Client management software is a tool designed to streamline and simplify the process of managing client interactions, from the initial contact all the way through to project completion and beyond.
It provides a centralised hub for storing and organising all client information, including contact details, project scope, timelines, and progress updates.
Using client management software, agencies can easily keep track of important client information, communicate with clients in real-time, and monitor project progress.
It can also provide valuable insights into client behaviour and preferences, allowing agencies to tailor their services to meet the needs of each client individually.
In addition, client management software can help agencies stay organised and efficient by automating routine tasks, such as sending invoices and project updates.
This saves time and allows agency staff to focus on higher-value tasks, such as developing marketing strategies and creating content.
Why do Agencies need a Client Management System to manage their Clients?
In one line we would say, often Client Management starts with Managing clients’ deliverables and ends up Managing the clients’ Mood Swings
Various types of clients that you may have come across:
Skeptical and Self Doubting
Know it All
Late Night Bugger
Transforms a phone call into a Meeting
Clients who understand, Good & Cheap won't be Fast, Fast & Good won't be Cheap, Cheap & Fast won't be Good
There is one thing common about all of them, which is they all think Agency folks are a bunch of over smart fellows who always try to take their Clients for a ride, which is why there's a need for specialised roles in companies where Brand managers are appointed just to manage the agency and keep their deliverables and promises in check. This practice is commonly seen in Mid-Size and Enterprise companies
This is the Epitome of stereotype, but it’s going to stay around for many more decades to come.
Although, We are not saying all clients are like that, some have mastered the art of working with agencies, on a flip side even all agencies aren’t just an empty box of promises, some agencies even deliver.
Because of these kinds of stereotypes, managing clients becomes a cumbersome task.
Agencies do appoint Client Servicing Representatives or Key Account Managers or Account Executives (All these roles involve bridging the gap between the execution team at the agency side and the assigned Client).
But all these positions eat up the profit margins of an agency, and even with these positions in place, small and medium size agencies lose clients in a matter of 4 to 7 months, its a super rare scenario to spot an agency who has been able to retain a client for up-to 12 months or more.
However, why is Client Management a pinning problem, why are agencies investing significantly in a Client Management System?
Primarily effective Client Management can lead to better sales figures and longer client retention, and it is always a good strategy to retain existing clients, over onboarding new ones. Thereby saving huge on CAC’s (Customer Acquisition Costs).
4 Step Guiding Checklist to double down on a Client Management Platform
A good way to think about it is, what all responsibilities do you expect a Client Servicing Representative to undertake?
Let’s take a look at a typical Job Description of a Client Servicing Rep
A client servicing representative in an agency typically has the responsibility of acting as the liaison between the agency and its clients. Some of the key job responsibilities of a client servicing representative in an agency include:
Building relationships: The client servicing representative should be able to build strong relationships with clients, understand their needs and requirements, and be the primary point of contact for the client
Communication: Effective communication is essential for a client servicing representative. They should be able to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, and be able to negotiate with clients as and when required.
Account management: The representative is responsible for managing client accounts, ensuring that all client requests and concerns are addressed promptly and efficiently. They are responsible for overseeing the delivery of services to clients and ensuring that quality standards are met.
Sales: Client servicing representatives are also responsible for identifying potential upsell opportunities and driving sales growth by recommending additional services to clients.
Problem-solving: Client servicing representatives should be able to identify and troubleshoot issues as they arise, working with the client and agency teams to find solutions that meet the client's needs.
Reporting: The representative should maintain records of client interactions, update client profiles, and report on agency's performance.
Market research: The representative should conduct market research, stay up-to-date with industry trends, and provide insights to clients on the latest developments in their field.
The prime 2 use cases of Client Management Software:
Use Case 1: When you only require a Client Portal CRM System to Manage your Active/Ongoing Clients
Use Case 2: When you require a combination of a CRM System where you want to manage your leads & your entire client management process.
If you are looking for Use Case 1 then you should look for a Client Portal CRM Software that has the following capabilities:
A. Does it have Project Management Capabilities?
✅ Able to offer a transparent status of the project/sprint to their client ✅ Number of hours worked ✅ Number of resources working on their project ✅ Status of Pending work ✅ Offer a Daily/Weekly/Monthly data of resource allocation ✅ Number of hours invested by the agency on the clients project
Using a project management software allows the CSR to keep track of all client interactions in one place, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
The CSR can use the software to set reminders, deadlines, and priorities, and collaborate with team members to resolve client issues. Additionally, the software can provide a centralized platform to share progress updates with the client, keeping them informed about the status of their requests.
B. Can it help you simplify scope & billing reconciliations?
Offers a way to have a centralised repository for Documents like Proposals, Scope of Work, Contracts/Agreements which is available on-demand to the client - thereby eliminating the agencies dependency
The role of a customer service representative (CSR) in scope of work and billing reconciliation is to act as a liaison between the client and sales team of the agency, ensuring that both parties are satisfied with the deliverables and billing. In the scenario where a client has raised questions about the deliverables and invoice amount, the CSR must carefully review the scope of work and the client and sales rep/ cycle's feedback to identify any discrepancies or miscommunications.
The client management CSR should also be able to explain the billing and sales process to the client in a clear and concise manner and provide supporting documentation as needed.
If the client disputes the invoice amount, the CSR should investigate the matter further and work with the execution team, sales teams or finance team to reconcile the billing. This may involve negotiating with the client to find a mutually agreeable resolution, such as adjusting the invoice amount or providing additional deliverables.
Overall, the CSR's role in scope of work and billing reconciliation is to ensure that the client's needs are met while also ensuring that the agency is paid fairly for the work done.
Effective communication, attention to detail, customer data, and a customer-focused approach are key to successfully managing scope of work and billing reconciliation.
C. Should be able to do Auto Payment Followups
The role of a client servicing representative in payment follow-ups and reminders in a digital marketing agency is to ensure that clients are making timely payments for the services rendered. This involves sending regular payment reminders to clients, tracking payment schedules, and following up with clients who are behind on payments.
Client servicing sales reps are responsible for maintaining positive relationships with clients while doing sales forecasting, managing leads and also ensuring that the agency's financial interests are protected. They should be proactive in addressing customer management, sales forecasting and payment issues and finding solutions that work for both the agency and the client.
Client servicing sales reps must also be knowledgeable about the agency's payment policies and procedures and be able to answer any questions or concerns that clients may have regarding payments.
D. Client Reporting is a Must Have!
A centralised repository to share Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly project/task reports with the clients - available on-demand
These could be reports of SEO Keyword Ranking Report or Web Traffic Report from Google Analytics, or Social Media Analytics report or could be as simple as an excel file with monthly OKR’s report
The role of a client servicing representative in client reporting is to mine customer data and provide regular updates on the performance of the digital marketing campaign to the clients. This involves collecting and analyzing data, preparing reports, and presenting the findings to the clients in a clear and concise manner.
E. Can it offer Real Time Project Updates to your clients?
A Client Management platform should allow an agency to embed Popular Whiteboard Collaboration tools like Miro, UI/UX tools like Figma, Google Data Studio for sharing reports, Google Drive, One Drive, and Project management tools like Trello, ClickUp etc so that your clients can always log into their client portal and see a real time update of the work that is assigned to the agency.
F. Why Personalisation is the key factor in your Client Portal!
White labelling is an important feature that allows agencies to provide their clients with a branded and personalized experience.
By white labelling their client portal and sales automation, agencies can strengthen their brand image and customer communications and create a professional and consistent, sales automation process for their clients. This helps to further nurture customer relationships and build trust and loyalty, as clients feel that the agency is invested in their success and is committed to providing them with the highest quality service.
White labelling also provides a level of customization and control for agencies, and small businesses, allowing them to tailor the client portal to meet the specific needs and preferences of each client. This can include custom branding, color schemes email templates, and even functionality, depending on the needs of the client.
G. Can it help an agency centralise its Client Records?
The platform should allow your clients to share all their details like
Brand Identify files & Documents
Brand Presentation & other information decks
Assets like Videos, Images, and Content Files
This is not only in retrieving the specific client information when needed but in case the agency is ever-changing the CS or the sales team or sales rep, then the handover of the client details becomes smoother
If you are looking for Use case 2 then you should look for Client Management Software that has the following capabilities
✅ Client database: A central database to store all client information, including contact details, preferences, and purchase history
✅ Ability to manage and organize client contact information, including emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses.
✅ Client segmentation/Tagging: Ability to group clients based on specific criteria, such as demographics or behavior.
✅ Task management: Ability to create and assign tasks to team members and track progress.
✅ Project management: Ability to manage and track projects for clients, including deadlines and milestones.
✅ Lead capture: Ability to capture leads from multiple sources and manage them within the client management software.
✔️ Reporting: Ability to generate reports on client data, including sales, customer behavior, and marketing campaigns.
✅ Email marketing: Ability to create and send targeted email campaigns to clients.
✅ Appointment scheduling: Ability to schedule and manage appointments with clients.
✅ Document management: Ability to store and manage client documents, such as contracts, agreements, and invoices.
✅ Collaboration: Ability to collaborate with team members and clients through integrated communication tools.
✔️Analytics: Ability to track and analyze client data to identify trends and opportunities.
✅ Customer service: Ability to provide support to clients through client management software.
✅ Integration: Ability to integrate with other software and tools, such as accounting software and marketing automation tools.
✅ Security: Robust security features to protect client data.
✅ Customization: Ability to customize the software to meet the unique needs of the business.
✅ Scalability: Ability to scale the software as the business grows and its client base expands.
✅ Lead nurturing: Ability to automate and personalize follow-up communications with potential clients.
✅ Sales pipeline management: Ability to track and manage the sales process for each client, from lead to conversion.
✔️ Loyalty programs: Ability to create and manage loyalty programs for clients to increase customer retention and satisfaction.
✔️ Customer feedback: Ability to collect and analyze customer feedback to improve products and services.
✔️ Client onboarding: Ability to manage the onboarding process for new clients, including setting up accounts and providing training.
✔️ Marketing automation: Ability to automate marketing campaigns, such as email newsletters and social media posts, to keep clients engaged.
✅ Billing and invoicing: Ability to manage billing and invoicing for clients, including generating invoices and tracking payments.
✅ Custom fields: Ability to create custom fields to capture additional information about clients that are specific to the business needs.
Apparently, it is impossible to get all of them in 1 platform that too under a budget, however, you should definitely check out Clientjoy CRM which is one of the popular Client Management software, which has everything that is mentioned in Use case 1 and all the green ticked pointers(✅) in Use case 2.
Subscribe to Grow your Agency
Over 32,000 Agency Owners and Freelancers from 90+ Countries have subscribed to this blog to learn how they can Run and Grow their Independent Business. You should too.
2: Look for Reviews & Testimonials
After thorough research from this guide to select the best Client Management software Platform and some googling you will be able to figure out 3 - 4 top Client Management software systems that could potentially fulfill your requirements, then the next thing you should look for should be their reviews and user testimonials, some platforms to check the same are:
If you are looking for software reviews and ratings on G2, here are some things you should consider:
Overall rating: The overall rating of the software can give you a good indication of its quality. The rating is usually on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
Number of reviews: The number of reviews can give you an idea of how popular the software is and how many people have used it.
Review content: Read the reviews to understand what people liked or disliked about the software. Look for specific details, such as features, ease of use, customer support, and value for money.
Reviewer profile: Check the reviewer's profile to see if they have similar needs or use cases as you. This can help you determine whether their experience with the software is relevant to your situation.
Review date: Make sure to check the review date to ensure that the feedback is recent and relevant. Software updates and changes can greatly affect the user experience, so recent reviews are often more valuable.
If you are looking for software reviews and testimonials on Capterra, here are some things you should consider:
Testimonials: In addition to reviews, Capterra also features software testimonials from verified users. Testimonials can give you a quick snapshot of the software's benefits and how it has helped other businesses or users.
Comparison tools: Capterra offers comparison tools to help you evaluate multiple software options side-by-side. You can compare features, pricing, and user ratings to find the best software for your needs.
If you are looking for software reviews and testimonials on Trustpilot, here are some things you should consider:
TrustScore: Trustpilot uses a TrustScore to indicate the overall trustworthiness of a company based on its customer reviews. The TrustScore is based on the number of reviews, review frequency, and ratings.
Review authenticity: Trustpilot has a verification system in place to ensure the authenticity of reviews. Look for reviews with a verified badge to ensure that they are from real customers.
Here are some reasons why signing up for a free trial is important before buying a client portal software:
Explore features: A free trial allows you to explore the software's features and functionality, so you can understand how it works and whether it meets your business needs.
Test usability: By using the software yourself, you can test its usability and ease of use, which can help you determine whether it's user-friendly for your clients.
Check compatibility: During the trial period, you can check whether the software is compatible with your existing systems and software.
Evaluate customer support: If you encounter any issues during the trial period, you can evaluate the responsiveness and effectiveness of the software's customer support team.
Determine value for money: A free trial allows you to evaluate the software's value for money by assessing its features, functionality, and support against its price.
Compare with alternatives: By trying out multiple client portal software options, you can compare them and determine which one is the best fit for your business.
Overall, a free trial is a valuable opportunity to assess a client portal client management software system's suitability for your business and ensure that it meets your needs before making a purchase.
Here are some reasons why taking a one-to-one demo is important before buying a client portal:
Customised experience: A one-to-one demo allows you to receive a customized experience based on your business needs and goals.
Ask specific questions: During the demo, you can ask specific questions about the software's features and functionality, as well as get a better understanding of how the software can benefit your business.
Real-time interaction: A demo provides real-time interaction with a sales representative who can answer your questions and provide more in-depth information about the software.
Showcasing key features: The demo can showcase the software's key features and demonstrate how they can be used to improve your business operations and enhance your client interactions.
Visual learning: A demo allows you to learn visually, which can be more effective than reading about the software's features or watching pre-recorded videos.
Live testing: You can also use the demo to test the software in real-time, allowing you to evaluate its ease of use and functionality.
Decision-making: A one-to-one demo can help you make a more informed decision about whether the software is the right fit for your business needs and goals.
Overall, a one-to-one demo is a valuable opportunity to receive a personalized experience and make a more informed decision about whether a client portal or client management tool or software, is the right fit for your digital marketing agency.
In conclusion, choosing the right client management software is crucial for agencies looking to improve their efficiency and effectively manage client relationships. When selecting client management software for an agency, it is important to consider client management software's ability to manage multiple clients and projects, as well as its collaboration and communication features.
Additionally, client management software's customization options, integration and workflow automation capabilities, and reporting features should be evaluated to ensure that it can meet the unique needs of the agency.
By taking advantage of free trials, one-to-one demos, and customer reviews, agencies can make an informed decision and select a free client management software that will streamline operations, enhance client relationships, and ultimately drive business growth.
Speak to a Human
Let us help you figure out whether Clientjoy is the right fit for your business
Sibu is a Compulsive Articulator, a CX Enthusiast & an Intrapreneur in Clientjoy a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire & retain happier clients. He completed his B.Tech in Computers & there on went onto starting up a Digital Marketing & IT Agency which was later on acquired for over a deal size of $250k.
About the Editor & Reviewer
Pranoti is a B.Tech Grad, having worked across 10+ business verticals with 6+ years of Exp. Pumping up organic traffic & optimising search engines is her bread, butter & cheese. she currently serves as a Sr. SEO Strategist at Clientjoy - a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire & retain happier clients.
Tanmay pursued his undergraduate studies in Information Technology but marketing piqued his interest & he finished his postgraduate in Marketing & Finance from Macquarie University, Sydney. With diverse experience across different domains like Ed-Tech, Digital & SaaS. He currently serves as a Growth Head at Clientjoy - a platform that helps 13K+ Agencies & Freelancers in 90+ Countries acquire & retain happier clients.
On a mission of Helping 1 Million Creator, Freelancers & Agencies Grow, Fulfill & Earn