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Why organizations should build a custom dashboard for each of their clients

It’s tempting to use a one-size-fits-all, stock template for your client reporting; it will save you time and ensure consistency for all your clients at once. However, it’s more advantageous to create a custom dashboard for each of your clients so they can view their most important metrics at any given time—and it’s not much more expensive than a traditional template-based creation. In fact, according to datapine, it’s possible to create a custom business dashboard in the span of just a few clicks.

So why should you take this direction with your clients?

The Advantages of Custom Dashboards

Let’s start with the advantages of building custom dashboards for each of your clients:

1. Client-specific layouts. Each dashboard will have a client-specific layout, enabling your clients to see the metrics that are most important to them in the most prominent positions. You can use your structure as a guide to direct them to the most important information. Ultimately, this will cut the time it takes for them to learn how to read a report, and make each reporting session faster and more relevant.

2. Memory and client relationships. If you plan on reviewing information in the dashboard together, having a custom layout will help your account representatives with a form of visual memory; they may see a specific combination of colors, or a specific layout, and be prompted to remember key details about this specific client relationship. This will allow your account reps to give more personalized service to each of your clients, ultimately resulting in higher client satisfaction and retention.

3. Perceived client value. Creating a custom dashboard for your client will make them feel valued. You’ll make time to talk with them and learn what their core goals and values are, and ultimately leave them with a tool that’s perfectly suited for them. In most cases, clients will be willing to pay a premium for this type of service. Even if you keep your pricing the same, you’ll end up with happier, more loyal customers.

4. Hands-off reporting. One key advantage of client-accessible dashboards is the possibility of hands-off reporting; in other words, clients can log into their dashboard any time they’d like to see how their campaigns are running. That means you may not need to have weekly meetings, or force your employees to create reports manually at regular intervals. This is effective for two reasons. First, you’ll save employee time (ultimately increasing productivity). Second, you’ll give your clients more control over their data, which makes them more invested.

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The silhouette of an attendee is seen while he works on an Apple Inc. laptop computer while participating in the Yahoo! Inc. Mobile Developer Conference Hackathon in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. The Hackathon is an opportunity for mobile developers to come together and hack around the Yahoo! Inc. Mobile Developer Suite. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

5. Feedback, integration, and evolution. Finally, you’ll have the chance to gather feedback, integrate new features, and gradually allow your platform to evolve. Experiences with past clients can help you build better custom dashboards for future clients, and as you build your relationships with your most loyal customers, their dashboards will only become better over time. Everyone wins in this interconnected ecosystem.

How to Get Started

How can you get started with this process?

  • Choose the right tools. The advantages of building custom dashboards for your clients are predicated upon being able to do so at minimal cost. Therefore, you need to have the right solution working for you. Spend time evaluating custom reporting and custom dashboard software you can use to create new dashboards conveniently, preferably with a WYSIWYG-style editor.
  • Start with a core product. Though you shouldn’t rely too heavily on templates, it’s a good idea to get things started with one core product—a kind of “mother” dashboard that you can use to build extensions and customizations in the future. This will give your clients a reference point as you collaborate on their eventual unique dashboard.
  • Learn points of efficiency and inefficiency. Get to know your client, including their goals, their history, and their working style. You should be able to learn about key metrics, variables, and features that are most important to them, and identify some core features that don’t matter as much. Use this information to sculpt a new custom platform out of the core template you started with.

Building a custom dashboard doesn’t have to be ridiculously complicated, and it can have a dramatic impact on your client relationships (and overall value to your clients). Invest the time and money it takes to present these unique creations, and serve your clients’ needs as specifically and relevantly as you can.

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