If you’ve worked in an agency, you know how time consuming reporting (and the associated repetitive tasks) can be.

Hence, we were thrilled to talk with Keith Perhac, of SegMetrics.io, about streamlining client communication and reporting – without it monopolizing your time!

About Keith:

Unlike most developers, Keith started off as a marketer, which facilitated his transition from DevelopYourMarketing.com to “the dark side” (AKA SaaS). This gives him an innate understanding of two key things: the marketing strategies required to grow, and how to implement said strategies for your business.

Currently, his online software helps marketers and agency owners get 100% clarity on where their leads come from, how they act, and how much their marketing is really worth.

In his spare time, you can find Keith buried in Dungeons & Dragons.

Points of interest…

There’s more information regarding each point in our blog notes beneath the video.

  • SegMetrics.io and how it started 1:45
  • The importance of client communication and reporting 3:34
  • Communicating value to clients during COVID-19 7:26
  • Streamlining your client communication process 8:26
  • Automating streamlined reporting 9:56
  • Your Takeaway… 12:27

SegMetrics.io and How it Started

Like all good software solutions, it was born from an itch that needed scratching.

In essence, SegMetrics connects to the marketing tools you already use, to make sure that every dollar and lead is accounted for. They aim to give you 100% clarity on where your leads come from, how they act, and how much your marketing is really worth.

As for how it started; Keith started out as an agency owner, and had been doing funnel optimization and campaign optimization for a number of digital marketers. As his client base grew, so did the time spent on pulling the required numbers for the reporting process.

“Pulling numbers is not what I got into marketing for… Understanding what to do with those numbers is why I got into marketing.”

Numbers are vitally important to any business, particularly marketing, yet Keith and his colleagues were finding it to be a “huge time suck.” Being developers by nature, they committed to finding a more functional way forward.

So, they built the first version internally, based on the premise of “Hey, can we drop these numbers into a
database and then calculate them automatically?” As it turns out, you can!

The Importance of Client Communication and Reporting

Think about it… a client comes to work with you because they need guidance in a certain area. The more communication you have with a client, the more you can alleviate any lurking fears regarding your expertise in your field.

“The number one thing I’ve found working with agencies, and things that we did internally, was to create a process. The stronger the communication process, the more confidence a client has in your agency.”

Conversely, it’s worth bearing in mind that over-communication can have the opposite effect. It indicates a lack of structure and a certain malleability. When a client feels they should take control of a project, you’re in danger of losing your cache – that being your expertise.

There are other pitfalls leading from that. For example, you could find yourself dealing with items that aren’t in the project scope; fixing up “little things” that need tweaking, and – as Keith attests – “suddenly, you’re a development shop instead of a marketing agency.”

So, a set process is key to working well with clients from the offset. You can start this by ensuring…

  • Every step is documented for both parties
  • Each step is part of a set process, showcasing how things are progressing/improving
  • Every step then has a subsequent action

This way, the client never feels in the dark, constantly wondering ‘What’s going on next?!’

Value Communication During COVID-19

Right now, it’s more critical than ever to be communicating value to clients. It can actually be bad for your clients to cut you right now if you’re driving results for them, particularly online.

“If you can keep revenue the same, or keep it from tanking, that’s your agency fee paid for right there. That’s the value you need to show and that’s what we try to do with our funnel optimizations.”

You need to show them you’re not a cost, but an investment and a value-add, and you do that through your concise communication and reporting process.

“Look, here’s what we did this last month, here’s where you would have been without us, and here’s where you are with us. We’re only taking 5% of all the improvements we’ve made; so we’re definitely worth keeping on.”

Set processes creates clarity, continuously reinforcing the value the client is getting. This, in turn, creates client confidence that you’re producing results.

Streamlining Your Client Communication Process

Keeping that pertinent word in mind (value), how should agencies think about setting up a process for communicating with clients that’s going to be efficient, streamlined and not take up a ton of their time?

Depending on how much the client is paying you, create a cadence of a weekly call and/or email that updates them on where the stats are.

When Keith signed a new client via his first company, he would follow a set schedule – core for clients that turned out to be a good fit.

“They got a packet, a list saying, ‘go do this now. Go do this, go do this. This is going to give us all the information for our kickoff call…’ Then, give them a list of everything you’re going to do in that first six weeks – because it’s a process, right?!”

A simple example of such a process should go a little something like this…

  • Schedule weekly calls to review results, plus the next steps required
  • Host meetings every six weeks to discuss strategy, and roadmap for the subsequent six weeks
  • Ensure there’s a meeting two weeks before the renewal of the contract
  • Never underestimate the importance of inserting yourself into the strategic decision-making process

Automating Streamlined Reporting

When should you consider automating the processes that feel like they might be quite tricky to streamline? According to Keith, there is one golden rule:

“Never try to use software to automate the first time around, it is such a bad idea.”

Instead, implement the below process before attempting to automate:

  • Start with a paper and/or checklist of the Standard Operating Procedures
  • Give that SOP to someone who preferably hasn’t undertaken this process before; their different POV should be able to highlight any holes and redundancies (plus it means you’re delegating and possibly putting your time towards something more valuable!)
  • Once that SOP is solid and proven, then you can work on automating parts that are consistently the same

Your Takeaway…

By way of summary, find ways of building more value into your relationships with your clients during COVID-19. Now is as good a time as any, according to Keith…

“You are going to see a decline in revenue, that’s a given; don’t panic, take that extra time to make your business stronger… Now is the time.”

So, take the imminent lull in customer interaction to refine your processes and, in turn, improve your value to both your existing and future clients.

Go plug those holes! That way, you’ll be better prepared for whatever lies ahead…

Want to see more of Keith? Follow him @…

Did you learn anything new from this episode? If so, let us know in the comments below – we value your feedback! Our next instalment of #APP, on June 10th, will see us chat with John Doherty. To view our previous blog with Alex Glenn, make your way here

Agency Profitability Tool Kit

If you’re looking for more resources to help you improve your agency’s profitability, then check out the Agency Profitability Tool Kit – it’s full of the same templates and checklists we’ve used with consulting clients to help them improve their profitability by over 100% in under 60 days.