Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Most people can't get through a single week without purchasing a service from a small business. Whether they're visiting the local car wash, getting their home painted, or needing some home repairs, they need the services of a local small business.
It's the local, one-to-one aspect of service marketing that makes it so different from marketing the average product. The very word "service" implies a more personal interaction. And if your company is all about providing a great service, a marketing campaign that builds relationships is essential to your success.
Let customers know you Good relationships are built on trust. So naturally your potential customers want to learn as much as they can about your company and the people that stand behind it. Women shoppers, in particular, look for deeper information when deciding on which company or service to choose, and the vast majority of both male and female shoppers do research on the web before making a purchase, or booking in a service.
Use your website and your social media to convey in-depth information about your service business. Use them to showcase your service benefits, share your company's story, photos, staff bios and affiliations. Show your visitors how you deliver on its promises by providing testimonials, case histories or work samples. For more tips on effective web design, check out this article.
Compete based on value You need to understand what makes customers pick your company over your competitor's?
Most choose the service provider that offers the greatest value for their money. In many competitive markets, there's price parity among the principal players. So the best way to win business is not to cut your prices or rates, but instead add products or services that make your offer too good to refuse.
Take time to develop a service bundle that you know will appeal to your best prospects. You may need to test various offers until you find a winning combination; then modify your offer periodically to keep your incentives fresh. Which leads us to talking about incentives...
Tempt potential customers with incentives Customers who've had positive experiences with your company's services in the past will happily return. But tempting new customers requires making a special offer.
Businesses that provide home services, such as rug cleaning, painting, home heating or air conditioning, can benefit by sending consumers coupons and special offers via e-mail or snail mail, target your Facebook ad campaign to your local area or advertise with your local online groups.
For long-term results, create a special offer that will motivate new customers to make more than a single purchase.
Keep in touch It costs considerably less to keep a customer than to win a new one, so it's smart to maintain a campaign to upsell or resell existing customers. In fact if you're not communicating with your customer database at least every four to six weeks, you're missing opportunities to grow your business.
You can use a combination of sales and marketing tactics to stay in touch, such as alternating sales calls with e-mail and snail mail. Even with the best of offers, you can burn out your list if you pitch customers too often. So rather than sending only hard-sell offers, intersperse them with e-newsletters containing case histories or other soft-sell but relevant and valuable information.
Make a habit of periodically using your marketing communications to ask for referrals. You can e-mail a success story, for example, and ask the recipients to forward it to friends or family members who would like to achieve similar results. By providing information about your company for new customers and ongoing offers and communications with existing customers, you'll create a campaign that builds strong relationships.
For more insight into focusing your small services business on growth, building brand awareness or setting up an email marketing campaign book a free initial consultation with our business consulting team today.