A successful marketing agency’s primary focus is to cultivate long-term clients that are happy with their results. Some of the most effective ways for agencies to retain clients include establishing a client/product fit, setting realistic expectations, making your monthly reports easy to understand and implementing both call tracking and a leads management program.
Now, let’s go over each of these five ways in more detail:
1. Establish the Product/Client Fit
Even though every business needs marketing, not every company is a fit for the type of marketing your agency specializes in, or the tools and technologies your agency might utilize. Before you begin working with a new client, you need to be sure that they are a good fit with the services, pricing tiers, tools and marketing specialties that you offer.
Here are four types of product/client fits to consider before working with a client:
- Functional Fit: Does your agency offer the services, expertise, tools or functions the client needs to achieve their goals?
You want to start every engagement with the confidence that the client understands what your agency offers. For example, if your client wants to run PPC ads, but doesn’t yet have any type of website, and your agency doesn’t build websites, they are most likely not a fit for your agency.
- Technical Fit: Does the client understand the basics of marketing and technology enough to see the value of what your agency will be doing for them?
For many agencies, the new client on-boarding process will include demonstrating the tools and technology that will be used to achieve results for the client. These things might consist of explaining how lead tracking software can track where a lead comes from, or how to search a lead management system for leads that have come in from a client’s PPC ad. However, if the client says that they want to grow their email list as one of their marketing goals, but they think that an email list is the contacts in their personal email account, they might need more in-depth training before starting an agency engagement.
- Resources Fit: Does the client have the money or workforce available to benefit from your services properly?
During your initial client assessment, it is vital that you learn if the client has the money to pay for your agency’s services and if they have the workforce to handle the incoming traffic, calls, leads and sales you will generate for them. Many small businesses will hire a marketing agency so that they can grow quickly, only to find that they can’t handle the influx of new leads or customers and can’t find the time to hire anyone else while trying to manage the increased flow either.
- Cultural Fit: Does the client share your core values? Will you work well together?
Many marketing agencies overlook the importance of a cultural fit when they begin a new client engagement. The cultural fit is important because it dictates if your agency and your new client will place value on the same things, and if you will be able to communicate effectively.
Considering these questions when beginning a new client engagement can help you find the ideal clients for your agency. Don’t be afraid to let a potential client know that they aren’t a fit for your agency. The truth is that your agency and the potential client will be better off that way. The clients you do begin an engagement with will be more likely to be long term clients because they are a good fit for your agency right from the start.
2. Clarify Your Client’s Goals and Set Clear Expectations
The retention process starts by truly understanding the problems that your client is trying to solve and gaining a clear picture of what their long-term goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) are. While knowing these vital pieces of information will allow you to create a marketing strategy that is in line with these goals. It will also empower you to set clear and specific expectations and timelines for achieving these goals.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is an extremely important metric to talk about when you are having any goal discussion with your clients. Customer lifetime value is a metric that shows the total amount of revenue a company can expect from a single customer during the entire business relationship. The more longevity a customer has with a company, the greater their lifetime value becomes.
When you are talking with your customer about their goals and expectations, you will want to get an idea about the average lifetime value of a customer that you bring in for them.
Laying out the specific goals, timelines and expectations to achieve them early in the client relationship builds trust with your client, because it showcases your marketing knowledge and experience when you explain how long each element of their marketing plan will take to produce results. Building trust is an excellent way to build long-lasting, transparent relationships with your clients, increasing your agency’s retention.
3. Make Your Reports Easy to Understand
One of the best ways to show that your agency has made strides in achieving your client’s overall KPI’s is to show them cold, hard numbers. As an agency, you should take ownership of the leads and revenue that you generate for your clients. You do this by creating the proper reports. Your reports should show not only when a lead comes in, but where it came from, what they were wanting when they found your client and if they were a “quotable lead”.
Give your clients an easy-to-understand report structured around the agreed upon metrics for their marketing campaign, how many leads you were able to generate, whether those leads came from clicks, calls or form fills, which landing pages generated the most new leads, what advertising channel each lead came from and how many of them were turned out to be quotable leads.
How Reporting Can Help an Agency with Client Retention
One large full-service marketing agency found that it was challenging to explain complex, detailed reports to their clients in a way that showed their clients the value of their work or the revenue generated through the marketing campaigns they were running. They wanted to show exactly how their work was driving their customers’ ROI.
By partnering with WhatConverts, the agency was able to create customized, detailed, easy-to-understand reports that showed their customers exactly how well their marketing campaigns were performing at a glance. By using clear, concise and detailed reporting from WhatConverts, the agency was able to show clients the results of their work and expertise; increasing client retention.
In the graphic below, you can see how simple, results-focused reports can be for your clients. By using WhatConverts, your clients’ reports will clearly show all the form fills, calls, chats and transactions for any period of time. Having clear, easy-to-understand numbers will allow your client to see exactly how indispensable your services are for the growth of their business.
4. Implement Call Tracking
Another remarkably effective way to show your clients that your agency’s work is producing results is to set up a call tracking program. Call tracking works well because many of your clients will measure their ROI by the phone calls they receive. Many industries that work with marketing agencies will consider phone calls their best source of qualified leads.
Since these industries rely on phone calls to get their leads, it is essential to know precisely what marketing channels are driving these phone calls. While Google Analytics is helpful for overall reporting and clicks, it doesn’t show the kinds of detail needed to optimize and improve the amount and type of calls your clients are receiving. That is where call tracking can be a useful tool. With call tracking not only can you quantify the phone call leads that come in, but you can also show your clients where the leads came from, how long a phone call lasted and even the average cost of each phone call that is generated with their marketing campaign.
Showing your clients this information is also valuable because only a few marketing agencies offer it, also the call tracking service is attached to your agency. Which means if they choose to go to another agency, call tracking might not be offered, or it might take considerable time to put a new system in place.
Have you ever started a client engagement and you know that the leads and calls that have started coming in are from the marketing and advertising your agency has been doing, but the client is unsure?
Every agency experiences this as some point. The conversation with the client goes something like this:
Agency’s Account Manager: “Hi, Mr. Client. I wanted to give you call to see if you’ve seen an increase in calls and leads since we started working together last month?”
Client: “Yes, we have. I’d say that there has been a steady increase in the calls that we have been getting and they seem to be more qualified too. But, how can we tell if that’s really from the ads you’ve been running? I mean it’s possible that some of these leads are finding us directly from search?”
(Side note: This client’s business doesn’t currently rank for any targeted keywords)
Agency’s Account Manager: “Okay. When people call in, are you asking your customers how they found you?”
Client: “Yeah; we do usually ask them, but they just say they found us through the website. I am not sure I want to annoy them by asking for more detail.”
With good call tracking, this conversation can be totally avoided. Call tracking helps agencies created better ad campaigns because it shows them what is working in more detail. Call tracking also produces the granular reports that prevent a client from attributing the results of your agency’s work to other things.
Call tracking will show cold, hard numbers regarding how many calls, form fills and chats the client received from your marketing efforts and how well they converted to sales.
5. Offer a Lead Management System
It is vital that your clients be able to see, search for and find the leads your agency generates for them quickly and easily. The best way to do this is with a lead management system. The most effective lead management system will allow your clients to filter leads by various criteria such as status, date the leads came in, the marketing channel that generated the lead and if someone answered the phone when the lead called.
A Lead management system is an invaluable tool for your clients and they only have access to as long as they are your client. Which is why it is also an excellent service to begin offering if client longevity is one of your agency’s goals.
If your marketing agency is wanting to increase overall client retention and longevity, you can accomplish that by establishing a client/product fit before beginning a client engagement, clarifying your client’s goals and setting clear expectations, making your monthly reports easy to understand, implementing call tracking system and an easy to use lead management system that is only available to current clients, through your agency.
WhatConverts works with agencies to help them implement these five strategies. WhatConverts can help with tracking the lifetime value of a customer for your clients, create concise reports that showcase the results your agency is generating and setup call tracking and lead management. All of these things will help your clients see the value your agency is bring to them and increase overall client retention for your agency.
Request Your WhatConverts Demo today to see how WhatConverts can instantly improve your agency.