Being able to foster a group of satisfied, long-term clients is the key to running a successful digital marketing agency.
Retaining existing clients is also much easier than acquiring new ones, which is why it’s the best way to scale your agency quickly and effectively. When you first start running a paid search or social media campaign, it’s not hard to demonstrate your value early on and clients can clearly see whether or not they’re getting their money’s worth.
The problem comes in when you need to outdo these results. An account could be performing really well but clients still want to see movement and growth. So, how do you retain clients as a digital marketing agency over and above achieving exceptional results?
The Importance of Customer Churn
Before you start creating a customer retention strategy, it helps to know your churn.
Churn rate refers to the percentage of your clients that don’t renew their contracts and it should ideally be measured on a quarterly or annual basis.
This is how to calculate your customer churn rate.
There are a lot of different opinions about what constitutes a good churn rate but on average, a good range to be in is 3% – 5%.
Essential Customer Retention Tips for Digital Marketers
- Pick Your Clients Carefully
When you’re looking for new business, it can be difficult to turn down a new client, but sometimes this is necessary. There’s more than one good reason to be picky about who you choose to do business with.
Having to deal with problem clients not only takes additional time out of your team’s day but it can damage your reputation in the market when there’s simply nothing you can do to please the client. It also means that you’ll eventually need to spend more time searching for new business instead of focusing on keeping your existing clients happy.
Saying yes to the right leads from the start will ensure that you can work on retaining all of your existing clients.
- Understand their Business Goals
It’s not possible to deliver great results for a client if you don’t understand what they want to achieve. Along with understanding the ins and outs of their offering, you need to have an in-depth understanding of what their objectives are.
KPIs are always going to be an integral part of digital marketing but they don’t mean much if a client doesn’t understand how they affect their business. Taking the time to help a client understand how your efforts are impacting their business goals will increase their trust in your agency and make it easier for you to get them to stay on as a client.
- Set Realistic Expectations
Delivering more value than you originally promised is another excellent way to retain existing clients. Take your pricing into consideration before you make promises on what you’ll be able to deliver. There’s nothing worse than having to deliver on a grand promise that you know might not be possible. Instead of overpromising, rather over-deliver if you want to retain more clients.
- Keep an Open Line of Communication
When your clients are kept in the loop every step of the way, it builds more trust and increases the chances of them renewing their contracts. From spending time with the client in order to understand their goals to keeping them up to date on campaign changes and progress, just a small update can make a massive difference.
If possible, try and meet with your clients at least once a month – every second week is even better. It gives you the chance to develop a relationship with them and find out any new information on their side, giving you the chance to make any changes to the campaigns.
- Monthly Reporting is a Must
You might be increasing sales for your client but this doesn’t mean they are attributing the results to your efforts. Monthly reporting is a must for all digital agencies, regardless of how small the budget or campaign is. Creating monthly reports helps reaffirm why your client hired you in the first place.
Yes, monthly reports aren’t always read but when your client wants to know how their brand is performing online, at least they will have something to refer to because you always send timely monthly reports.
A branded report that uses eye-catching visuals and references the client’s goals can go a long way in convincing them to stay with your agency.
- Give It a Personal Touch
Be strategic about who you hire as an account manager. Skilled marketers are essential to your success but so are likable and empathetic account managers and strategists. Account or project managers have a role to play in customer retention to and adding a personal touch to their approach can make a notable difference.
From sending a birthday gift and taking a client out to lunch to donating to a cause that a client supports, there are a number of ways that you can add a personal touch to your customer interactions as an agency.
Reciprocity comes naturally to people – you do something for me and I’ll want to do something for you. This is why personal touches make a difference to customer churn rates.
- Be Cautious about Transitioning Clients
In most instances, the person that sells a new client on a contract is not always the person who ends up managing the account. It’s important to remember that your client is buying into the person that pitches them so it’s important to be careful about the transition once they sign their contract.
For one, make sure that the account or project manager is aware of the client’s personality and business goals. A proper introduction should also be made by the person that pitched them in the first place.
As an owner or director of a digital agency, it’s exceptionally important to be continually involved in client relationships as you never know when an employee might move on to greener pastures. Along with attending the odd client meeting, you may even want to give your clients a call from time to time to check-in and solidify the relationship.
Overall, retaining clients is far easier and less stressful than hunting down new leads. It’s also more cost-effective too. Taking the time to develop a customer retention strategy as a digital marketing agency is time well spent.