Marketing Tips For Your Service Business

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Competition for customers is tough. Service-based businesses need to step up and sort out a marketing strategy. Word of mouth is a great way to get clients, but it will only get you so far. You need to do it soon before your competitors do, or you will be playing catch up. 

If you want to give your service business the edge, take a look at these marketing tips. 

Focus on local SEO

Service-based SMEs often operate in a limited geographical area. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your online presence for local.  Start by claiming and updating your Google My Business listing in order to be easier to find by people searching in your local area. Optimizing your website in order to appear higher in search engine results. SEO leads for HVAC companies and services can be a valuable source of business. 

Define your differentiator

Your unique selling point (USP) needs to be the core of your marketing message. You may choose to base it on value for money, experience, customer service. Whatever makes you the best at what you do. It can be tempting to try and be all things to all people but you risk losing your message in all the noise. 

Customer reviews

Good reviews are a fantastic promotional tool. Many people look for recommendations online before they even contact a company. Always seek reviews from your customers and use them on your website, social media and other marketing. Reviews can be collected on Google, scial media or a third party review system 

If you get a few bad reviews, make sure you respond to them in a professional manner rather than getting defensive of starting an argument. Other potential customers will be looking at these reviews and if you act unprofessionally, they won’t want to do business with you. 

Don’t ignore social media

Many service companies avoid social media, as they aren’t sure what benefit it has for the business. Using social media well can attract people to your social media pages to engage and eventually, when they are in need of your services, they will think of you. 

Do your research on your audience and find out where your potential customers are.  If they are on Instagram, there’s no point focussing on Snapchat. 

Measure your marketing activity

Not tracking your activity is a huge mistake. Anecdotally attributing increased sales to your increased marketing is not a good idea. At the very least, you need to track where all of you customer enquiries have come from. Using this data you know where you can afford to invest more. Good metrics to track include: 

  • Lead source
  • Social media engagement
  • Organic traffic 
  • Cost per lead 
  • Cost per customer

Conclusion

The service sector, especially ones that are based in a small geographic location, often neglect the marketing basics. It is an industry where word of mouth has previously ruled but increased competition and the changing habits of consumers means it needs to update its’ marketing practices.

How To Make A New Business Seem Professional

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If you’re a new business owner, it can be hard at first to compete. People like to deal with businesses that they can trust, and until you’ve proved yourself, earning that trust can be tough. When you’re just starting out, you need to work to seem as professional as you can, so someone will take a risk and deal with you.

  1. Look professional yourself. Start off on the right foot by getting your own appearance right. If you don’t look professional and arrive to meetings dressed like a student, nobody is going to take you seriously. Dress for success so people feel confident in you. 
  2. Get your office or storefront right. When you start out, you probably have a small budget for your physical space. If you’ve had to rent an office or store space that is small, or not in the most desirable area, this can start you on the back foot. You can counteract this though by making sure your space looks smart. Keep the frontage tidy and well-maintained. Keep signage clear, sweep up any trash, and maintain your parking lot with https://www.keflatwork.com/parking-lot-paving/. A few plants outside can go a long way to adding some smartness too. 
  3. Branding is essential. Strong branding is going to be your friend when you start out. If you’re not good at branding, bring in some help from a graphic designer. Start with your logo. It should communicate who you are clearly and not remind you of any other business. When you have your logo, work on other brand areas. Choose some brand colors, design your website, business cards, brochures, and any other print items you need. Keep your branding consistent across everything, so you are immediately recognizable wherever someone encounters you. 
  4. Get reviews. If you can get some reviews or testimonials, this gives someone a reason to trust you. But if you need reviews to get customers and clients, how do you get those first reviews? If you can, ask your friends or family to act as guinea pigs to test out your services or products, and then ask to write those first reviews. When you start to bring in other customers, give them an incentive to leave a review. As soon as their purchase is complete, trigger an email with an invite to review, and offer something like a discount for next time of they complete an honest testimonial. This gets you some feedback which can be useful for improving, a review to show potential customers that you’re on the level, and hopefully some repeat business too. 
  5. Change your contact details. When you have your website set up, get a business domain that you can use for email. An email address like yourname@yourbusiness.com looks much more professional than a free email service. Get a dedicated phone line for your business, so you have a landline phone number for people to call you on that is only for your business. This is better than a mobile, or a calling your home where your kids might be the ones to answer.

Getting Your Customer Service In Good Order

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A bad review can put a lot of people off make future purchases. Consumers are quick to believe a bad review over a good review – and sometimes with good reason. The age of the influencer has meant that people are no longer sure if the glowing reviews of products are real – or paid for. And only with recent crackdowns has that become clear. 

In order to really thrive as a business, your customer service needs to be exceptional. And it doesn’t matter if you are selling soap from your kitchen, or running a multi-million pound/dollar establishment – you need to maintain the highest standard possible. 

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” –Sam Walton

Easy

You need to make it easy for people to get to you. You should have your customer service numbers easy to see on your website, and on from that – on all of your social media channels. People will often prefer to email or message you on social media. So you should have that set up ready for people to get in touch. 

Polite

When they reach your helpdesk of choice, they should be greeted with a respectful person. Often people who are getting in touch with customer services aren’t doing so because they are happy. So it can be hard to keep your cool unless you are well trained, like Single Point Global in providing these services. 

Even automated services should be polite in their responses. 

Prepared

You should be ready to have some angry people ask a lot of you to rectify smaller issues. It is up to you how you deal with these things. Typically make sure customer service operatives are authorized to give discounts, arrange returns and elevate the issues where required. 

The more power that your operatives have, the less likely you will find a more significant complaint on your hands. 

Encourage Feedback

You will not know if you are doing, or if you are doing badly unless you ask someone. They will be able to tell you where you can make improvements, if your delivery is too slow, where the issues are in your products. This will enable you to make changes and fix the issues. So while lousy feedback might feel like you are being attacked, actually it is really beneficial for you to be able to do something constructive with it. For example, if you hear consistently bad reviews about your current choice courier – you can then simply swap and see if that improves the situation.  

They’re Not ALWAYS Right

Ideally, you will have happy customers who are raving about your goods, but occasionally you and your staff will be tested. There will be a customer who will have an issue with you, your products, your ethos and more. And, nothing you say or do will help rectify the situation. It is essential to know that, nor you or your customers are always right.