If you get a chance to talk to any current clients of the digital agencies you’re considering partnering with, there’s one question you should always ask: “how reliable are they?”

Reliability, both in everyday situations and emergencies, is an often overlooked factor in an agency’s performance. However, it is absolutely crucial to consider, especially if most or all of your digital marketing will be handled by this firm. You want to know that your requests will be handled in a timely manner, and that you have a contact in case of emergency (like a database failure or website crash). That’s why it’s so important to ask this question.

the best agencies are reliable, not slow to respondOne common complaint we hear about agencies is that they take a long time responding to emails or requests. This just isn’t acceptable! Even if your question or request can’t be handled right away, you should at least receive an acknowledgement of its receipt, or a promise that it will be looked at by a certain time or day. If you know that you’ll probably be making a lot of requests “on the fly,” you should take care that the company you select is known for getting back to their customers quickly.

Your marketing agency should also have reliable website hosting (or, if they don’t offer hosting themselves, a quality partner that they can direct you to). They should make statistics available on their site uptime, as well as how often sites are backed up and given routine updates. They should be dedicated to reliable website performance — not just making things look good.

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