In the world of marketing, it is relatively simple to market products. You describe all of the benefits that a product can do for that client base. A marketing team can explain how a specific product can make the customers life easier and countless other things. When it comes to the marketing of service-based businesses, the job is a bit trickier but not impossible.
Marketing a service requires developing a relationship with the customers prior to them using the services on offer. Many customers will do research on a company prior to committing to using their services. The following are a few tips for developing a relationship with potential customers and keeping them.
- Develop a relationship through knowledge – Building a website where customers can learn about the owners and staff of a business helps them gain knowledge about a company. This also helps in developing trust, an essential element to all great relationships, business included.
- Offer incentives – There are multiple ways to offer incentives. Place special offers on a company website; send out coupons via regular mail to specific areas or zip codes. Coupons or special offers sent via email to customers in good standing are another marketing tool.
- Business cards – Business cards are not obsolete. Sharing business cards with customers is one way to reach other customers. Just like word of mouth, one customer passing a company’s business card to a friend or co-worker serves as free advertising. Sharing them with other businesses can prove equally beneficial.
- Community involvement – When possible companies should interact with their communities. This includes connecting with other small businesses and the community as a whole.
- Be competitive – Competing with other businesses offering the same services does not mean on price alone. Along with a good price, customers like when businesses offer added benefits, products, or services. The common name for this practice is “bundling.”
When it comes to marketing a service companies use the same basic marketing tools, the 4 P’s. The four P’s are product, price, place, and promotion. In addition to those four P’s it is essential that a marketing team use three additional P’s, which includes people, physical evidence, and process.
- People – When marketing a service informing the client of every individual involved in delivery of the service is essential. Clients are more at ease when they know how many people are involved in performing the service. Avoiding surprises is a key element in keeping customers satisfied.
- Physical Evidence – When selling a service, communicating to the client the process for delivering that service, and then following through, makes for a better experience. Furthermore, if you can document the process by which the service is completed this can help provide tangible physical evidence of the service provided. Documentation and communication with the client is of the utmost importance when selling services.
- Process – When performing the service following the procedures outlined to the client and having no interruptions in the flow of activities helps with client trust and confidence.
The marketing of services may prove quite different from the marketing of products but that does not make it impossible. Companies that build a relationship with their client base, offer incentives, offer services at a great value, and are excellent at communication find their business more successful.