By the time Michael Fraede joined Weiss GmBH as CEO, the company had already invested two years and thousands of dollars into its new website development. Despite the investment of both time and dollars, the yet unreleased site was roadblocked by technical errors and a lackluster interface.
With a launch deadline fast approaching, Mr. Fraede made the difficult decision to halt the project, parting ways with the firm that had done the work. He knew that the new site would need to wow visitors with a modern user experience, put accurate data at their fingertips, and clearly guide them down the buyer’s journey.
Back at square one, Mr. Fraede turned to Big Zeta with tremendous expectations and very little time after one of his technology partners, Manfred Blumoser, recommended the company. Mr. Blumoser emphasized to Mr. Fraede Big Zeta’s ability to deliver on commitments, as well as its industry expertise. With no time to waste, Mr. Fraede moved forward with confidence, noting Big Zeta’s breadth of experience. “[Big Zeta] is an international company. They work with technical companies, and they know how to set up technical sites,” he said. “They showed me their references, and that was convincing to me.”
Choosing a vendor to build a B2B site’s digital presence is about more than technical chops, though. Soft skills matter, and Mr. Fraede was pleased to find his interactions with Big Zeta also built confidence. “The [Big Zeta] guys were good on the phone. They were smart. They were friendly. They were customer-oriented. They were listening,” he said. “This whole picture gave me a good enough feeling to say, ‘Yeah, I’ll give them my trust.’”
Once Big Zeta and Weiss kicked off their business relationship, time was of the essence. The meandering two-year progress from the previous vendor had pushed Weiss up against a tight website launch deadline. Could Big Zeta scrap the board and deliver a highly functional and technically accurate website in just four weeks? Big Zeta had to finish the project, hand it off to Weiss’ development team, and push the site live—all before Weiss made an appearance at a large virtual trade show.
Strict deadlines call for streamlined communication, and Mr. Fraede was impressed by Big Zeta’s style. “I appreciated that we had fixed calls every week for a certain period of time. We had the feeling that with so little time, we had to get the most out of [those calls],” he said. “By the end of the calls, everybody had a clear understanding of what their task was for the next week. It gave me a lot of confidence.”
But it wasn’t just Mr. Fraede’s approval that mattered—an entire company was depending on Big Zeta’s ability to design a comprehensive site. “Big Zeta knew exactly what it took to run a project, and to execute it. I had good confidence when my own people reported to me, ‘Yeah, they are delivering. They do what they say they will do.’ ”
By the end of the four-week crunch (eight weeks total once the project was handed off to Weiss’ development team), the site was up and running––and it was everything owner Uwe Weiss hoped it would be when he envisioned his company’s digital presence two years prior.
With a bleeding-edge interface and the technical fidelity that comes only with a web developer specialized in B2B, the Weiss website was wracking up engagement. In the first week alone, Mr. Fraede himself was receiving numerous calls from people who had organically accessed the site.
“When I first saw the website on two different mobile devices—a Samsung and an iPhone—I realized I could browse the site on five different sizes of screens and it still looks good. That’s when you know you’re working with professionals,” Mr. Fraede said.
Weiss’ other international branches took notice of the company’s sleek new online presence, too. “We have 17 branches out there, including Germany,” Mr. Fraede explained. “The best signal for us that the website was a success was that now we have a hard time keeping sales organizations and other countries patient as they wait to get their own country sites as well. They want it now.”
While Weiss’ digital presence was in a state of emergency when Mr. Fraede first stepped forward at the company’s helm, Big Zeta turned a floundering two-year project into a four-week success. “These were experts, and they did what they promised to do. It worked. And now everybody’s happy,” Fraede said.