Client reporting: 6 reasons why it’s so important

Agency-client relationship part 2As we discussed in the first part of this piece, agency-client relationships can sometimes be more tenuous when agencies focus more on creative trends and technological expertise instead of just making their clients happy.

Creating amazingly avant-garde campaigns is cool, but not if your client wanted something simple, right? As a creative digital marketing professional, it’s understandable that you want to use your knowledge and vision to produce something extraordinary. But the final decisions aren’t yours to make.

Your role is to discuss with your clients, gain their trust, and educate them to a point where they make the best decision for their campaigns.

Reporting helps you get there.

6 reasons why client reporting is so important

You might think of reporting as a chore, but it shouldn’t be. There are so many reasons why your reports are an integral part of your relationship with your client, and as such, why you need to utilize them to their full potential.

 

1. Reports allow you to “talk” regularly with your client

We already mentioned that the client-agency relationship is like any other relationship: communication is key. Reports are a way for you to “talk” regularly with your clients. Whether you want to give them monthly reports to show the status of their campaigns on a regular basis, or reports every time a specific campaign ends – it’s still important that you do so routinely.

Sharing your reports systematically are a great way to open up the discussion with your client so that both of you can share your thoughts and opinions on the data at hand on a regular basis. Discussing matters automatically like this ensure that small issues never become full-blown crises before you actually get around to talking about things.

You might not always feel the need to pick up the phone to talk with your client – but by receiving your reports on a regular basis, this gives you a great reason to do just that. It’s important that you keep the conversation alive – discussing your data can also be a great excuse to chat with they always know that you’re always there… and can also help you get to know your client on a more personal level, which is always a good thing in creative business relationships.

 

2. Reports can be used to educate your client

Along the same vein as the previous point, reports are also a great opportunity 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.

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. Reporting helps them better understand the process, which in turn, will help you then better understand your client’s 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 data marketing data (concerning campaigns that you work on), no one is in a better position to explain them than you. Show them that!

Analytics data agency-client

 

3. Reporting keeps both parties accountable

Speaking of client needs and expectations, reporting helps keep both agency and client accountable to each other. 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. Again, this opens up the discussion and makes sure you always know what your client’s expectations are of you.

 

4. Transparency is easier with reporting

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, 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 reports, you can be proactive when showing your performance, and by adding insight and therefore fostering a discussion, you can deal with an issue as a team.

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. 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.

Your transparency is what’s most important to your client; a minor blip in what is otherwise an awesome digital marketing strategy isn’t going to change that. Trying to hide that blip though, just might.

 

5. Reporting gives credit where credit is due

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 reports are for! If your work is racking 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?

Analytics reports ROI

6. Your reports, and your job, are all about results

Everything you do, all your work, is tied to the end result. The final ROI for a specific campaign. The growth tied to your tactics and underlying strategy.

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.

Everything you do as an agency can seem a bit complex for someone who isn’t a specialist. Your 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; reports are your way of showing that they’re putting their money in the right place.

 

Reporting is a necessity, but it shouldn’t be a pain

So you see, 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 reporting exists: so that you can create seamless, clean reports that will create a discussion with your client, without actually requiring you to take too much time out of your busy day to create.

DashThis has all the tools you need to build a report in just a few minutes; add comments and insight, pinpoint the specific KPIs your client and you talked about, and create automated email dispatches so that each of your clients know that no matter what’s going on, you’re always working hard for them.

Get the most out of your client reporting with DashThisstart your free trial today!

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With beginnings in traditional print media, Nathalie has been in digital communications management, PR, & content marketing for 8 years. She is now in charge of communications, PR & content marketing at DashThis, where she spends her time sharing her expertise in dashboard reporting.


Category: Business, Dashboards, Marketing, reporting 2 comments »

     

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