5 Steps to Dealing with Broken PPC Campaigns or Client Relationships

There comes a time for all PPC account managers when something goes terribly wrong. You may or may not even catch yourself saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” Maybe performance is sliding and your client (or boss) is livid and ready to leave (or make you leave). Perhaps you accidentally set a bid to $100 and racked up a massive 1-day bill in AdWords. Heck, everything could be perfect, but you forgot to respond to an email or phone call. Whatever the specific scenario, the end result is the same: you must now deal with a broken PPC campaign or a struggling client relationship. Here are 5 steps to help you weather the storm.

Cool It

Don’t panic. Whatever the issue is, just take a big, deep breath. And whatever you do, don’t make an immediate response when you are feeling angry, frustrated or upset. Take a few minutes to calm down, then come back to your computer and…

Review It

The glory of working in PPC is that everything is based on data. Performance metrics. Change history. Campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads, bids, etc., etc.. It is all there in black and white. And if you are anything like us here at Clix, you keep a secondary record of changes to provide context and record for your team.

Review the campaign that is broken. Review the angry client email. Or review the notes you took from the angry client phone call. Then review your PPC campaigns. All the data is there, you just need to piece it all together. After all, that’s your job!

Own It

Once you understand what happened and what the problem is – it is your job to own it. Your fault, client’s fault, 3rd party tool’s fault – it doesn’t matter. Own it. The oldest rule in customer service is that the customer is always right, yes?

Construct an email (if appropriate) or make a call to explain the details of the situation. If it was your fault – admit it and explain how you can make it right (particularly if it involves money). If it was something the client did, this is where tact comes into play. Without pointing fingers, explain what the problem was and exactly what the solution is.

Fix It

Easier said than done sometimes. But again, that’s your job! Make campaign adjustments. Reimburse money. Apologize for and react to failed communication. Do what it takes to salvage campaign performance and your client relationship.

Learn From It

Mistakes happen. “To err is human” and all that mumbojumbo. The important part is what you do after a mistake. Now that you truly understand what happened and have fixed it, take the time to think through all of the steps that led to the situation in the first place. How can you keep this from happening again in the future? What lesson was learned that can be applied to other client relationships and other campaigns?