Reporting to your clients is a vital part of the package. You could achieve some unbelievable and amazing results for your client, but what’s the point if they don’t even know? Just imagine that you have a car but there is something wrong so you take it to the garage to give it a check over. They charge you £400 but they don’t tell you what was wrong or what was fixed. Exactly.

Retention is the most important thing for a growing business, so make sure your current customers are satisfied and are aware of the work and results you are achieving for them.

 

How much is too much?

Well, that’s a good question.

A major issue with communication is time. I work with many small companies and understandably, money is an issue. With the way we work at Bowler Hat, our time costs money so we try to limit wasted time as much as possible so we prefer to report to clients once a month. We don’t mind talking to clients all day, but in order to keep the monthly costs down and within budget for the clients, it has to be limited.

That is the biggest issue with small businesses. They don’t have much budget so we try to keep things simple and affordable, but it is usually the small business owners who are always calling or emailing. This is because they are usually more concerned about their outgoings, resulting in more frequent contact.

 

Manual VS Automated

How do you get the sweet spot between super quick robotic reports and spending hours writing out reports for each individual client? Bowler Hat used to provide manual reports once a month and these would usually take 30 minutes each to be done in great detail.  We didn’t like the idea of automated reports, with us it was all about the personal touch.

Luckily, some reporting tools such as Raven Tools allows you to customise messaging so we were able to automate 80% of the report. We don’t mind automating the gathering of data from things like Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools, we just wanted the messaging to be unique and personalised. For us, semi-automated was the best approach going forward.

 

We Messed Up

And by we, I mean me. We switched from manual to automated as trying to get 25+ reports out the door in one day was just crazy. So after a lot of research and testing, we found a new automated reporting platform. It was a life saver.

We managed to save 60% of our time & were able to generate much more professional reports. But I was selfish. Instead of thinking about what the client wants/needs, I thought about what us guys and gals in the office needed. So even thought reporting was much quicker and easier and prettier, our customers didn’t understand it.

 

Takeaways

So the next time you are working on improving your marketing reports, keep these three simple points in mind:

  1. Reporting should be fairly quick and stress-free
  2. Your clients should be able to understand and digest the data in your reports
  3. Your reports should track the KPI’s that you & your client agreed to at the start of the project.