You’re probably thinking that client reporting is one of those necessary evils of agency life of which you’ve almost forgotten the point. But the truth is, creating and sharing your reports are among the most important and worthwhile things you can do, both for yourself, and for your clients.
Client reporting is the best way to build and improve your client-agency relationship.
It’s how you communicate your marketing results to your client so that they see how hard you’re working for them.
It’s how you turn one-time clients into recurring clients.
Client reporting is what makes you grow your business.
Even though you may think of client reporting as a painful process, it doesn’t have to be – in fact, it shouldn’t be; creating those reports is the key to your agency’s success. And with the right automated client reporting tools (like DashThis!) and a rock-solid reporting process, client reporting is what will help your agency get to the top.
There are so many reasons why your client reports are an integral part of your relationship with your client, and as such, why you need to utilize them to their full potential. Among them:
Client reporting is a conversation, between you and your clients. Those reports become the basis around which your discussions occur, your way of showing your worth, and your way of proving how great you are at what you do.
THAT’s why they’re so important.
The client-agency relationship is like any other relationship: communication is key. Client reports enable you to “talk” regularly with your clients; whether you give them reports on a monthly basis to show the status of their campaigns or every time a specific campaign ends, what matters is that you do so routinely.
Sending a report to your client systematically is a great way to open up the discussion with them, so that both of you can share your thoughts and opinions on the data at hand.
Discussing matters on a regular basis ensures that small issues never become full-blown crises before you actually get around to talking about them.
You might not always feel the need to pick up the phone to talk with your client – but by sending reports on a regular basis, you have a great reason to do just that.
In fact, sending reports allows you to:
We do the same thing with our own clients at DashThis; even though our client reporting tool is super user-friendly, our Account Managers still reach out to their clients on a regular basis, just to say hi, see how things are going, and eliminate any possible issues someone might have before they even become real issues.
Along the same vein as the previous point, client dashboards are also great opportunities for you to educate your client on your work. Many clients don’t necessarily know the difference between one KPI or another – and most importantly, why each KPI should matter to them.
A report on which you can add your comments and your insight is a great way for you to teach your client about what each data point means, and why it’s important for their bottom line.
This is why we took great care when creating the DashThis system in order to allow you to add as many comment widgets and images as you like. That way, your client reports are crystal-clear in showing your client what it is that you do for them.
Sharing your knowledge and educating your client on what you do and how you do it helps them feel included in the entire process. Clients want to feel involved in their process, but sometimes they don’t know how to participate.
Client reporting helps them better understand the process, which in turn, will help you then better understand and manage their needs and expectations.
As demonstrated below, many clients tend to want to deal with the nitty-gritty of their analytics in-house, either because they’re protective of their data, or simply because they think that they know their company and their numbers best (which they do, a lot of the time).
However, when it comes to their marketing data (concerning campaigns that you work on), no one is in a better position to explain them than you. Show them that!
Speaking of client needs and expectations, your client reporting process is bound to help keep both agency and client accountable to one another.
Client reports are created with specific KPIs and metrics in mind, right? But how do you go about pinpointing those specific KPIs that you need to be monitoring?
That’s a part of the teamwork that’s needed in the client-agency relationship. By having a concrete report to show your client, full of specific KPIs, you can ensure that the client always provides you with real, specific, and measurable goals that those KPIs are supposed to be measuring.
Again, this opens up the discussion and makes sure you always know what your client’s expectations are of you, and on the other hand, it helps you know your client better and than optimize the campaigns your set up for them.
And if both you and your client are unsure of where to start when picking the KPIs to keep track of, custom report templates (tailored to your client’s needs), enable you to communicate your results and their expectations without taking up too much of your precious time:
Trust, once lost, is often lost forever. This is especially true in business relationships. Constant transparency is one of the most important aspect of your agency-client relationships. As mentioned above, regular reports keeps the client accountable concerning his/her expectations.
However, client reporting also keeps you, the agency, accountable concerning your work. Even poor performance (even if it’s out of your control) needs to be shared and talked about; there’s no use in hiding it. But by creating and sharing regular client reports, you can be proactive when showing your performance.
By adding insight and therefore fostering a discussion, you can deal with an issue as a team, and come up with rock-solid solutions to fix what seems to be the problem.
Plus, remember that some things are open to interpretation and require an explanation to better understand them. For example, maybe the number of page visits dropped, but social media engagement went up. Client reporting gives you a great opportunity to explain these subtle changes in the data, and what they mean in the context of the overall strategy.
Honesty is always your best policy, and here at DashThis, we work hard on building and constantly improving a tool that enables you to be honest with your clients.
While it’s always best to be transparent if things aren’t going well, it’s also crucial to do so when things are going great! If your client is having a fantastic month, how are they supposed to know where those results are coming from if you don’t show it to them?
That’s what your client reports are for! If your work is cranking up the ROI for them, they need to know about it. How else are they supposed to know they should re-sign that contract with you for another campaign?
Plus, what’s nicer than getting a beautiful automated report showcasing your performance data? DashThis enables you to build awesome-looking dashboard to communicate your high-five-deserving results!
Everything you do, all your work, is tied to the end result: the final ROI for a specific campaign.
These are all things that can be explained verbally, sure, but the true impact is in the numbers. Clients understand their bottom line, and they need to know how you fit into, and contribute to, it.
What you do as an agency can seem a bit complex for someone who isn’t a specialist. Your client reports are your way of tying your actions to their numbers, showing the correlation between your efforts and their revenues.
By measuring your own progress, you measure theirs; client reports are your way of showing that they’re putting their money in the right place.
So you see, client reporting isn’t a chore… it’s a crucial part of your relationship with your client. Reporting shouldn’t be just a forgotten part of your work that you do on occasion; you want to do it well and you want to do it efficiently.
That’s why automated client reporting exists: so that you can create seamless, clean reports that will foster discussions with your client, without actually requiring you to take too much time out of your busy day to create them.
DashThis has all the tools you need to build a client report in just a few minutes; add comments and insight, pinpoint the specific KPIs you and your client talked about, and enable automated email dispatches so that all of your clients know that no matter what’s going on, you’re always working hard for them.
If you’re new at reporting and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered! We’ve set up a multitude of preset client report templates featuring the most popular KPIs. All you have to do is connect your data sources and see your results displayed beautifully in the blink of an eye. And if you ever need help setting up your own analytics template, check out our dedicated blog article!
Here at DashThis, simplicity is our motto. We know you’re in a hurry, and this why your reports are so quick to set up with DashThis. If you need help with anything, your very own personal account manager is always eager to come to your rescue and help you with your client reporting, with a fantastic GIF game as a bonus. Bottom line: DashThis is awesome, and we’re not the only ones saying it.
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