Agency Big Sea had a big problem when it came to the ‘nightmare’ of gathering and working through client feedback during its design build and QA stages. But moving to Punchlist quickly removed the friction of text-based feedback and more.
Communication gaps. Endless tickets. Spreadsheets. Oh my.
These were just a few of the problems Big Sea was facing when it came to collecting, gathering and working through feedback from its clients.
For an award-winning agency that prides itself on exceptional client service and thorough processes, the inefficiencies in its client feedback and Quality Assurance processes resulted in loads of extra work for its team to have to sift through, along with an extra adult beverage or two.
It was time for a change. And that change was Punchlist.
Big Sea, an award-winning agency based in Florida and Colorado, has been partnering with successful businesses and organizations to provide branding, strategy, design, development and marketing for 16 years and counting.
The 20-person agency’s main focus is website builds or project builds, with the rest of its time dedicated to recurring marketing management clients.
Since client interaction and communication is at the heart of the kind of customer experience Big Sea is dedicated to providing, it made sense to give Punchlist a go with the tool’s ability to bridge those murky communication feedback gaps.
Dzuy Nguyen, COO & Managing Partner and Adriana Generallo, VP of Client Experience are no strangers to working with people, projects and processes at Big Sea.
So, they were the perfect duo to talk through how things were going then, and how things are going now.
How did you typically gather feedback before Punchlist?
It was all across the board. It was all over the place. We used a standard ticketing tool, but the biggest problem with that is that we would then get a bunch of redundant tickets.
Then the current project manager or account manager would have to go through and triage. But that actually never translated well for the client side, because the client would only see 132 tickets or whatnot. So, then, in other cases we use spreadsheets to keep track of partitions of tickets.
You saw a hundred open tickets, like you would have to have some kind of wherewithal or a bottle of wine to be like, “Okay. Let me go through a hundred tickets to find out what severity where all these things are going on.
Page and Breakpoint Organization
“It was all across the board. It was all over the place,” Dzuy says. “We used a standard ticketing tool, but the biggest problem with that is that we would then get a bunch of redundant tickets.”
“Then the current project manager or account manager would have to go through and triage. But that actually never translated well for the client side, because the client would only see 132 tickets or whatnot. So, then, in other cases we use spreadsheets to keep track of partitions of tickets.”
“You saw a hundred open tickets, like you would have to have some kind of wherewithal or a bottle of wine to be like, “Okay. Let me go through a hundred tickets to find out what severity where all these things are going on.”
Adriana continues: “Spreadsheets were a common tool right before Punchlist. We were doing it the other way without visualization and then looking back after having a visualization. It is just a world of difference.”
“We are a highly processed agency,” Dzuy says, “but we would spend quite a few either of weeks trying to figure things out.”
“Hey, what did this mean? What does it mean when you said this?’ because a lot of the way we would gather feedback before was text-based (via Sifter or Excel).”
How was client communication prior to Punchlist?
Adriana chimes in: “Oftentimes with technology involved, with the client, there is this low-level feeling of expert versus not expert. Even if you try to offset that, it is still something that some clients feel to a strong degree if they are not really tech savvy.
“So that lack of clarity or lack of knowledge on their part can, I think, cause low-level tension unintentionally. It does not matter if you are trying to be really inclusive and how you describe something.”
What problem has Punchlist solved for you?
“Punchlist has solved the fuzziness or the lack of clarity, It solved a communication gap between a shared language that literally the words themselves become less important because with a visualization — being able to pinpoint what client is referring to — the efficiency that that creates is huge because of the sheer amount of conversations that are not there anymore.”
Page and Breakpoint Organization
Ease of Use for Clients
Dzuy echos the same idea: “We are very keen on making sure that our clients are really good, our internal folks feel really good. So which is why Punchlist has been a fantastic tool for us to bridge the dictionary gap.
When it comes to having different breakpoints during QA, this is another area of friction Punchlist has removed for Big Sea.”
“There is nothing more frustrating than when our clients are QAing sites on different devices or whatnot,” Dzuy continues. “So what I appreciate about Punchlist is also the ability to see the tab and the responses, the changes on your tablet, her mobile, his desktop.”
“They pull it up, they are looking at the experience, they are able to point out where the issue is, and at least we know what they are looking at, essentially, and then you can always like debug further from there. That has been huge.”
How have your clients responded to using the tool? Has it made it better to work with them?
“It is really easy! You have a link, you login, just do it without having to figure out the dev link, the login this password, and top of that checking this and that.”
For Adriana, Punchlist gives the clients both the control and the confidence clients need and crave:
“At the point of before launch, the desire for confidence is so high that you can have something that gives the client the ability to go in at their own time and feel a sense of control over the tail-end of their project, that boosts their confidence because they have access to (Punchlist), and they know someone on the other side is using it and looking at it.”
“Punchlist gives the client the ability to go in at their own time and feel a sense of control over the tail-end of their project, that boosts their confidence because they have access to it, and they know someone on the other side is using it and looking at it.”
As an agency, have you noticed any ways your clients are using Punchlist that you didn’t expect?
“It is interesting. What I am seeing is that our clients are talking to one another using it where one person says, ‘Hey should we have this cut here?’ to another. So, it is not directed at us, but it is an open-ended question to each other, so that is cool.”
From feedback confusion to visual clarity, Punchlist has been able to not only solve a huge communication gap between Big Sea and its clients at all stages of the project, but the tool is solving communication gaps for the clients themselves when multiple stakeholders have a say.
In the end, when agencies like Big Sky choose to remove friction by opting for a visual feedback tool like Punchlist in place of traditional, inefficient text-based feedback, everyone wins.