In our continuing effort to help streamline your business processes, I want to share with you a few tips on holding monthly reporting meetings with your clients. Setting reporting meetings with your top SEO clients gives you a chance to align them with the processes. It shows them that the SEO services they are paying for are impacting their businesses and brand. This also strengthens your relationship by building trust and showing transparency. What I have here is a guide for all our partners that you can use when planning your own reporting system.
Determine The Goal of Your Meeting
The usual scenario would be like this: You get in a Zoom or Skype call with your client preparing to talk about numbers, monthly performance updates, and development in the SEO campaign you’ve implemented. However, before you even get started, the conversation turns to a different route. The client is now talking about exploring a new channel or building a new landing page for a new product or having a more responsive web design. You answer their questions, then find yourself planning a new campaign. So how do you get right back to the original purpose of the meeting?
One way to keep everyone on track is to state the goal of the meeting at the very beginning. Lay it all out there before a new agenda pops up. It’s important that you establish a sense of structure from the very beginning so that everyone knows what to expect. This way there’s order and the meeting will end up being productive.
Get SEO software that can track progress and give you a full view of your client’s campaign can be useful in organizing points and ideas that you’re going to discuss.
Prepare the points you need to discuss ahead of time. You’ll have to cover the entire report, including the rankings, the tools you use to track progress, and your recommended plan of action for the following month. Don’t just tell them the rankings – explain how this affects their bottom line. Your clients, especially the biggest ones, will want to see economic value in your work.
Schedule Monthly Meetings with Your Top Customers
The customers who bring in the most business will have the most questions. It is important that you address these questions on a regular basis to keep them happy and to show them how your business helps theirs. Make sure you never miss a monthly meeting with your top clients. Ask when their preferred schedule is at the beginning of the campaign.
Use Online Meeting Tools
Make online meeting tools available for your clients. Not all your customers will be available for a sit-down meeting at your office. An online conference platform with desktop-sharing features should be enough to walk your clients through your reports. Choose a free service like Join.me, or create accounts for your clients at Cisco WebEx or GoToMeeting if you want HD video conferencing as well.
Elements you should look for in a web and video conferencing software:
Audio and Video Quality. The ideal setup would be to make everyone feel as if you’re meeting face-to-face which falls on the quality of video and audio the software can generate. The settings should be easy to navigate and operate so that participants can make adjustments based on their setup.
Ease-of-Use. Participants should easily be able to join meetings, turn off the video or mute themselves.
Multi-Device Option (Mobile Friendly). Smartphones and tablets are now an integral part of our everyday lives. Most people have even transitioned from laptops to using tablets as their daily drivers. Choosing a video conference tool that can be used flawlessly on any device makes it more convenient and efficient for everyone.
Screen Sharing Option. Needless to say, you or your SEO client should be able to easily share your screen and show your presentation to everyone. Some tools even have the feature of being able to share screens simultaneously for a more interactive meeting.
Meeting Scheduling. You and your clients can get really busy during the day so it would benefit you both to use a tool that has a ‘schedule’ or ‘calendar’ feature to ping and remind you of your upcoming meeting.
Meeting Recording. There are numerous times when you want to make sure that points in a meeting are not forgotten. This is what minutes are for, but a more convenient way to take minutes is to record the whole meeting instead. This will allow you or your client to review them later and not miss a single point in the discussion. Meeting recording is also useful in cases where a participant was not able to attend the meeting.
Live Chatting. This is one of the quickest ways to share another link, note or in any case, spell out a word. It’s also a useful way for participants to communicate without interrupting the speaker.
File Sharing. If you need your client to access a document or any file, a file-sharing system will be handy as it allows you or your client to read, review, and edit files without exiting the conference.
Security. What you don’t want is for someone you don’t know turning up in one of your meetings or a hacker taking notes of your discussion and steal information. Some security features you should look for are permission, authentication, and disabling features (which allows the administrator to disable chats, notes, screen shares, file shares etc.).
Get Your Client’s Insights
Listening to your clients allows you to customize your SEO services or web design services in order to meet their requirements better. It allows you to close the gap between their business needs and the actions you take to optimize their websites for those needs. Discussing insights also gives you an idea of what the majority of your clients need, allowing you to apply these insights when you develop new tools and update your methodology. Let your customers ask as many questions as possible during your monthly meetings, and address their issues and concerns directly and thoroughly.
Always include these three questions in your meetings:
- What are we not doing that you think we should be doing?
- What are we doing that we should not be doing?
- How can we help your business grow more?
Give Them Your Own Insights
In return for their insights, share with them your own. They are in charge of providing the business and industry specialty side of your partnership; you are in charge of the technical aspects of their marketing campaign. Explain your process to them in terms they will understand, and walk them through all the elements of your report thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to respectfully raise and argue your point if you know it will have a positive impact on their bottom line.
Create a Customer Advisory Board
A customer advisory board allows you to view what the majority of your clients need. This will help you avoid making changes that will only benefit a client or two but will not be helpful for your other clients. It also allows them to interact with each other. Include decision-makers who represent the majority of your client base.
Turn All Meetings into Actionable Insights
Make sure that at the end of each meeting, you set new goals and action items for each client’s campaign. Document these insights and share them with your clients. This will serve as your guideline for implementing, and as your client’s standard for measuring your success the following month.
Get Personal to Improve Customer Engagement
Forbes’ survey The New Rules of Engagement states “engagement is becoming the way marketers are creating brand experiences worth discussing.” 97% of respondents who participated in the survey said this was important, and 72% of them expect repeat purchase behavior out of engagement. However, marketers still seem divided over the best way to engage customers. The answer is simple – get to know your clients better. They do not want to work with robots, they want to work with people. You increase your customer retention rate if you take the time to get to know your customers on a more personal level. Think of it as making a new friend, this will also help in the future when your other SEO leads get to convert.
Make Your Top Customers Feel Like Top Customers
Choose your top 3 or top 5 largest customers, and make new products available to them before publicly releasing them. This makes them feel important and improves customer retention as well. Discuss the new products to them during your meeting, and include them in your action items for the following month. If they like it, and the results are positive, they could serve as your brand evangelists and help you reach a wider audience.
Share Industry Updates
Finally, don’t forget to share industry updates with your clients. Sharing these updates gives them more choices for their online marketing campaigns. It also shows you as an industry leader, improving your brand reputation and possibly converting loyal customers into brand evangelists.
Don’t Make It Complex
Keeping it simple is best the way to move forward. As the manager, you’ll be talking about metrics, numbers, performance, plan of action, and new strategies. What you want is to make life easy for your clients and make information easy for them to digest.
There will be times where you’ll find yourself handling multiple clients that you end up getting your hands full. You need to offer quality SEO services, you can turn to an outsourcing strategy which is especially helpful when you’re delivering technical SEO services or web design and development services to your clients. These are specialized services that, unlike sale, are not client-facing which makes them ideal tasks to delegate to third-party providers. Just make sure that you’re partnering with a credible and professional company that can deliver the best services to your clients.
Your account manager can represent your company in these monthly reporting meetings. Contact us today by logging into your dashboard to get started. Sign up for a free account if you’re not yet a partner. Keep checking back for more updates!