Website support is at the heart of what Cantilever does.
We have heard from many clients that prior firms have created a good project, but not provided adequate support and maintenance. This leaves clients needing to replace or overhaul the project within a few years. Our goal is for this to never occur on Cantilever projects. With us maintaining a website, it should last indefinitely – we simply swap out outdated pieces as required.
Our focus on support, and the fact that we do it in-house, draws many clients to us who need long-term care, maintenance, and growth for their sites.
We support sites that are created by other firms as well as our own. Our primary methodology for maintaining websites is to use a retainer. Within a retainer, clients pay in advance for a bundle of hours each month, quarter, or year. We reserve time in our schedule to make sure we have those hours ready when they need them. This gives clients peace of mind and allows us to plan far in advance. We provide a substantial discount to retainer clients in exchange for the stability they give us.
We also support sites on an a-la-carte basis when the client prefers to have a more flexible arrangement. Under such an agreement, we can’t necessarily guarantee availability in a given period, but we always do our best.
Our deep knowledge of the customer's operations, our relationships and familiarity with their staff and our “in-house, but on-demand” availability ensure that our clients don't just have a vendor, but a partner who’s invested in their success long-term.
We are successful when our clients are successful. As their business needs evolve and grow, our clients have a consistent, reliable partner they return to year after year, project after project, to help them achieve and exceed their business goals.
We expect around 33% of our hours to go into support work, so on average, a team member’s work day should be around 33% support work. Some people prefer to work on support projects or have skillsets which are suited to them specifically, and they will have a higher percentage. Our whole team is expected to work on website support as at least a part of their work day. Support is not a specific team, but a mentality. Most of the time, when a new project is completed, the same team should support the project, at least during the transition from a new project to a support project.
Our Values, with a Support Lens (See Original: Vision, Motivation, and Values)
- Relationships First. Our relationships and culture are our most important assets. In website support, we are the custodian of many of those long-term relationships. By focusing on relationships first, we not only ensure our own success, but generate referrals and opportunities for the Production department. Consistently delivering incredible service encourages the client to consider us first for any new project.
- Digital Hospitality. We believe that websites are spaces that users enter — not billboards they see from a distance. For that reason, we ensure that the spaces with which we are entrusted run effectively and efficiently. Much like a retail space, you keep it clean, you re-organize for better customer flow, you update the displays, you improve POS, and occasionally, you clean up after a broken water main. By doing this, we ensure these spaces are open and welcoming to our client's audience, year after year.
- Life Before Work. We work in order to lead the lives we envision – to raise our families, to pursue our interests, to secure our futures. This means keeping the lights on (even when new sales dry up) and giving Cantilever employees a home-base they can come back to if they're out of stuff to do. The consistent, reliable revenue website support generates provides a safety net for all Cantilever employees and provides job security long-term – and reliability for our clients.
- Never Settling. Once a website launches, it can be easy to start shoe-horning in features that don't mesh with the overall design or engineering of the site. We safeguard the benchmarks attained during the original build and aim to make our websites 1% better, every time we touch them. If Cantilever didn't make a site, the goal is to make it look like we did, given a long enough timeline, and the opportunity to improve it.
- Work With What You've Got. We don‘t always get to make all the decisions about how sites work. Some sites we work on are Cantilever-built, highly engineered masterpieces. Some are adopted projects held together with spit and baling wire. We don’t differentiate. We treat all websites with the same care and attention to detail because, at the end of the day, it's not about the website: it's still about the relationship first. Our customers come to us with what they’ve got, and we work with them to get them to where they want to be. Sometimes that takes a while, but it's our job to meet them where they are, without judgment, and help them along the process.