5 Signs A Client Is About To Break Up With Your Marketing

Learn more about how to avoid vanity metrics and beef up your presentations in CallRail’s client retention guide.

Sign 3: Your Client Says They Aren’t Getting The Results They Expected

So, you’ve prepared a detailed report and presented it to the client. You’re proud of your team’s work because you’ve made significant progress on a campaign.

But the client isn’t happy.

They don’t see the results they wanted, or they’re not getting results fast enough.

Somewhere, there’s been a miscommunication.

Properly onboarding and educating your clients is key to a healthy working relationship with them. If they misunderstand something about the process at the beginning, it’s much harder to keep them happy in the long run.

If you identify a misunderstanding within the first weeks of working together, it’s quite easy to address! But later on, more weeks or months down the road, a miscommunication becomes a failure to deliver, in their eyes.

As unpleasant as these conversations can be, you need to understand exactly what went wrong.

The most important question is: Was it a misunderstanding, or is there a real issue with your agency’s performance?

Either way, you may need to adjust your onboarding process.

What To Do: Improve Client Onboarding & Prove Your ROI With Data

If it makes sense, now is the time to defend your work.

Back it up with data, and ensure that the client understands exactly how your efforts benefit them.

Step 1: Think About & Consider The Following:

  • Are they focusing on the wrong metrics?
  • Have you explained that not all conversions are equal, and that some are worth more than others?
  • Do your clients understand that qualitative data can be just as important (or moreso) than quantitative data?
    (For example, did you deliver fewer overall leads, but more high-quality leads by refining a landing page’s audience targeting?)

Check out CallRail’s guide for some great examples of these concepts, and how to communicate the intricacies of marketing data to clients.

Step 2: Reassess Your Onboarding Process

It might make sense to redo some portions of the onboarding process for unhappy clients if they’re willing to work with you.

This can introduce new stakeholders to your process, and remind existing ones what the overall goals are, as well as your plans to achieve them.

Step 3: Adjust Your Own Marketing Efforts To Target Clients With Priorities That Match 

If you’re running a long-term campaign for a client who wants quick wins, the miscommunication might be in your marketing.

What promises and metrics are you focusing on in your marketing materials?

Are you setting expectations quickly and clearly with SLAs?

Are you taking time to evaluate leads and how well their goals align with your services?

If you’ve got gaps in your marketing and lead generation processes, you might end up with the next sign:

Sign 4: Your Client Is Always Upset

We’ve all had them. Clients who just can’t be pleased. No matter what you do, it feels like they’re always mad at you, always demanding answers, and despite all your best efforts they eventually leave.

This isn’t just a problem for the sales team in having to find a new client. Sour relationships can damage your reputation.

In the end, it might be best to let these clients go, as you’ll find out in CallRail’s guide.

Instead, focus your energy on improving your marketing communications and audience targeting.

If when a client leaves, you breathe a sigh of relief – they weren’t right for your agency in the first place. The relationship was doomed from the start.

What To Do: Use Data-Driven Marketing To Find Clients That Align With Your Services & Goals

Step 1: Decide What Your Ideal Clients Look Like

Who are you targeting and why?

What are their goals?

What are their pain points and how do you plan to solve them?

These are basic questions that you’re familiar with, but if you’ve attracted clients that are difficult to please, then something may have gone wrong with this step.

Step 2: Reassess Your Audiences

It can help to start thinking about the audiences of your audience. Do you specialize in reaching a specific audience? With what cohorts and demographics have previous campaigns seen the most success?

You might want to pivot and focus your marketing based on previous successes. Sometimes, it can take a while to learn what your agency excels at.

Case studies are a vital part of not only your marketing efforts but your understanding of your own success.

Step 3: Implement Lead Scoring To Get A Clear View Of Qualified Clients

Another key process you should implement is lead scoring.

Download CallRail’s client retention guide to learn about lead scoring and other tactics to ensure your clients are a good match.

Sign 5: Your Client Is Reducing Their Spend Or Says They’re Outgrowing You

Sometimes, you haven’t done anything wrong.

In fact, you’ve done your job so well that the client doesn’t need you anymore.

If you notice that a successful client is reducing their spend or having you communicate with newly hired internal experts in digital marketing, these could be signs that they’re outgrowing you.

Often, there isn’t much you can do if a client ends your relationship for budget reasons, or because they’re taking things in-house.

But you should still take a last stab at proving the value of your work.

What To Do: Create Success Story Case Studies

A case study is a great opportunity to remind the client just how effective you are.

Step 1: Ask If They’d Be Willing To Be Part Of A Case Study

Reminiscing on your successes together might just convince them to keep their budget allocated to you.

It’s also an opportunity to talk to them about any new services you’re planning to offer.

If they are going to leave, then a case study is a positive note to end the relationship with. It helps you highlight your successes in future marketing campaigns, and can keep lines of communication open once they leave.

Step 2: Implement An Exit Survey

Make sure to have an exit survey in place.

You can learn what services to offer in the future to keep clients on for longer and give them a final opportunity to talk to you about any pain points.

Step 3: Start A Referral Program

Of course, don’t forget to ask about setting up a referral program. As they move on and grow, they’re bound to encounter businesses that could use your services, and they know exactly how much you helped them.

Relationship-building is key for any agency’s success, and partnerships with current and former clients can help bring in new business. It can also deepen existing relationships.

Armed with data and communication plans, you can create longer, more fruitful relationships and reduce client churn.

Learn more about all of these data-driven strategies in “The Agency Marketer’s Guide To Client Retention” from CallRail.