Are you actually using the feature to manage the clients within MainWP?
I never paid much attention to it, because there are many tools where you can manage client information, e.g. invoicing software, documentation tools like Notion or Confluence, an actual CRM, etc.
So I wonder if you manage the client information within MainWP what’s the value you get from it?
Till now I could not really see it. Am I really adding CRM-like notes about the client into MainWP? Not sure about that and interested how you use it
From my understanding, this is useful when utilizing the Reports options, as you can set up the reports to be mailed directly to your clients with some of their information filled in.
I only briefly explored the Reports tool, but that is what I had noticed was a use case for adding Clients into one’s MainWP Dashboard.
ah yes that could be it … I never looked into the report. I have not seen one tool that creates actually good (useful) reports, and in particular about MainWP I haven’t heard good things, but it’s true, that could be one of the reasons
No I wouldn’t bother with it as a replacement for a CRM. But as mentioned, it’s useful to populate data into the reports.
Also it’s useful if you have clients that own many websites, since you can link each site to the same owner and be able to filter to them.
Ninety percent of my clients have exactly one site, and so I’ve never seen any benefit in filling in client information in MainWP. But I do have one client who has about ten sites, and when I (recently) started using the Pro Reports extension this was a convenient way to group all their reports together. Beyond reporting, I can imagine a use case where it’s nice to be able to filter sites by client in the case when a client might have more than one site, but as I intimated that’s an edge case for me. I definitely never considered it to be a CRM, more like a tag in order to identify sites as related.
I can see how it’s a use case here
Overall I am not sure what I should think about the reports at all. On the one hand we should make our work transparent. On the other hand, I don’t know how it’s for you, but I think my clients could not care less about PHP version, current theme, amount of plugin updates, etc. - if they are interested in reports it would be more about marketing efforts and analytics
I am debating myself a lot about the reports overall - if costs and time invest are low for those reports it might be worth it. What’s your experience with it so far?
I definitely think my clients probably don’t care much about PHP version, current theme, etc. either. Some are interested in new posts and pages. But mostly I think the monthly report is a conversation starter and a reminder that they are actually getting a service from us.
In terms of conversation, reports (for better or for worse) prompt questions about what is going on with their website. This could be good or bad, depending on your perspective. For me, I think it’s good because I believe that part of my mission is to spread knowledge about good website practices. These questions give me a chance to do that. It also increases the recognition these clients have of the value they are receiving.
In terms of a reminder, clients get a monthly email listing all the things we did for them. (At least that’s how I see it. And of course, reports can be customized to suit your preferences.) This helps retention, I would think, since clients (particularly the ones who wouldn’t be paying attention otherwise) are less likely to leave if they see all the work they would have to do without our management and support.
I have only been using pro reports for a few months, and it does leave some things to be desired, but I like the idea of the reports, and his has saved me time for at least one client that requested a monthly summary of what changes were made on the website. Before using pro reports I had to send this email by hand, so this alone was a big win.
I agree with many things you say, or perhaps even everything you say. It’s a conversation starter and reminder. That’s the only reason why I am thinking about it and some time ago I tried the same already with ManageWP.
I personally also think it makes a difference if it’s clearly an automated report or a manual crafted report. Depending on the client, the client might feel forced to look at it and perhaps even respond if it’s obviously a manually crafted report. An automatic report that is sent monthly (or for small clients maybe quarterly) is different. It’s easier to just swipe it away if it’s not the right time without feeling any guilt.
I feel my clients would not care much, many would even get annoyed by it, but in the end me being visible to them might outweight that.
For some reason I remember I have not heard much good about the MainWP reports, but I didn’t dive into those myself yet. However, as it’s the end of the year I am thinking exactly about those things … how visible am I to the client, and to some I am not at all visible until I want to send an invoice. Those kind of clients are very small maintenance clients of course (otherwise there would be more communication). You can’t have 4 checkup meetings a year as this would already fill half of the maintenance plan (for those small clients).
I think I should look into the Pro Reports as well. I even signed up for a competitor trial (instead of MainWP) just to test their reports, but in reality I don’t want to have 2 management platforms of course