Data and analytics: The cure for agency client churn
In the fast-paced world of agency marketing, it’s easy to fixate purely on outcomes: You want to finish the campaign, fulfill the terms of your contract, and move on to the next project. But if your agency strategy doesn’t account for churn — as in, how you’re going to entice your client to renew their contract — you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Our increasingly digital-first world has both peaks and pitfalls: Your clients now have the ability to conduct an unlimited amount of research into your competitors. It’s also a sure bet that they’re being constantly bombarded with targeted ads enticing them to leave your agency and check out your rivals.
Put simply, there’s less and less incentive for a business to stick with a single agency, since they have the ability to scout out a bigger and better deal whenever they choose. As AdWeek reports, it’s not uncommon for small-to-medium-sized firms to see upwards of 40 percent client turnover year over year.
But too much client churn can be a deathblow to your agency, not least of all because it costs up to 4 times as much to earn a new client as to retain an existing one. And as AdWeek’s report explains, a consistently high rate of churn indicates that your agency is failing to establish long-term relationships with your customers. This can seriously cut into your revenue, since recurring clients are far and away the biggest revenue driver for marketing agencies.
This means your agency needs something extra, a certain je ne sais quoi, if you’re going to gain an advantage over the competition and retain your clients for the long haul. Fortunately, most modern marketers already have everything they need at their fingertips: The analytics and data you collect to guide your marketing campaigns.
By finding inventive and meaningful ways to put this data to work, you can make your agency indispensable to your clients and greatly reduce turnover.
Going beyond the numbers
These days, any marketer can tell you how data and analytics make for powerful additions to their toolkit — it’s never been easier to identify a relevant audience, send out precision-targeted ads, and watch the leads and conversions roll in.
But this data is also useful in ways that extend beyond your current marketing campaign. In addition to gauging the effectiveness of your ads, a careful analysis of your marketing data can also reveal key shortcomings or areas of opportunity in your client’s business strategy.
It may not be strictly in your job description as an agency marketer, but identifying and addressing these gaps can help establish your agency as an invaluable (and irreplaceable) strategic partner.
As an example: Say that your agency has been hired for a PPC campaign for a computer repair company. Your main mission is to bring in lots of new top-of-funnel leads, with the aim of lowering the client’s overall CPL.
During your brainstorming sessions with the client, you also learn that one of their key objectives for this fiscal year is increasing conversions and per-customer revenue, especially by upselling to existing and returning customers. As you launch your campaign and the weeks roll on, you can see from your perch atop the sales funnel that, while you’re not having any trouble bringing in new leads, their rate for bottom-of-funnel conversions and upsells is much lower than it should be.
After reviewing your Visitor Tracking data, you discover one potential cause of this discrepancy: A large percentage of prospects and returning customers are arriving at your client’s website in search of a company that offers over-the-phone customer service and assistance. And while this service is definitely something your client offers to customers, they’re not properly advertising this fact.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ve got everything you need to dazzle your clients during your next meeting or call. With this data at the ready, you can craft ads that will not only continue to bring in leads and lower CPL, but also help with the client’s big-picture plans. By taking the initiative and showing interest in your client’s wider strategic objectives — and pointing out where your agency fits into the mix — you can establish yourself as an indispensable strategic partner.
While it certainly requires some extra legwork on your part, making the effort to build these kinds of relationships ensures that your clients will be happy to retain your services for many years to come.
Learning how to juggle multiple clients at once is a big part of an agency’s day-to-day work. That’s why here at CallRail, we’re constantly developing innovative new tools like Account Center, which helps agency users manage multiple clients with simplicity and ease.
Case studies in analytics excellence
The scenario above is a hypothetical, but here at CallRail we’ve seen plenty of real-world examples of agencies using analytics to go above and beyond the call of duty for clients.
Our friends at Paracore out in Tempe, Arizona, have scored some big wins for clients thanks to the data they collect through call tracking in CallRail. “What we offer our clients goes beyond just collecting data,” Paracore founder Adam Arkfeld says.
“Since we have a lot of calls coming in that we need to process and review, we have a very strict tagging system for categorizing calls, for new leads, repeat callers, missed calls, and so on,” he says. “Thanks to how we’ve organized our tags, we can often get insights about a call just on the tags alone, before we even listen to the recording or dig into the metrics.”
As a result, they’re able to easily synthesize their data into reports based on the internal tags they’ve created in CallRail. Not only is this a big timesaver in terms of hours spent poring over spreadsheets, it’s also easier to explain exactly how this data fits into the client’s overall business objectives — even if those objectives are outside the bounds of the specific campaign Paracore is working on.
The successfulness of Paracore’s approach speaks for itself: In the last year they’ve been using call tracking, they’ve only lost a single client. (And that client was only ‘lost’ because their business was acquired by a bigger firm with a pre-existing agency relationship.)
The Atlanta-based digital marketing agency Cardinal has seen similar success in fostering client relationships that last, thanks to their smart, data-driven approach. Beyond the analytics, they’ve found several other CallRail features that can help produce excellent results for clients.
They’ve made extensive use of the Call Recording feature in particular — this allows them to record and save every inbound or outbound call for later review. They now take the time to review call recordings for all of their clients, in order to gauge how the client’s phone team is performing, and any areas of improvement that may need to be addressed.
By taking on the role ‘calling coach,’ Cardinal identified what is often a key blind spot in the client’s sales funnel — the over-the-phone sales and customer service experience. These call recordings help Cardinal highlight for clients the importance of proper call quality assurance, which in turn helps spur meaningful changes to their phone team’s training.
Though this fell outside of Cardinal’s usual purview of SEO, web design, and paid display ads, they quickly saw how Call Recording could help them provide even more value to their clients (and charge more for their services, accordingly). Now, Cardinal is earning more for their services and retaining clients for longer, and their clients are seeing better results from their campaigns — a true win-win for everyone involved.
As these examples illustrate, the marketing data you collect has usefulness that extends beyond just the campaign or initiative you’re currently working on. By taking a full-spectrum view of how this data fits into your client’s bigger objectives, you can establish your agency as a true strategic partner, and build lasting relationships with your clients.