One of the challenges of running a business that sells services is that you do not have the physical products that can be examined and compared with those of competitors. This affects both your marketing efforts and the experience a potential customer has in making a purchasing decision. It is more difficult to assure customers of the quality of services they have never tried before and a simple purchasing decision becomes a huge risk in the eyes of the consumer. All is not lost though, there are many ways of reassuring a potential customer with the proper marketing strategy.
Focus on customer service
Every contact with a customer is an opportunity to make an impression. In the service industry there is no great product to distract potential customers from the quality of service provided. Customer service can usually be analyzed on par with the quality of the service that is on sale. As a result of this it is important that emphasis is placed on customer service as well as providing support to customers. The experience of the customer could determine whether or not the service is recommended to others or not.
Offer a limited time trial
The problem of the potential customer not being able to inspect a service like a physical product can be mitigated by allowing customers to try the service for free for a limited time before making a purchasing decision. This is a popular method which helps reassure the customer that the service will satisfy and allows the service provider a chance to make a good first impression. The trial period has to be long enough to allow the customer to get accustomed to using the service and get “hooked” into making the purchase while short enough to encourage the customer to make a timely decision on whether or not to purchase. While providing the service for free, even for a limited time, incurs costs these costs can be offset if conversions to long term customers increase.
Use multimedia to engage your customers
When things are difficult to explain or put in words graphics and videos can tell a wonderful story. Pictures of the service you provide in use or pictures of satisfied customers can go a long way in convincing others to use the service. Photos or videos of your service being used in-house also helps your business look professional and unashamed to stand behind its services. Videos showing how to use the service also help eliminate some of the apprehension potential customers may have to making the final purchase.
Share customer testimonials
Referrals are a very powerful tool since we value the opinions of others who have tried a service in deciding whether we should try it. This is especially true for services that cost money. Testimonials are a way of having current or former customers share their experience with others. This adds credibility to your business and helps potential customers know what to expect. It may address some of the concerns customers have about making the purchase without requiring any reassurance from customer service.