The typical commodity product sellers from the past, today provide various services along with their physical products such as delivery, insurance, installation, warranties, ongoing support, customer service, etc. By doing that, they improve their physical offering and deliver better and more competitive customer experience and satisfaction.
Marketing and selling services successfully requires organized approach focused on multiple marketing and service elements. Customers can learn the features and benefits about various services but they cannot try them or know exactly what the services would be like when they are delivered.
Compared to physical products where customers can see and try the product, there is a certain level of uncertainty and risk involved when purchasing the service. Customers are not quite sure how successful the service performance will be.
On the other hand by offering services companies are able to create personal experience with their customers, offer personalized and customized services based on customer needs and preferences and build strong relationships with their customers.
Given the uncertainty in purchasing services for the customers, once a service provider establishes itself as a high quality and reliable provider, it is more likely that the customers will stay in long term. In addition, happy customers will refer new business and talk about their experiences.
What are the key elements in marketing services?
The following are 5 important components in marketing and selling services:
1. Risk Reversal
One of the most important marketing approaches in service marketing is for the company to minimize the risk for new customers. If the customer sees no risk in buying a service the conversion rate will be higher.
The risk can be minimized with guarantees and risk reversal strategies. Money back guarantee along with warranties minimize the risk for the customer and encourage new customers to try the service regardless of the uncertainty related to the quality of the final service delivery.
2. Social Proof
Another important element in service marketing is social proof. This helps prospects learn more about the service features and benefits from other customers who have similar needs. Testimonials, case studies, social media channels, references, etc. help new customers make informed decisions. Today with the growth of social media learning about companies and their services is very easy.
Demonstrate expertise and experience. Showing your potential customers that you understand their needs and know what you are doing is critical for successful service marketing.
When your service features and benefits are ideal fit with your customers’ needs and you are able to communicate this effectively the marketing process is more successful and easier. In marketing and selling services to companies, learning the customer business is a must.
Once your prospects see that you understand their business needs, issues, pain and opportunities and their business objectives, they’ll give you a chance to show what you can do for them.
4. Define and Target your Ideal Customers
When you are able to define who the ideal customer is and develop a profile or marketing persona, your marketing will improve. When you sell your services to your ideal customer your marketing message is more effective, your service benefits are a perfect fit with the customer needs and you are able to grow your business faster.
On the other hand, marketing services to customers who are not your ideal market segment takes more time, it is less effective and you are not able to charge the right price for your services. The reason is that they don’t see your service satisfying their real needs.
5. Targeted Lead Generation
Once you know your ideal customer you are able to identify the most effective ways to attract new customers. Your lead generation process should focus on the channels, promotions, activities and tactics which allow you to communicate directly with your target market. Regardless of whether it is paid advertising, referrals or social media marketing, you should be able to communicate your value proposition directly to the end users.
As a conclusion, by focusing on the 5 components describes above you can improve your service marketing drastically:
Develop your ideal customer profile, identify the most effective ways to communicate with your target market, communicate your expertise, use social proof and minimize the risk for your customers. In addition always look for opportunities to improve your existing services based on your customers’ feedback and experience in order to retain your customers in long term.