What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I don't have a lot of statistics because the site launched recently. I know we had a strong first weekend, and with their help, our e-commerce has increased significantly. We've never had as many reservations as now, which can only be attributed to their hard work and attention to detail. From the font to the background, everything flows well and looks ideal. Over the last five years we’ve received many complaints about online errors with gift card sales, but now we don’t have errors and purchases with gift cards are processed immediately.
We have so many new customers, but we haven't announced the new website yet. We want to wait at least two weeks before making an announcement, so we can find and resolve any bugs and make sure everything runs smoothly. I talk to most people who book with us and ask for their feedback, and everybody remarks that the site is smooth and user-friendly.
How did Direct Line Development perform from a project management standpoint?
When I requested an online event booking feature, we weren’t sure if they could implement it; they said it was possible and got the job done. We didn't follow a strict timeline because we weren’t sure how much time the site work would need. Despite this, the new site runs great, and everything was delivered relatively quickly.
We could have done better as the clients because we asked for certain features late into development. If we had our specifications set ahead of time, development could have proceeded faster. We met on site at our office multiple times. The majority of our communication is through email or phone. If I tell them I need to speak to them in person, they don’t hesitate to come in.
What did you find most impressive about them?
It's worth noting that if you work in this industry, you’re most likely using the Club Speed operating system; they have built the best website for it. Our competitors’ websites are all inferior to our site now. They have a lot to offer, and I know they're already working with a couple of other companies.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Any problem I had was on my side and my team. I can’t think of anything they did that I have an issue with. They had to do a lot of integration work, and it was the first time anyone has really done the type of work they did.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Take a month to think about exactly what you want and ask for it. Don't add specifications six months into development, which is what we did. This has bothered me because we set ourselves back by doing this.