What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I don’t have precise metrics off the top of my head, but for every month we’ve had the website up and running, our e-commerce sales have improved, even through the downturn period we’ve experienced.
More importantly, the quality of the sales we’re receiving is much higher. We’re achieving a more profitable per-piece price because we’re able to demonstrate to clients what it is that they’re buying and why that’s different from the more standard options some of our competitors may be offering, and we’re also able to offer more customizations and add-ons.
The other metric I look at is the number of sample packs being requested. The number of people that want to see samples of our physical materials has definitely improved over last year when we had the old website.
Overall, we had the project scoped out pretty well upfront. The designs were stunning and spectacular from the first draft, and we didn’t have to do many revisions. When I get work from Meticulosity, it is always high-quality.
The e-commerce experience is high-quality, and there was a lot of customization from a development perspective, which enables a lot of customization for my customers, leading to more profitable orders.
How did Meticulosity perform from a project management standpoint?
The original delivery date we were given was June 2019, but the ultimate delivery didn’t come until April 2020. The timeline was far from my expectations.
I’ve worked with a number of project managers there, and Dave was involved with the project at every step of the way. He gave me a lot of confidence that things were being handled appropriately, but it would’ve been nicer to have a more consistent team throughout the project. That may or may not have contributed to the timing delays.
I brought up the delays with Dave throughout the process, and he was there at every step of the way. He would deliver incremental progress, as it became available. That was good, but going from a six- to an eighteen-month project was far from ideal.
Dave wasn’t unresponsive, and I’m sure that he was dealing with whatever slowdowns were going on behind the scenes. We went through a couple of different project managers, but I was always able to rely on Dave. He always got back to me, even if the answer was that he needed a few weeks to deliver something. He at least gave me a straight answer, whether it was positive or not. Dave did as much as he could to keep me apprised of things.
There was a communication mix-up that happened early on, where they launched some work that they thought I’d approved for billing, but they never really asked me the question. When we figured out what was going on, they didn’t keep me on the hook for the work that was not approved, but they still gave me the benefit of it. I appreciated that and they did right by the situation.
When push came to shove, Meticulosity stepped up and did what was needed to keep the client happy. The latest project we did with them was a small feature, but their process has improved in terms of getting the project well-scoped and quickly executed. I feel much more confident working with them now than at that juncture.
We’ve done a small project for a new software-based feature we’re launching for the direct mail business, and we had a very different process there versus the previous design and development work.
They did their homework and came back with a couple of different proposals with clear pricing, I had one project manager throughout the thing, they came back with questions and set expectations on timing, and they delivered within the deadline. We had a couple of bumps during the initial development project, but I’ve definitely seen improvements on all of those.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I think that we have a beautiful website, and I’m extremely proud of the way it looks. Its design, aesthetics, and experience are completely unlike anything else in the direct mail industry. I wanted our customers to have a completely different feeling when they visited our site versus anyone else’s, and Meticulosity has really done a good job of accomplishing that.
When I look at a lot of generic competitor sites, my feeling is that they’re geared toward economics and efficiency but I wanted to bring out the beauty and truth of something that’s truly handwritten. When someone goes to our website, it hits them in the face that they’re dealing with something different than any other direct mail websites they might be looking at. That’s the main thing I value Meticulosity for.
They achieved a site that’s unique, different, and beautiful to stand out in a straightforward industry.
Are there any areas they could improve?
My main critique is that Meticulosity’s timing was very far off from my expectations and from what I thought we were agreeing to upfront. I’ve seen some improvement in their management and I feel more confident in working with them now.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
They should make sure to get Dave involved. A new client should make sure they know the team and who the point person will be, and make sure all their questions are answered upfront. That way, when the time comes for Meticulosity to do what they do best—which is to create beautiful websites—they can just focus and get it done instead of cleaning up details after the fact.