When it comes to building and scaling an agency, marketers often focus on growth strategies such as sales funnels, PPC, and so on.
While these outbound strategies are essential to growth, one of the less-discussed strategies to scale an agency is simply reducing client churn.
Reducing churn not only can boost your agency’s reputation and lead to more referrals, but it can also significantly improve the bottom line. In particular, research suggests that increasing client retention by just 5% can lead to a staggering increase in profits of 25% to 95%.
In this article, we’re going to look at how one of our long-time clients—St. Louis-based marketing agency Clix—has used AgencyAnalytics to reduce client churn and, in some cases, retain clients over 8+ years.
About the Client
In our recent discussion with the founder and CEO of Clix, Jason Hylan discussed how he uses AgencyAnalytics, how it has helped him retain clients, and a few of the reasons why he's been a customer of AgencyAnalytics for over 9 years.
Based in St. Louis, Clix is a marketing agency that focuses on professional service firms ranging from law firms, private schools, helicopter companies, and more. Most of their clients are located in the US, although they also have a few international clients.
Jason started using AgencyAnalytics all the way back in 2011 when the platform was more focused on providing SEO-related tools to marketers such as our rank tracker and site auditor. At the time, Jason was using several different marketing platforms to manage his client’s campaigns. At the end of each month, he always had to manually piece together data from each source, inducing call tracking tools, PPC metrics, and social media platforms.
How Clix Uses Dashboards vs. Reports
What initially brought Jason to AgencyAnalytics was the SEO keyword tracking capabilities. As AgencyAnalytics developed into a more robust reporting platform, Jason was able to either remove third-party tools or simply aggregate all their external data into a custom dashboard for each client.
Bringing all of his client’s data into a unified dashboard has enabled his team to improve their client’s campaign performance by easily being able to review metrics for SEO, call tracking, and PPC campaigns. In terms of the user experience, Jason has also always found the AgencyAnalytics interface much more user-friendly than the data providers and marketing platforms themselves.
In terms of how they use AgencyAnalytics on a day-to-day basis, Jason told us that they use live dashboards for internal purposes and then send quarterly performance reports to clients. For their clients, they prefer to have quarterly conversions around their goals and performance metrics, which is why they use reports for this. For their internal purposes, however, they prefer live dashboards for each client to monitor for important changes in the client’s account, ensuring they're always on top of each client's campaign performance. As Jason mentioned:
The ability to have a single software that allows you to check where a client is at, at any point, and for any platform they're using—that's what brought us to AgencyAnalytics. What kept us from switching is that I could tell the company was motivated to make this best possible tool and the team was always highly engaged. Whenever I would provide feedback about the software, I knew that they were listening. I've always appreciated that.
How Clix Uses AgencyAnalytics to Reduce Churn
Next, we asked Jason how he uses the platform to reduce churn and he responded that it has been instrumental in keeping clients over the long run due to the consistency and availability of data.
One common reason that clients do churn is that they may not think anything is happening with their account, for example, clients may think SEO is taking too long or they're not showing up for the right PPC results.
If these discussions ever do come up with clients, Jason is able to easily pull up AgencyAnalytics and show clients exactly what’s going on with their account, their ranking changes over the past few months, PPC performance, and so on.
Essentially, the platform has allowed them to provide clients with data-driven answers to common questions that come up and clearly demonstrate the value of their services. Providing accurate and consistent data to clients has helped them retain clients, some of which have been with their agency for 8+ years.
By consolidating all of our tools into dashboards, we have saved so much time and money—it's truly been invaluable. As an agency owner, I don't know of a better platform than AgencyAnalytics.
Check out the video below to hear more about how Jason has used to platform to reduce churn and retain clients:
Strategies to Retain Clients with Automated Reporting
Jason’s approach to using AgencyAnalytics to retain clients is just one example, so let’s also review a few other strategies that you can use to reduce churn discussed in our guide to How to Reduce Churn with Automated Client Reporting.
Focus on Client Onboarding
Client onboarding is an essential part of reducing churn as it allows you to set realistic expectations and gives you the necessary information needed to start working on their campaign. Having a repeatable and scalable client onboarding process, including a client onboarding checklist and a client onboarding questionnaire, ensures that each new client engagement starts off on the right foot and sets the relationship up for success, ultimately leading to client satisfaction and long-term retention.
Focus on the First 90 Days
As the marketing consultant John Jantsch wrote:
If you hold a customer’s hand for 90 days, they’ll be loyal for life.
While you want to have as much automation and systems as possible in your agency, the first 90 days may require more of a hands-on approach. That said, having a process to show the client “quick wins” to kick off a new campaign is a great way to increase customer loyalty.
Make Use of NPS Surveys
After you’ve onboarded a client and started showing them initial results, another way to reduce churn over the long run is the periodically send them NPS, or Net Promoter Score, surveys. These surveys allow you to get an overall gauge of the client's satisfaction and show the client you’re being proactive about resolving any issues if they come up.
You can easily track NPS surveys with our GatherUp integration with an internal dashboard alongside other client retention metrics:
Use Client Reporting as a Framework for Regular Communication
As mentioned above, a common client concern is that they think there’s nothing happening in their account. One reason why this can come up is if you don’t have a system for regularly communicating with the client. To solve this, including a personalized summary inside each monthly or quarterly client report is a great way to improve your client communication and keep clients up-to-date on their results. A personalized summary is also a great place to outline any plans or changes that will be made in the upcoming month.
Below you can see an example of a personalized report summary from our digital marketing report template:
Summary: Reducing Churn with Automated Reporting
Aside from outbound sales and marketing strategies, one of the best ways to scale an agency is to work on reducing client churn. One of the most common reasons for client churn is because clients think there's nothing happening with their account. By having a dedicated reporting platform, this allows you to easily demonstrate the value of your services by providing data-driven answers to these common client questions that may come up. In summary, automated reporting allows you to create a framework for regular communication, reduce churn, and ultimately scale the agency.
Peter Foy is a content marketer with a focus on SaaS companies. Based in Toronto, when he’s not writing he’s usually studying data science and machine learning.Read more posts by Peter Foy ›