It’s no secret that being able to physically see or test a product prior to buying does wonders for nudging consumers through the purchase funnel. Whether designer shoes, a smart TV, or a used car, potential customers can view these goods in store or online, and get a feel for whether it is what they’re looking for.
Services on the other hand usually require more effort to see conversions. Research has shown there is a positive relationship between tangibles and perceived value from the consumer’s perspective, meaning that the observable elements of a service influence perceptions of quality. So, how can businesses demonstrate, rather than rely on explanations, their services in a way that effectively builds trust and encourages consideration?
Because prospective customers cannot see or interact with your product or service, creating trust and maintaining a good reputation carries greater weight in influencing buying decisions. Publishing reviews across your social media channels and website offers support for the reliability and quality of services. Sharing testimonials, highlighting relevant qualifications and awards, and showing profiles of experienced staff are all engaging ways of conveying credibility. Wherever possible, putting together a brief case study or story of a customer’s experience with your business is ideal, and top marks if you can include a video or other visuals. This is because trust in written reviews alone is decreasing, as people can so easily produce fake ones.
The impact of visual and interactive material cannot be emphasised enough. Standing out on social media is only becoming more challenging as our feeds are saturated with content. Although illustrating an accounting service sounds pretty difficult, this could be done simply by creating a 30-second educational clips. It could show your staff meeting and discussing with clients, with brief text overlaid listing the steps involved and the results your clients have achieved through your service. Similarly, if providing marketing or web design, case studies and portfolios are crucial to boasting the quality of your work and outlining how you have improved key metrics for clients. This enables potential customers to understand the work involved and how you have helped others with similar needs or in similar circumstances.
While offering an incentive isn’t the first ‘go to’ for growing your customer base, promoting a special or deal for new clients can be well worthwhile. Even if it’s just small, a saving is a saving in the consumer’s mind, and people are more likely to at least enquire given this knowledge. Although a successful promotion may cut into profits initially, bringing business through the door means more word-of-mouth and customer referrals, which are invaluable in the long-term. After winning a job and completing a service, communication should continue to keep customers aware and engaged with your business. A simple email marketing campaign that sends regular, monthly emails providing notable company updates or recent project highlights is time- and cost-effective. Keeping your brand top-of-mind among past customers can also lead to referrals, as you never know when someone down the line may be needing and looking for your service.