It’s no secret that maximizing client retention is a key ingredient to building a successful PPC agency. According to a report from Gartner Group, 80% of a company’s future profits will come from only 20% of their existing customers. Holding onto the clients that you already have is not only an effective way to secure your agency’s future revenue, but it’s also more affordable. Acquiring a new client can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. And here’s maybe the most eye-popping of them all… increasing client retention by just 5% can lead to almost doubling your profits for some businesses.
One of the most effective ways to boost client retention is to establish a relationship with them built on transparency and communication. For PPC agencies, well-timed and thoughtfully built performance reports are essential in establishing transparency and trust with their clients.
Fortunately, tools like Swydo make this process easier than ever, but not without some thought and purpose behind your approach. Simply throwing together a generic template and automating its delivery to just “check the box” won’t cut it, and could even do more harm than good.
We put a lot of time and effort into developing our reporting process to ensure our reports add a ton of value to our client relationships. Here a few best practices that we follow.
Focus On What Matters To The Client
Reports delivered to clients need to contain the data and information that they care about. Before you just start throwing out “key metrics” ask yourself what metrics matter most to the client. What are their goals? How do they measure those goals? These are questions that you should be able to answer before developing their PPC strategy, so make sure you can answer them before building their reports. Reporting on metrics your client cares about is vital in demonstrating the value your agency is adding to their business.
The numbers don’t lie, we’ve all been on both sides of that statement a time or two right? But cold hard numbers really never tell the full story, good or bad. Putting a narrative behind the numbers not only gives them context, but it makes them more meaningful to your client. Sure, you’ll get your chance to tell the story on your next phone call, but sometimes the story can’t wait – and that’s not a chance you want to take. Don’t miss the opportunity to shine some light on a huge win or provide a meaningful explanation for a setback when they first lay their eyes on the cold hard truth.
Deliver Your Reports At The Right Time
Picture this… your client is sitting at their desk on a Monday morning, plowing through a flood of emails while toggling back and forth between Facebook and the latest cat video on YouTube. And somewhere buried in that abyss of to-do’s and solicitations is your golden nugget of a PPC report, showing them they’ve had their best month ever. Sure they may read it, if you’re lucky, but even if they do it’s not likely to have the same impact on a Monday morning as it would almost any other time of the week. As unconventional as it may sound, don’t deliver your reports on Monday mornings. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are all good choices. Test all three and find which works best for you. As for Black Propeller, Tuesday is our day. Because let’s face it, what else is Tuesday good for?
Syncing reports with your check in calls should also play a factor in the timing of your delivery. Using an online dashboard option is key to making sure that the performance metrics you discuss on your calls are fresh and relevant.
Go Easy On The Detail
We’ve already determined that you need to show your clients the numbers that are meaningful to them. But as marketers we love data, maybe a little too much. Just keep in mind that your client doesn’t need the same level of detail in their report that you need when making strategic decisions for their account. They need what is meaningful to them (see above) and very little more. Resist the urge to tack endless data onto your reports that clients will inevitably glaze over. Because the truth is, if your reports become too daunting to read, they simply won’t get read. And then you’re left asking yourself – if a tree falls in the forest…
Know When To Hold Em’
Our agency is built on establishing transparency and trust with our clients. That means we’re honest about the results we are producing for them; good, bad or ugly. But, when the results reported aren’t accurate, that’s not a report we want to send. We don’t always catch tracking issues the moment they happen, so reports with inaccurate data can slip through the cracks. Trying to explain to a client why you sent them a report with invalid data just isn’t a good look. Swydo makes catching statistical anomalies easy with their rules feature. By simply setting a threshold on any KPI, we can block a report from being sent if expectations aren’t met.
Brand, Brand, Brand
Everything we do is wrapped in our brand. And our PPC reports are no exception. Branding your reports with your colors and logo helps to build brand loyalty for your agency. Most important, you want to send the message that you own the results you are delivering. At the end of the day you want your clients to associate your hard work with your brand. Make sure you leave no doubt who’s delivering for them. Brand everything – and increase your client retention.
John Thornton is seasoned digital marketer and the driving force behind Black Propeller, an ROI-obsessed PPC agency with a strong CRO focus.