Now that you’ve spent all that valuable time, money and energy into courting your clients, the last thing you want to do is lose them.
Retention can be a challenging thing for any company. It takes just as much effort to not only keep your clients, but keep them happy and in it for the long haul.
After all, the most beneficial client relationships are the ones that have the highest lifetime value (for both parties).
We’ve joined forces with AdStage to bring you our five secrets to keeping your client retention rate high.
Is More Money Being Made?
Sometimes we can get stuck on the nitty gritty details, especially when it comes to PPC metrics.
Details like click-through rates (CTR), quality scores, and impression shares can make us feel like we have a decent benchmark measurement in place.
But do these stats really matter?
If your PPC campaigns aren’t making you or the client more money, the person running the campaigns may be stuck in the weeds and needs to think about the bigger picture.
Simple as it is, the question of asking your client: Are you making you more money? can help keep you goal-oriented and focused on the bottom line, while opening up truths that can hurt and delight.
Tie all those fancy stats back to revenue streams to benchmark and measure the real success, and you’ll be looking really good in the eyes of your client.
We used to report on any metric improvements we could find, and then scratch our heads as clients would eventually leave.
The broken record pattern was always the same. It didn’t matter what we did unless we made them more money.
The 4 Client Phases
For us here at KlientBoost, we found that when it comes to keeping our clients happy in the long run, a way to stay on track is to follow these four client phases: traffic, conversions, make more money, and scaling.
The best part about these phases is that it helps our account managers focus their efforts. Why worry about getting more traffic or more conversions if none of those conversions are making the client money?
Here’s the process broken down:
1. Traffic – Building a broader target audience and driving traffic to your client’s site/landing page can be the foundational building block of increasing conversion rates and hence, sales.
Not only is attracting a larger volume of visitors important, but also drawing in the right kind of visitors, is key during the traffic building phase.
Clients don’t stay in this phase for too long.
Tip: Try out 5 PPC Secrets to help increase traffic from your ad campaigns.
2. Conversions – Define and agree upon conversion goals so you can both focus on the right things, like which CTA to use for each landing page.
Now that you have the traffic building, use principles from conversion rate optimization (CRO) to encourage visitors to click your clients’ CTAs.
Tip: Try these three CRO strategy pillars:
- Customer understanding – work with your clients to clearly define their buyer personas and what equals a quality conversion
- Goal clarity – define your client’s goals and agree upon the same goal so you can both work toward it together
- Goal values – monetize goals by placing an actual value on each goal acquisition
This phase takes longer than the first one, and may require you to test different CTAs to match the intent of the visitors.
3. Make more money – Measuring profitability against costs can help you gauge whether or not the revenue streams are worth your clients’ expense. Earn your keep and try to not lose sight of your client’s bottom line.
This is where you have to clearly ask them for feedback.
And if you ask for feedback early enough in the client relationship, it gives you enough time to pivot to get better results.
4. Scaling – Are your strategies repeatable and transferable to other PPC campaigns?
Making sure your tactics and strategies can work on a larger scale can make or break the longevity of your client relationship. Plan for the long term and make sure you’re scaling for your client’s growth.
This means that you need to learn how to use Display, Social, Video, and other PPC channels to your advantage.
Follow this and your client’s business should be in tip-top shape, which means your client relationships are more likely to be healthy with longevity.
Just because you’re happy with the client relationship, doesn’t necessarily mean your clients are happy.
Sure, you chat regularly and exchange personal stories. Maybe you even laugh at each other’s jokes. Your client could even be making more money and things appear to be going swimmingly well.
But if your communication is shallow, your retention of that client could still be at risk.
Believing that you don’t care about them is by far the top reason clients leave companies. Check out this chart:
With 68% of clients who think this way, clients who are dissatisfied with your service or clients that are lured in by a competitor, are the lesser of your worries.
How to fix the issue?
Go deep with your communication. Take the time to really listen to your clients and dive deeper into more concerning topics and needs.
According to Personal Success and Leadership Institute, there are five levels of communication:
- Cliches – typical, routine, often repeated comments, questions and answers given out of habit and with no real forethought or genuine intent
- Facts – information/Statistics about the weather, the office, friends, the news, personal activities, etc. Requires no in depth thinking or feeling
- Opinions – includes concerns, expectations, and personal goals, dreams, and desires
- Feelings – having gone through the “wall of conflict” via applying the communication skills following, you both feel safe to share your deepest emotions
- Needs – the deepest level of communication and intimacy where you feel completely safe to reveal your unique needs with each other
When communicating with your clients try to address their feelings and needs. Get to know what they need from you so they feel secure and like you care about them. HubSpot offers a great customer satisfaction guide to lead you in the right direction.
We didn’t always do this at KlientBoost, but once we started caring less about the small talk and more about results, we were able to eventually have more meaningful small talk since we knew the client was happy and excited with what we’re doing.
Speed & Pivots
Being quick to respond to your client’s emails, phone calls, requests and issues will help them feel valued. The quicker you can adjust and carry out successful PPC campaigns with converting landing pages for your clients, the better your retention rate will be.
Not only is speed a factor, but flexibility and having the ability to pivot quickly when needed are also key.
Here’s an example of what a SKAG campaign done right looks like:
Here’s an example of a PPC campaign that needs some SKAGs love:
Boost specific keywords that are working the best, and decrease bids on those that aren’t performing as well.
When you have your ad campaigns structured to the most granular level, you have the ability to act quickly.
Feedback & Audits
Even with the deeper communication, you can still glean more information out of your clients to gauge their happiness level.
With standard feedback requests and audits, you have another format and opportunity to find out if your clients are truly happy.
Using feedback tools like surveys, questionnaires, interviews and forms can help you gather additional information about your client’s customer satisfaction – information that may be different from your standard communication with them.
Your clients are likely used to communicating with you via phone, online chat or email. By presenting a new format for feedback, there’s a chance that new information may be given.
Here’s an example of a customer satisfaction survey:
Help Scout’s Gregory Ciotti gives us tips on how measuring customer satisfaction shouldn’t be complicated and uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measurement of customer loyalty:
Scheduling regular audits with your client can also help you to do a status check on your agreed upon goals, in a formalized way.
By formalizing the benchmarking progress on your client accounts and sharing your findings with your clients, the audit process will appear to be organized, official and well-thought through.
And when your client believes that you put in special attention and effort into their accounts, they’ll likely believe that you care.
One of our favorite internal things to do at KlientBoost, is to not only audit our client’s accounts, but also audit how we operate as a business.
By thinking of ways that will put you out of business, you start finding new ways to improve.
Keeping your clients attracted to your products and services after the initial honeymoon phase is over, can be quite the maintenance.
With these five tips that have worked tremendously well for us, you can keep the fire in your client relationships alive and your retention rates high.
Not only will you better understand your client’s’ needs, goals and profit margins, but you’ll also have a pulse on whether or not they’re gonna stick around.
Accomplishing these things with speed and flexibility will allow you to give your clients the red carpet treatment they’ll need to become ideal clients with high lifetime values.
Now it’s your turn to increase your retention rate…