Over-Delivery: The Double-Edged Sword for Web Design Agencies

This photo shows several musical advertising posted on Broadway in New York, at night.

The mantra “under-promise, over-deliver” is often touted as good business advice.

But is it always beneficial?

Imagine if a Broadway show under-promised its experience. The producers say, “Come see our decent play with acceptable performances.” Chances are, no one would buy a ticket. In the world of web design, over-delivering often creates a host of problems, regardless of where you stand on this debate.

The Allure and Pitfalls of Over-Delivery By Web Design Agencies

Over-delivery can seem like a win-win at first. Clients are thrilled, and it feels good to exceed expectations.

Take, for example, a simple five-page website where you decide to add subtle animations to the images that activate on scrolling. It’s a nice touch, but it wasn’t part of the initial scope.

What the client might not even realise is the additional work that went into making these animations behave responsively across different devices.

But here’s the catch.

This immediate win comes at a cost.

The Impact of Over-Delivery on Web Design Agencies

Not only does it affect profitability for that specific project, but it also sets a new standard. This heightened level of delivery becomes the “norm,” creating a cycle of raised expectations that can be difficult to sustain.

Raised Expectations

The immediate impact of over-delivery is a hit on profitability for that specific project. However, the long-term consequences can be even more significant. By going above and beyond, you inadvertently set the bar higher not just for the client but also within your agency. This new level of delivery becomes the “norm,” creating a cycle of raised expectations that can be difficult to sustain.

Mental Toll on Team Members

The added tasks that were outside the original scope also take a toll on your team’s mental well-being. Team members find themselves in a constant race against time, trying to wrap up the project within the allocated budget hours. This can lead to stress, burnout, and a decrease in overall job satisfaction.

Unsustainable Precedent

Ultimately, this sets an unsustainable precedent, making it challenging to scale your agency effectively. The added stress and raised expectations can lead to a higher turnover rate among staff, increased costs for client acquisition (as you try to meet heightened expectations), and a potential decline in the quality of work due to burnout.

Striking the Balance

Finding the right balance between meeting and exceeding client expectations without compromising your agency’s sustainability is crucial.

Our own research shows that while more than 85% of our clients say that they incur additional time and/or resources through a project, less than 17% of them pass this additional cost onto their own clients.

Offering clients options for add-on features in your proposal, clearly outlining the additional costs and time required, can help manage expectations while maintaining profitability for any additional features they bring up once the project has started.

Finding more efficient ways to get the boring tasks done, can also free up some time for you to spend on these little extra touches that you feel the website just can’t do without.

This is where a tool like Gatheroo can help you – by giving clients accountability over the sharing of the information you need to design and build their website, and even automating reminders to keep them to the deadlines you agreed, you’ll find that where you save some time, you will then be able to spend it on producing the perfect website.

Over-Delivery is a Double-Edged Sword.

While it can enhance client satisfaction, it also leads to a host of challenges that can affect your agency’s sustainability. Knowing the challenges and addressing each one is the best way to be a leader in the field of web design.

Ready to Take Control of Your Web Design Agency?

Why not sign up for a free trial of Gatheroo to streamline the collection of information and documents from your clients? This is proven to free up your team, so they can concentrate on the income producing tasks and delight your clients without blowing the budget!

Laetitia has worked in the Financial Industry for over 20 years. Her drive to understand the risks inherent in a business, together with finding practical ways to mitigate the risks deemed too great, lead to the creation of Gatheroo.

By applying her knowledge gained from major banks in Australian and the UK, SMEs across the globe have benefited by discussing and applying low hanging solutions to potentially large issues.

"I love working with professional service providers to help them grow and prosper by identifying and minimising risks, boosting productivity, and fostering an environment where both individuals and teams thrive"