field. The companies that do are likely to prioritize innovation and excellence. The one’s that don’t are unlikely to be the right partner for you. This question is more about the reasoning behind the answer they give than the actual answer itself. Their answers should go far beyond “mobile optimization” and should touch on deeper insights into the psychology of the pet owner and future capabilities of communication and web design.
Question 4 – What’s a pet owner looking for on a veterinary website?
You aren’t looking for a superficial answer here, such as content, location, phone number, etc. Answers like that betray a lack of understanding for the psychology of relationships, which, fundamentally, is what web design is about. A good answer should give insights into the nature of the relationship you share with clients, and the ways that relationship forms, strengthens, and progresses.
Question 5 – Who’s your best competitor?
Their answer should be forthright and thoughtful, and not at all evasive. If the company is totally secure in their standing and work, they will have no problem giving compliments to work that merits it. They should feel eminently comfortable stacking their work against the best of their competition. Before you ask this question though, it’s important that you are aware of the best companies in the space. The red flag would be if the representative states a weaker company (instead of one of the best) in order to make their position appear stronger than it actually is.