Any agency knows that reporting is an integral part of each and every project. It’s where you can celebrate your wins or highlight areas for improvement. But it can also be extremely time-consuming and, when executed poorly, can be a huge waste of resources. So how do you ensure that both you and your client are getting the most out of your efforts? Start by adopting these easy strategies to maximize your client reporting.
1. Reframe your mindset
Reporting should be one of the most strategic and well-considered aspects of your workflow. It’s not a chore and it shouldn’t be treated as such. Done well, it presents a chance to truly get under the skin of a client’s campaign and seek out those pearls of wisdom or unexpected insights that can make or break a project. By viewing your reporting duties as just another checkbox on your to-do list, you’re not entering into it with an inquisitive mindset, meaning you may be overlooking important data points and missing out on key learnings. Remain curious when approaching reporting, and see how much more enjoyable, and ultimately valuable, the process can be.
2. Begin with the end in mind
One of the most crucial elements of successful client reporting is making sure everyone is aware of what success looks like, before the campaign even begins. Discuss client goals at the outset of the campaign and suggest metrics and KPIs that will clearly demonstrate whether or not they have been met. Take the time to explain each reporting metric, before mutually agreeing what you will be measuring and how you will be optimizing. Clients may not have a thorough understanding of industry jargon or appropriate benchmarks, so setting aside time to assuage their concerns and field questions can help to manage their expectations and make them feel equally accountable for the project’s success.
3. Automate, then analyze
Excellent client reporting should never be a case of hitting a button and churning out data into a generic excel template. Any reporting software can do that automatically.
Clients have made a choice to work with you for the added value you can provide. Your time is way more valuable to them when it is spent analysing data and providing insight, not copy and pasting numbers into a spreadsheet. Use automation to streamline your process so you can focus on what truly matters; analysis. Look deeper at what the data is telling you, and provide actionable insights for improvements in the next reporting period.
4. Discuss, learn and optimize
There’s nothing more disheartening than spending hours creating detailed, insightful reports only to send them out and never hear about them again. To make sure you are truly getting the most out of your reporting efforts, schedule a conference call to go over learnings, answer questions and implement optimization strategies. When clients feel involved in the optimization process, agencies greatly reduce the risk of misunderstandings further down the road about how decisions were made or why strategies were adopted.
5. Be transparent
Mistakes are an inevitable part of business, and there are many artful ways to disguise them when reporting. But there can be just as much to learn from failures as successes. In order to build and develop a strong client relationship, you have to be willing to remain transparent, own your mistakes and provide solutions. Set aside time during your reporting discussions to highlight any problems clearly and openly, then provide suggestions for avoiding this in future. You’ll improve your own skills and experience, while building trust and credibility with the client.
Reporting is an inevitable aspect of the agency/client relationship. With a proper strategy, a streamlined approach and the right attitude, you can turn this potentially mundane task into an invaluable opportunity for relationship building and business growth. If you’d like to speak to an expert on enhancing your reporting capabilities, click here.