What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We are likely not the average client, as we already had a quality assessment (QA) team in place by the time we got to the review stage of the project. When our QA team went through the site’s first, rough draft at Command C’s request, they filed somewhere around 200 small bugs or UI issues on various browsers. Because we had our own engineers looking at the site from a QA perspective, we came back with a lot more feedback than a typical client.
They handled all of our feedback really well and we never felt like there was any pushback on our comments. We definitely shot for the stars in terms of the design and the functionality of the site, and they were actually able to meet that high bar. It really feels like the version we designed was the one we saw at launch, and I think that’s rare in development.
How did Command C perform from a project management standpoint?
They managed their time well, particularly in terms of a staggered approach. By this I mean that we weren’t delivering everything they needed all at once, yet they knew what tasks they could get started on early. We used a Basecamp install to coordinate our teams’ work on the project, and that was great in terms of submitting feedback and bugs, in part because our team was already comfortable using Basecamp as a tool. We also had regular calls to discuss the project. Tiffany did a phenomenal job at trying to accommodate our needs while also using their own internal tools in order to make sure that they could work quickly and not be bogged down by our preferences. Command C was integral in helping us figure out where we needed to get the project in order to unlock their next stage of work, all of which I felt was well-communicated.
Additionally, they did a solid job of dealing with all the moving parts unique to this situation. Cooperating with us alone would likely have been enough of a challenge for them, because we were a relatively young startup that was still trying to find its footing. However, they needed to coordinate between their own work, another creative agency’s work, and the demands of our product team. They did a fantastic job responding to all the collaboration challenges that came with having three separate teams working on a single end product. The process went as smoothly as we had hoped.
Overall, Command C was willing to listen and were candid about what they did well and what tools they could use to make us the site that we wanted. A lot of creative agencies just say yes to everything, but Command C is competent enough and confident enough in their relationships with their clients to occasionally disagree with suggestions. Their priority is making sure that they can deliver the best build possible rather than obeying blindly, which I appreciate. They do well to sell their services without constantly “pitching” the client. Budget-wise, we managed to stay pretty close to what we had expected, which was partially a combination of providing our own QA work and them optimizing the best ways and areas on which to focus our joint efforts.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The level of polish on Command C’s work was extraordinarily high. Because they have such a focus on e-commerce, they are very aware of all the options and platforms available. They are able to cater their suggestions to exactly what we needed and had the maturity to be able to work with another creative agency on the project. In terms of the constraints of the project, I don’t think that there was a whole lot that they could have done better. They did their work well and in a good amount of time. They are really top tier in their industry.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It might be nice for them to take a look at some of their longer-term support options for small companies like us, where our ongoing maintenance needs were both on the lower end and unpredictable. Their current support options and less expensive tiers are geared towards companies that know what their demands are going to be on a more regular basis. Because of our status as a startup—and this is a common problem in our industry—we weren’t sure of our needs going forward. We would have greatly benefitted from having Command C do further iterations of the site, and although we had them do a couple of things, we could not keep them on an ongoing basis as a result of their pricing structure.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I would encourage future customers to know what’s out there in terms of e-commerce platforms so they can plan in advance what they need out of Command C’s services. For example, a Magento customer is very different than a Shopify customer, and it would benefit everyone involved if you know which one you are in advance. Do you most need endless customization or simplicity and efficiency? Be aware of the space.
Lastly, make sure to engage Command C on projects where you have enough of a budget to make use of their skills. You want to make sure that it’s the right project for an agency with these kinds of talents on board.