3 Simple Rules to Make Your Clients Love Your Reports

love_reports

Do you feel like none of your clients even care about reading the reports you put so much time and effort into? You’re not alone; many digital agencies face this problem.

Some clients just don’t seem to care about the performance report you work hard to give them. Actually, they probably care about the results themselves, but they just don’t know how to understand and digest the information contained in the report.

Fortunately, there are some fail-safe rules that will give your reports a credibility boost.

Let’s get your clients to love your marketing reports, shall we?

Be nice.

Not all clients know as much about digital marketing as you do. You’re the expert after all, right? That’s why you need to speak in a  language they understand and not shower them with meaningless buzzwords.

They understand cash, return, results; so speak cash, return,  and results. These terms are basically why you exist, so using them in your reports is good for business.

Then, you need to ask yourself this question: who honestly likes to look at an Excel spreadsheet full of gibberish numbers? The answer: no one. Instead, you should try a beautifully crafted, easy-to-understand report. Everyone likes nice, visually stimulating things; reports are no different. Put less data, but make sure it’s more relevant. Your client will surely appreciate it.

Above all, don’t hesitate to invest in a beautiful white-label design. It sends a strong message that your brand means business. Remind them why they choose you as their digital agency.

Reminder: a visually slick design is half the battle (and we can help you with that!).

Be relevant.

Do you know the “Three Layers Of So What” test of Avinash Kaushik?

It goes like this: if you can’t answer “so what” three times when explaining a piece of data or a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) then you need to drop that KPI.

A good KPI should lead you towards a decision that needs to be made; in other words, a good KPI should be actionable (i.e. it helps you take action).

Any data that doesn’t help you take action is just noise, thus useless. You don’t need that. It’s better to have a smaller, more concise report with a few very actionable KPIs, than to try to impress your client with a bunch of meaningless data.

To sum up: clients would prefer a small, quick-to-read report with only three useful gauge widgets, than a mile-long hard-to-digest report.

 

Be collaborative.

You can send your report by email and hope your client will read it, or you can schedule a meeting with him/her to review the report and take action based on the results.

A report isn’t just something you give your client because that’s what everybody does; it’s a powerful business tool. Reports show your client that they made the right choice in choosing you and it makes them feel good in renewing your contract.

Don’t overlook this importance!

Any digital marketing strategy requires KPIs and goals to measure its success. Your report is the piece of work that demonstrates all your value and proves your worth to your client (plus it gives them a reason to compensate your worth!).

Pro-tip: any invoice you send your client should have a report associated with it.
In short, using client reporting as a precious business tool isn’t rocket science:

 

Make it visually engaging.

Make it easy to take action with it.

Make it to prove your value and the results you bring to your client.

Do this, and you’re golden.

Stéphane has been working on business Web projects for more than 15 years. He has a computer science degree and a MBA specialized in e-commerce from Laval University in Quebec City. That also explains why his writing can sound weird: He is a French Canadian!

View his LinkedIn profile or email Stephane: stephane@dashthis.com



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