We very often get asked whether it’s best to go for a local agency that is ‘nearby’ or whether we would consider it more worthwhile to consider engaging the big companies in the ‘city’. Certainly it seems on the outside that a large company with a big portfolio would be able to offer a lot more in the way of services, but do you lose something in the way of customer service?
The trouble is, there is absolutely no way of judging whether a company does offer great service or not and simply looking at their website gives no answers either. A website, by its very nature, is there to fox you – it’s not a window on to a company, it’s a method by which that company can promote itself in the best possible light. If this means they stretch the truth a little, then so be it, but it is, in fact, a fantasy.
Some people are savvy to this and they therefore see past a website and look for other indicators that the company may be able to offer the services they require. The size of the office could be another factor – and it generally means that development will be expensive, but does it mean it will be any good?
Unfortunately there really is no way to know for sure. Website design is so subjective that what is a fantastic site to one person may be absolutely awful to someone else – unless you can nail down a monetary value, everything else is pointless.
Local = a bit more control
Here is where the argument for staying local really wins out though. There is a psychological barrier between companies when they are locked away in ivory towers or sitting in the middle of a busy ring-road and this causes problems. By far the best way to handle a client relationship is with regular updates and constant communication and this can be jeapordised when dealing with large companies who are at the other end of the company.
For all the publicity of remote working, virtual conferencing and other technology, nothing quite beats getting in front of the client and dealing direct.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one. You simply have to decide yourself as to whether your company can deal effectively remotely or whether you’re the type of company that needs to talk face to face with your supplier. Only then can you decide whether you should choose the local independent or plump for the suited city type.