by: Colby West
Consider the value of efficiency in our society. Efficiency is so high on the list of American ideals that many companies dedicate their whole product or service to helping you save time and money.
For example, Apple, one of the world’s most beloved technology companies, works non-stop to make life more productive. With the iPhone, you can receive calls, surf the internet, track your exercise efforts, take pictures, engage on social media, take notes, record memos, include any number of other time-saving tasks by purchasing apps through the app store, and more. It’s mind-boggling.
Google is another example of a company that works to make the daily ins and outs of every individual and company flow better. Information is readily available at the click of the mouse, cutting down on research time needed to acquire vital information.
And the quest for efficiency doesn’t stop with two of America’s most popular companies. Think of the benefits of a washer and a dryer, a credit card reader, an energy efficient LED lightbulb, or an electric car. The list goes on, and you get the idea of how efficiency plays into our society and economy.
The more efficient you can be, the more money and time you can dedicate to other tasks. Working smarter helps you grow your business faster and more economically.
With regards to operating effectively as a marketing agency, the goal for efficiency is arguably even more important to your success than it is in any other industry. Here are some of the top ways you can make your agency team work smarter with little to no extra effort.
Team Efficiency Best Practices
In order to make your team work more efficiently, consider the following best practices.
1. Focus on your strength and let the rest go
The world of digital marketing is complex at best. Nowadays there are many different ways to market to the masses, and unless you have the resources of a large fortune 500 company, it’s difficult to offer consulting or marketing services for every single marketing service on the planet.
To truly work smart, grow your company effectively, and offer the best customer service, focus is key. Consider evaluating the strengths of you and your team members and then honing in on your collective superpower.
When you focus on the one service that you can provide better than any of your competitors, you’ll find that productivity increases and your company grows.
2. Invest in project management tools
While you may have hired the most organized employees you’ve ever worked with, if you don’t give them the necessary project management software, your company will be a mess. Project management software will give your team a one-stop spot with all of your to-dos, documents, calendars, files, and follow-up appointments. Without some type of project management software, you can kiss the idea of scaling your agency into a large and effective company goodbye right away.
3. Use virtual meeting software
The idea of meeting with your clients and team in a presentation room is charming, but these days it’s impractical.
It’s likely that your clients are spread all over the United States, and even that some of your key players are freelancers. In order to communicate efficiently, you’ll often need to do it via technology.
You can do this with GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, or any of the virtual meeting tools. It doesn’t matter which software you use, so long as you have a method for making meetings convenient for everyone.
4. Automate your marketing data
One of the most necessary tools to have in order to make your agency team work smarter is to provide everyone with tools to automate your marketing data.
When looking for an analytics program, you’ll want to make sure you have the following:
- A database that everyone on your team and your clients can access
- Standard and updated information
- Real-time reporting capabilities
- Automated reporting tools
- Ability to streamline processes
- Campaign integrations
- Easy set-up
- Intuitive navigation and dashboard tools
- White label options
- Campaign customization options
- Data numbers along with data visualization tools
At TapClicks, we help you save time by automating all of your analytics processes. Instead of focusing on crunching numbers and compiling reports all day, your team members can focus their efforts on more pressing tasks.
4b. File sharing
Not only do you want to make sure your data are available to everyone on your team, but you want to make sure they have access to all of the same files, documents, and resources needed in order to help each and everyone of your clients.
There is little more frustrating for a client than calling in to one of your agents only to find out the agent doesn’t have access to all of the information related to their account.
Instead of making that client explain their situation over and over again, simply invest in a system that includes detailed notes on each customer interaction and shared file access for each team member.
If you don’t have a project management software that allows file sharing, try one of the cloud services like Google Docs, DropBox, or Apple’s iCloud.
5. Partner with other talented agencies
Remember how we talked about focusing on your strengths? Focusing is excellent advice, but so is partnering with other talented agencies that can provide your clients with other necessary marketing services.
For example, if you are great at online advertising, but don’t offer email marketing services, find a referral email marketing partner that can help your client succeed in the email marketing realm as well.
The more quality partners you have working with your agency, the more you will be able to offer your clients well-rounded marketing options.
6. Workflow automation
Workflows are automated actions that are set off by someone’s contact information, website actions, or purchasing behaviors. Rather than trying to guess at what your customers want, or the best way to reach various individuals, you can set up workflows to do it for you.
For example, if your tracking system shows that a customer has visited a certain product on your page, or even added that product to their cart, but has not yet purchased, a workflow can trigger an email to send them with more detailed information or even a promotion code for a discount on that product.
Here are some of the top ways you can use workflows to save time and money:
- Send quality leads to the right people on your team
- Update contact information
- Target leads with personalized marketing content
- Segment your lead information properly
- Diversify the emails you send to clients based on their actions
- Match the right promotions up with the right clients
- Nurture leads that aren’t quite yet ready to buy
Workflows will help you nurture your leads automatically without the need for your employees to keep an eye on every customer all of the time.
7. Improve client communication
At the end of the day, even if you have the best tools for automation, and you don’t have a stellar way to communicate with your clients, your business will fail. Nothing can replace the value of customer service in any industry.
In an effort to help you improve your client communication, here are some of the best practices for keeping your customers happy.
- Call. It’s easy to rely on technology to do all of your communicating for you, but the value of a phone call is immeasurable. Getting on the phone allows you to set goals, build a relationship, clear up miscommunications, and make sure you are still on the same page. If you need help remember to contact your clients by phone, set up email reminders often.
- Document your interactions. It’s impossible to remember every interaction you have with every client. If you take notes on what you talked about, goals you set, and deliverables you promised, you’ll have a happy and loyal customer.
- Call back promptly. If your client reaches out to you with a problem or a question, make it a priority to get back to them before you do anything else. It will validate them that customers are your priority.
- Send a follow-up. After you engage with a customer on a phone call, send a quick follow-up email. Your clients will appreciate your attention to detail and ability to go the extra mile.
These simple steps at improving communication will eliminate many customer services problems and will help keep your organization working efficiently.
How to Scale Your Agency
Now that you have a good grasp on how to make your agency team work smarter, your goal should be to scale your agency, so it can continue to grow.
In order to scale your agency, put systems into place that help you offer consistent and focused service every single day. As you do this, you’ll find that you are able to take on more clients, and offer consistent service to everyone. Additionally, make sure you continue to hire people that both strengthen your core values, are skilled in your superpower, and that offer insight on how to reach your growth goals.
As you follow these methods, you’ll find that your marketing agency is winning in the business sector.
Colby West is the President & Co-Founder of TapClicks
Connect with him here