Can Adding SaaS to Your Agency Reduce Churn Rate?
Shaun Clark is the co-founder and CEO of HighLevel, a company that offers an all-in-one sales and marketing platform for agencies and marketers. HighLevel gives the tools, support and resources marketing agencies need to succeed all in one place. Today, he joins the podcast to talk about how marketing agencies can reduce churn rate by becoming an all-in-one solution. And, how the future for agencies will be tacking on software to the services they already offer.
3 Golden Nuggets
- Tack on software to what you’re already doing. If you’re an agency working with small businesses, no matter how great of a job you do, your clients will often have a problem with the price point. Working in this space, Shaun has found that there’s a massive opportunity for agencies to tack on software to they’re already doing. That way, you can add to your revenue and also reduce your churn rate. Because what if they decide to fire you? Now they have to find someone that can implement what they need using your software. So it’s incredibly sticky.
- Offer an all-in-one solution. Think about it. Your clients are looking for you to solve a problem and make their lives easier. Not to learn how to use their tools. As an expert, you can come in and say, I can solve your problem, and these are the tools that I use for that. What if you could say that you can offer all the services your clients need in one spot? No need to go outside your agency.
- The future for agencies. Our guest believes that agencies are the ones who should be offering this technology because the agency can not only provide the expertise they need on that software, but they also can provide all those other services that client truly needs. So now you can have a price point for the services and a price point for the software.
Tack on Software to Your Solutions and Reduce Churn Rate
Jason: [00:00:00] What’s up agency owners? Jason Swenk here. I have another amazing guest today, where we’re going to talk about how can you add more revenue to your agency as well as improve the churn rate of your clients? Because, look, if we lose clients, you know, it’s going to be harder to scale your agency. But it’s going to be a lot of fun episode. Let’s go ahead and get into it.
Hey, Sean, welcome to the show.
Shaun: [00:00:34] Hey, thanks for having me, Jason. It’s great to be here.
Jason: [00:00:36] Yeah, I’m excited to have you on. So tell us who you are and what you do?
Shaun: [00:00:40] Yeah, absolutely. So I’m Shaun, I’m a co-founder and CEO of a company called HighLevel. Um, so we work with over 10,000 marketing agencies and we have a software platform that’s sort of a combination of marketing automation, CRM, uh, calendaring. Pretty much every, uh, sort of, if you’re stitching together six or seven different apps for your agency, we kind of bring them all together into one platform.
So that’s, that’s kind of what we do.
Jason: [00:01:03] Nice. Awesome. Well, let’s go ahead and jump into it. Let’s talk about how can agencies and implove…? Implove? Did I make up a new word? I think I made up a new word. How can… It’s been a long day. How can they improve their churn rate?
Shaun: [00:01:21] Yeah. So, um, I think that we’ve, you know, working with so many agencies now, what we’ve discovered is churn is often a function of, uh, of, of price point.
You know, if you’re working with a lot of small businesses and you’re trying to run on a retainer model, for example, and you’re charging thousands of dollars, every month. What we find is no matter how great of a job you do, oftentimes the client just can’t get over this perceptional problem of, hey, wait a second, two or $3,000 a month is a lot of money to us.
And so what we did at HighLevel is that we looked at all of the different companies that are out there serving the same space. And we looked at it from a software angle, cause that’s the kind of people we are. What we realized is there’s this massive opportunity out there for agencies to tack on software, to what they’re already doing.
What I mean by this is if you think about the types of tools that exist out there. And it could be, there’s like the Podiums of the world, the Bird Eyes of the world. These are functions like reputation management, two-way text messaging, all of this stuff. Imagine that you tomorrow could add a $300 a month software-only product to what you’re doing.
And you would, you would very quickly find that as an agency, you’re going to be able to sell this into your existing client base. So if, and when they decide that they’re no longer going to be using your services because they’re, they can’t get over that price point issue, you’re not going to lose them as a customer. And then you’re going to add a $300 a month recurring software product to your revenue stream. And the effect is really simple.
Let’s say I’m running Facebook ads for you as the dentist office, and I’m running the software and I’ve got the Facebook ad service. And I decided, you know, those Facebook ads, I’m not sure they’re kind of expensive. Let’s quote unquote, pause them, right?
In the past that means like, sorry, Jason. You’re a nice guy, but we’re going to have to fire you. That’s what that means. But now with the software, the software is incredibly sticky. So what it turns out is that the Facebook ads still get turned off.
But then two months later that when they realize how silly they were doing that, and they watch all their leads fly out the door and vanish, they’ll go. They’ll just call you back up and turn it back on. Because they didn’t let you go as a vendor, they don’t have to feel so bad coming back to you. So it’s an incredibly good way to add revenue to the agency and reduce churn kind of all in one step.
Jason: [00:03:31] What um…? When we were running our agency, we created our own CMS system. Long time ago before, uh, WordPress and all of these. And one of our selling propositions back then was, hey, you can manage your own website on our unique platform because there’s no one really doing it. And it really did create such a stickiness where even if they wanted someone else to design the website, they would lose that functionality.
And it was just such a huge, like, like we would hardly lose any clients because they knew they were going to lose that functionality. And they’d have to pay thousands of dollars to some other agency to manage all the changes that they’re actually doing. Um, and so it just made it really sticky. And I found, you know, over the years, too, of looking at some of our clients of our mastermind members. When they’re able to find tools and software and case it into their offering, a lot of times I tell them don’t like, especially if they’re white labeling and I think what you guys do, I’m like…
Siri: [00:04:41] I’m not sure about that.
Jason: [00:04:44] Siri is talking to me. I don’t know. It’s not, Siri. I can’t say her name from Jeff Visa’s company, but weird. But, uh, she actually agrees with me. But, um, what, uh, what I’ve found is just like, don’t tell them who you’re using and it just creates a really sticky and be like, hey, if you leave…
Shaun: [00:05:07] Yeah, absolutely. In fact, I really think this is the future of agencies.
So if you think about it from a practical sense, you know, if you’re the dentist, the doctor, the whatever, you, you want somebody to help you market and grow your business, right? And if we’re realistic about it that means that there’s going to be services that need to come in and help with that. But there also needs to be technology.
And today, if you think about how this is offered, that small business owner has to kind of like go find you as an agency or you have to find them. Then they have to go off and find software and they have to try to glue it all together. It’s a real pain in the neck and all this time, they’re also trying to like run a business, right?
And oftentimes operate that business because they tend to be the people doing the thing, whatever that may be. So as an agency, imagine tomorrow you could walk in and say, hey, listen, we have all the services you need. We have all the technology you need all in one spot. So you don’t need anything else outside of my agency, right?
And you have, you have a price point on the software side and you have a price point on the services side. I think you’re going to find that those small business owners breathe a big sigh of relief and are thankful that you’re there. Because now they don’t have to go off and figure this all out for themselves, which what they already weren’t doing very well.
And it’s only getting harder every day. As we know technology on the marketing side only continues to expand and get bigger.
Jason: [00:06:17] Yeah. There’s I mean, there’s the easier that you can make it for your customer and your clients the better. Because that’s what they’re really coming to you for. Look, I think all clients can figure out what you’re doing, right?
Like you figured it out, so they should be able to figure out. But it’s just saving them time and saving them the hassle. So if you can make it really easy to be like, look, I got you covered here, here, and here. They’d be like, great. Cause a lot of agents like, like you were saying, they come in and saying, uh, you know, hey, you need this tool, this tool, this tool go here, go here, go here.
And then it, and then it’s just so it’s like, I’m overwhelmed, man. Like you’ve lost me.
Shaun: [00:06:58] Well, totally. And in fact, this is how we got started. You know, when we first started working with agencies, um, and we see this still everyday today, it’s hey, what are you currently using your agency? Well, I’m using this over here for calendaring and this over here to build a funnel and this over here for my CRM and this over here for my analytics.
And it’s like, okay, great. Well, what if we gave you an app that it took all of those functions and put them on one spot? So that was kind of where we got started and that’s how we got to 10,000 agencies. They’re like, oh my gosh, that’d be amazing. I could see it through Zapier. It’s all in one spot.
And then what we realized is, wait a second. If we, if we look at the agency’s customer, they have that exact same issue, right? It’s like, oh, well, uh, I have, you know, I have this text messaging platform and I have the CRM platform and I have this website over here. And now you’re coming in as an agency to help me. And I need you to learn all this stuff as well.
Um, and it’s like, wait a second. What if the agency could come in and say, look, we have an end-to-end solution. And these are for things that every business needs, like, think about it two way, text messaging, Google my business messaging, web chat, um, you know, reputation management, text to pay. Like these are the types of technologies every small business will have.
It will be table stakes five years from now. And my position is the agency is the best person to come in and provide that solution. Not some venture-backed software startup calling, you know, calling their phone day and night, trying to get them on a demo. It should be the agency, because the agency can not only provide the expertise they need on that software, but they also can provide all those other services that the actual small business owner truly needs.
If we’re talking about a 360-degree view on what they need to grow and market their business.
Jason: [00:08:26] Yeah. And the, and the more that you control the strategy and the software and the implementation, you just really surrounding that account. Um, and especially if you’re going after small business. Because like, if you’re going after enterprise-level like I understand like it’s, it’s totally different.
Or if you’re going after bigger clients, totally different. But if you’re going after small business, they want a very simple. They want one bill. They really want to just be like, hey, I want more leads or I want more sales. Like, can you help me with that? Like, yeah, we can do it all.
Shaun: [00:09:02] Exactly. And that, and that is the idea, you know, and you, and honestly, as an agency, you need that, right?
So like, where we got started with HighLevel is we’re working all these people generating leads and they’re putting them on spreadsheets. They’re handing it to their customers and their customers are like, what the heck is this? These aren’t, this isn’t what I wanted. I wanted more business. I wanted more people buying.
Well, turns out the problem is clients don’t follow up with leads. So HighLevel automated the entire lead follow-up process. And that is what really fundamentally changed the game for anybody running Facebook ads or Google ads. And so this is what your clients need, right? They need a system where they can bring it in. It does everything they need end to end.
And the great thing is that they have a problem or a question or an issue they can lean back on you as the agency, as the expert, right? Because a lot of these questions, aren’t just technical. They’re also strategic and you’re the best person to answer those question questions. You’re the best person to help them with those issues.
So I think being the one-stop-shop, you get more revenue and you, you gain a lot of expertise dominance, and they’re like, oh great. Why would I ever get rid of this person? They’re amazing. They provide all the tools I need and all the service I need in one spot.
Jason: [00:10:08] Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, this has all been amazing, Shaun, is there anything I didn’t ask you that you think would benefit the audience for increasing their, uh, or decreasing their churn rate? We don’t want to increase it.
Shaun: [00:10:22] Well, I think that just trying to find ways to create these, to put systems in place for your customers and make it really slimline and easy and scalable for you as an agency. Those are the ways that you’re going to win because you don’t, you don’t want to be running all around all over the place, learning six or seven different tools.
Trying to learn your clients tools. You need to come in as an expert and say, hey, listen, we solve the problem you need solved. And these are the tools we do, we use on the job. Um, so that’s why you’re hiring us. You’re not hiring us to learn your tools that you’re hiring us to solve a problem. And that’s what we do.
Jason: [00:10:54] Awesome. Tell us a little bit more about HighLevel. You know, briefly about, you know, how you guys take, you know, kind of an all-in-one solution and how it works for agencies and then tell us the special URL and, um…
Shaun: [00:11:08] yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, so HighLevel is awesome because we only sell to marketing agencies. That’s the only people we sell to.
So as a result, it’s all white label out of the get-go. So you get your own URL, you get your own, you know, all of your own branding. Um, we even have custom white-label, mobile apps. So all of a sudden, imagine tomorrow as an agency, you could be like, oh yeah. And just pull out your iPhone there and go to the app market and you can download our mobile app and you can do two-way texting with your clients and contact management and CRM.
It’s a pretty powerful offering. Um, and then, so, um, and then as I wanted to put out a special offer here, if you go to gohighlevel.com/swenk. You will find that you get a special offer for signing up by listening to this podcast. Um, and so definitely go check that out. It’s gohighlevel.com/swenk.
Jason: [00:11:54] Awesome. Well, everybody go check it out. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Um, but you know, it is, you know, if you can combine technology with the strategy and the limitation, it really connects that small business market to you. And it really can’t go anywhere, which is always pretty nice. And that’s how you can decrease your churn and really keep and grow those accounts.
And then if you ever do get to a point where you do have the opportunity to sell your agency, you can be like, hey, we don’t lose that many clients. So…
Shaun: [00:12:26] And you’ll have that revenue stream that just grows every month instead of coming up, going up and down so much.
Jason: [00:12:31] Exactly. So go to a highlevel.com/swenk and until next time…
Shaun: [00:12:36] gohighlevel.com/swenk.
Jason: [00:12:39] And until next time, Have a Swenk day.