Pretty graphs and pages upon pages of data may look impressive to your client but does it mean your report is adding value?
- I don’t get reports (this one still boggles my mind)
- I don’t understand my reports, so I don’t read them
- We get reports but I don’t know what to do with the information
Over the past few years reporting has become a focal point at Metis, as it is one of our only tangible assets we get to show our clients. We have tried several software, built our own templates and at one point I think we even automated some Analytics sends each month. The problem was that none of this really added value to our client.
I thought I would share a few tricks of what has taken Metis reports to a new level:
- Save time with Reporting Software, Templates or Dashboards– We love Data Studio as it is free (luckily we don’t require the add-ons). We able to customize to give it that Metis feel. We can templatize for quick execution, and at the same time customize the stats we share depending on what is important to our clients.
- Real-Time & Transparent reporting– our clients need to know what is happening in real-time, waiting 30 days whether to see if something is working can at times be too long. Transparency is also key here to form a trusting relationship with your clients. Our clients do have access to the Analytics, however sometimes that program can be daunting to someone that doesn’t use it often. I feel like I am punting Data Studio here, however a cool feature about it is that all the reporting is in real-time. Our clients are able to change the date range and “wala” the info is at their fingertips.
- Add Value or shut up! – too often we see reports that are cumbersome and don’t add any actual value to the client. Paragraphs and bullet points for days, and yet when you ask your client what they wish they had more of they would say “time” (yup even before money!) so why you wasting it with irrelevant info? Our rule of thumb is to read our own feedback back to ourselves and each time ask ourselves the question “so what” – how does this point add value and how can we or our client use this info to take a step forward. If it fails the test… use that backspace. I would rather have 3 stellar, kickass feedback points that make a difference to key decisions, as opposed to a novel which wastes time and tries to justify that you “did your job”
- Ensure they are printable –we fell short here, because we love our screens we thought everyone else did… what’s that saying about ASSumptions. We have found that clients enjoy printing the reports so they can take them to review meetings, or maybe they want some light reading when propped up on the couch. Either way it is one of the biggest requests we received when we went full-on digital. Now we have a PDF version and the world is whole again 🙂
There are plenty other tricks up the sleeve when it comes to reporting and we would love to hear your comments. Make sure you leave them below. We busy developing our Next-Level reports and I will share once they are out the oven. Till then, happy reporting!