2015 Executive Choice Awards
The winners of our Executive Consumer Choice Awards have many things in common, including proven service systems.
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Tingalls Graphic Design
When it comes to keeping proprietary secrets, Tara Ingalls throws away the book.
Tara Ingalls isn’t worried about copycat competitors. Her five-stage website design process is explained, for customers and competitors to see, right on the Tingalls Graphic Design website. To Ingalls, it’s important to spell that out because in this industry comparing apples to apples is very difficult for consumers. Website designers use many different platforms and the website-design process can be very daunting for consumers, especially people who lack tech savvy.
“I want to show people how we really take the time to get to know their business and show them what the approval checkpoints are along the way,” explains Ingalls, the company’s owner and creative director. “So when we get to the end they don’t say, ‘Well, I was never very happy in the first stage.’ With every one of those stages on our website, there is an approval checkpoint with the project manager or with me as the owner, just to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
Ingalls was concerned about putting too much proprietary information online. However, taking that risk brought real rewards when sharing this information took some of the uncertainty out of the process. “People don’t consider what’s really the best approach,” Ingalls explains. “They just want a website that’s really inexpensive or something that’s up really quick. That’s doing them a huge disservice because then the website doesn’t function properly when there is an update on a browser, or the search engine function is not optimized, or they don’t get access to the website when it’s up.”
Designers spend a great deal of time listening to clients, trying to understand what sets them apart, and designing the website accordingly. “We really dive down deep and ask the right questions upfront so that when we build a website, we build a website that answers a lot of those pain points right on the home page, and many of our clients say, ‘Gosh, I never even thought about that,’” Ingalls notes.
“They really took the look and feel of our company and developed a website that fit that brand.” — voter comment
In web design, follow up is also important. Tingalls tries to get as much information about traffic on the current website, and then it monitors traffic after the new website is launched. It meets with clients three months, six months, and one year after their website goes live to check web traffic and determine whether the new website is performing.
For Ingalls, success is achieved when consumers find the site on Google or other search engines and they go to the contact page to fill out regeneration forms. “We follow up on that process to see if it’s working because it’s an investment,” Ingalls states.
Listening is also important in handling customer complaints. Ingalls is involved in every project at some level; when a customer is upset, she thinks harder about the solution than the problem — not to ignore the latter but to emphasize the former.
The last thing she wants to hear is, “They took my money, and I’ve got nothing to show for it.”
On rare occasions there are simply creative differences between provider and customer that cannot be resolved. “It’s just my customer service mentality that I want my customers to be very happy with their experience, so I affirm the frustration and we come to a resolution,” Ingalls says. “In rare cases, that means a full refund.”