How to Market Your Service Business: 4 Great Tips
Imagine it’s a Saturday night and you and your family are in the mood for some barbeque. So you get online and search for barbeque restaurants in your area. You look at a long list of results on a map to see which ones are nearby. You might look at menus on these restaurant websites, photos on their Facebook pages, or reviews on Yelp. Once you dine at one of the restaurants, you consider the quality of the food, but also the service, the atmosphere, and the cleanliness when deciding whether or not to return. If you’ve had a really great experience (or a really bad one), you’ll likely tell others and possibly even leave a review.
The process for homeowners when they need a service you provide is not all that dissimilar. If you’re relying on word of mouth as a primary tool in marketing your field service business, you’re selling your business short.
Six hours and 42 minutes. That’s the average amount of time we, as individuals, are spending online each day (more than 27 percent of the year). Think about the last time you needed to call a business and you didn’t already have their phone number; where did you go to find it? More than likely, you went online.
This is all extremely relevant in how to market your service business.
How to Market Your Service Business
Create or Update Your Company Website
These days, it’s not just “nice” to have a website: It’s necessary.
Like everyone else, your customers are online and that’s where they’re looking for you. In fact, 30 percent of them won’t consider a business without a website. You don’t have to spend an extraordinary amount of money building your website. But you do need to make sure that it is telling potential customers who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, how they can get ahold of you. Also consider:
- Your hours of operation. This gives visitors to your site a reasonable expectation of when they can reach you or expect a call back. Does your business operate 24/7? If so, make sure your website says it.
- Certification or license information. This is especially important for companies where a license is required to legally operate in your area. Providing this information up front helps to engender trust with potential customers visiting your website.
- A gallery of your work. While this may not be as important for some field service businesses, it is powerful for others, like landscapers, pool builders, and residential and commercial cleaners.
- An email signup. Do you publish a monthly newsletter, blog, or other regular content for customers and prospects? Let them know when they sign up what kinds of useful information or resources they can expect to receive from you.
While some businesses view social media sites as unprofessional, they’re actually a valuable tool for you to market your service business.
- Continuously engage. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to interact directly with your followers on an ongoing basis. They provide an avenue to showcase what you’re up to, share timely messages, and inform visitors about new services.
- Build trust. Social media is a good vehicle for introducing your followers to who you are. Trust is of utmost importance for field service companies, where your customers are allowing your staff into their homes. Posting photos of your team – whether it’s a posed picture or a fun candid shot – helps personalize your business to your followers.
- Source reviews. Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and other review sites are the online version of word of mouth advertising. Online reviews factor heavily in decision-making processes. Don’t be shy about asking your customers to like, follow, and rate you online, thus encouraging potential customers to use your business.
You’ll soon find that, like a website, social media is a must if you want to connect with customers.
Hone Your Advertising
Many businesses fall victim to “spray and pray” marketing tactics – “spraying” their brand to massive numbers of people and praying that it generates customers. This type of approach can get costly fast, while simultaneously not providing much in return.
Alternatively, targeting online advertising to your ideal customers can generate a better response for the same or less spend than more flashy (and expensive) methods. This could include serving ads for your business to people who have already visited your website or those who are searching for keywords relevant to your services. These types of approaches are also trackable and offer real-time metrics that reflect the effectiveness of your ads.
Continue Your Marketing in the Field
It’s easy to forget that marketing your field service business doesn’t stop when someone makes an appointment with you or when the technician shows up at their door. Imagine yourself as your customer and think about all the talking your branding is doing for you during this “last mile” of service.
- Your vehicle. Your branded vehicles are moving billboards for your company. Think not only about their appearance (cleanliness, exterior condition, etc.) but also how safely and appropriately your employees are driving them.
- Your employees. Your field technicians are walking advertisements for your brand. If they wear logoed apparel, ensure that their uniforms or shirts aren’t dirty, faded, or tattered. Consider training your employees on customer engagement and interaction according to your priorities, especially if that includes promoting additional services or products.
- Your paperwork. Do your technicians arrive at appointments with a messy clipboard or a stack of wrinkled papers? Are they presenting customers with generic invoice templates or receipts? Think about how field service management software can help eliminate paperwork and showcase your professionalism with estimates, work orders, and invoices branded with your logo.
While this list of tips about how to market your service business may seem like a tall order, you don’t need to incorporate all of these things at once. If your time is limited, focus on these items one at a time.
Final Thoughts on How to Market Your Service Business
Choosing how to market your service business is important. But so is assessing your results. Asking your customers how they heard about you and tracking their responses is an important step in evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Don’t be afraid to tweak or change your plans as you go along, either. A good marketing strategy is fluid and responsive to the marketplace so you keep your business top of mind for years to come.