If you ask a dozen agency marketers to list the essential ingredients for building a good marketing agency, you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. But no matter what industry your agency works in — and no matter which analytics are your main points of focus — building and maintaining close relationships with your clients is critical to your overall business strategy.
Indeed, there’s a reason that client churn is always a pressing concern for agency marketers As AdWeek reported earlier this year, it’s not uncommon for small-to-medium-sized agencies to see upwards of 40 percent client turnover, year over year.
By fostering closer relationships with each individual client, you’ll ensure that your customers will stick with you for the long haul and continue generating revenue month after month. And even better, maintaining tight-knit and trusting relationships with your clients makes it that much more likely they’ll refer other business your way.
But forging those close relationships requires you to go above and beyond your day-to-day responsibilities, and make your agency truly indispensable to your clients. Fortunately, you’ve already done the hard work of gathering data and analytics around your marketing campaigns. By using your marketing analytics as a foundation, you can start providing meaningful, impactful business coaching and strategic guidance to your clients. (While also earning some additional revenue sources for your agency to boot!)
Let’s review some of the ways you can start using your marketing tech right now to deepen your partnerships with your clients.
Using call recording for business coaching
One of the most-used call tracking features is call recording, and for good reason: This allows you to record calls for future playback, and tag and sort your calls according to their contents.
This is a supremely useful feature for sales teams, as it can help you zero in on your most valuable leads, and ensure you never miss out on a potential conversion. But call recording can also provide your agency with something that’s potentially even more valuable: A frontline view of how your client’s phone team is performing.
By playing back and reviewing recordings of a client’s inbound sales calls, your agency can be the first to know whether the client’s team is sticking to the script and performing well, or whether there are skill gaps that are causing prospects to drop out of the sales funnel. This, in turn, creates a prime opportunity for your agency to provide additional revenue-generating services to your client.
As an example, say your client offers home renovation services, primarily around kitchens and bathrooms. And by reviewing recordings of the client’s sales calls, you’re seeing that many leads are falling out of the sales funnel because the client’s phone team isn’t properly trained to answer prospects’ questions about installing premium marble surfaces and countertops.
Armed with this information, you explain the situation to your client, and they concur wholeheartedly — so much so, they agree to your proposal to pay your agency an additional monthly fee to help train their phone team!
Now your agency isn’t just creating digital campaigns for the client, you’re also helping oversee their sales team, further integrating your agency into their essential day-to-day business and making your work truly indispensable.
One example of the efficacy of this approach is the Atlanta-based digital marketing agency Cardinal, who have seen great success leveraging advanced call tracking features in order to both deepen their existing relationships with clients and forge new ones.
By making extensive use of the call recording feature, they’ve been able to address what is so often a blind spot in clients’ sales funnels — the over-the-phone experience. Cardinal now fully embraces their new role as business coaching experts, which means they’re earning more for their services and retaining clients for longer, while those same clients are also seeing better results for their campaigns.
Keyword Spotting identifies missed opportunities
Paid ads and SEO are another arena in which your agency can use the marketing data you’re already collecting to go above and beyond the call of duty. By using the Keyword Tracking data you’ve gathered from call tracking, you’ll be able to see the exact search keywords that are driving new leads, calls, and conversions.
This data also naturally complements the work you can do as call coach: Keyword data can help you tweak the sales script in order to better reflect the keywords that are driving the most calls. For example, if many callers are searching for a specific feature before picking up the phone, but the call recording then reveals that the feature isn’t part of the sales team’s usual script, you’ve just identified a critical skill gap that needs to be filled.
But keyword data from individual campaigns can be put to use beyond just business coaching — you can also demonstrate how your agency’s work benefits the client’s big-picture plans.
For example: Your agency was hired for a PPC campaign for a company that repairs and refurbishes smart devices, and your primary goal is to generate top-of-funnel leads, in order to both bring in new business and reduce the client’s overall Cost Per Lead (CPL).
While strategizing with your client, you learn that another key objective for the remainder of the current business year is to increase per-customer revenue through promotions for returning customers. As your campaign gets underway and the weeks go by, you can see that your client isn’t having any trouble bringing in new leads, but their rate for add-ons and upselling is much lower than it should be.
A thorough review of your keyword tracking data in CallRail identifies one reason for this shortfall: A big chunk of both leads and returning customers found your client through a web search for a smart device repair business that makes house calls. And while your client has a traveling repair team for their premium customers, they’re not properly advertising this fact on their website or in their ad copy.
With this data to support your strategy, you can now proceed full-steam and craft ads and campaigns that will not only continue to bring in new prospects and reduce CPL, but also help with the client’s big-picture plans of increasing per-customer revenue. By taking the initiative and showing interest in your client’s wider strategic objectives — and pointing out where your agency fits into the mix, of course — you can establish yourself as an indispensable strategic partner.
But you don’t have to take us on our word alone, because we’ve received testimonials from plenty of agency users who have seen serious improvements to their bottom line with this approach. As FreeGren founder Scott Freeborn explained: “This wasn’t a service we originally were charging for, but more and more we find ourselves playing the role of both calling center coaches and strategic partner for our clients.”
“Many of our clients’ businesses involve very high-dollar-value transactions. The time we allocate to listen to their inbound calls, review call transcriptions and analyze the information on inbound forms directly benefits our clients as a properly handled call or reply can be the difference between thousands of dollars in sales, or a potential customer who decides to look elsewhere.”