10 Sales and Marketing Tips to Help Your Service Business Thrive
Your company’s success in the field service industry hinges upon your choice of sales and marketing strategies. Failure to take a proactive approach to field service sales can lead to stagnant business and poor customer satisfaction. Even worse, you could drive prospective customers right into the arms of your competitors. Below are 10 tips to help your business outshine rival companies in an increasingly competitive field service industry.
1) Network at industry trade shows. Trade shows and expos provide outstanding opportunities to promote your field service business and expand your customer base. Additionally, you can gain valuable sales and marketing tips from industry experts who are featured speakers. Leading trade shows within the field service industry include the following:
- Service World Expo is an activity-packed trade show designed to introduce service companies to the latest cutting-edge tools and service techniques
- Pest World showcases the latest sales and service techniques that can help your business gain an edge in the pest control industry
- ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers) offers plumbers and technicians the opportunity to meet face to face with customers and manufacturers
- Field Service USA has been a top trade show for field service businesses of all sizes since 2003
2) Give your website a tune-up. Your website is the face of your field service business. Most people begin their search for a service provider on the internet, highlighting the importance of a responsive, captivating website. Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare to give your website a facelift:
- Make sure your web pages take no longer than 2-3 seconds to load
- List your company’s official certifications and accreditations
- Use a multi-media format to engage visitors
- Make sure your company’s contact information is highly visible
- Feature industry awards and recognition your business has received
- Post a calendar that includes your participation at upcoming expos
3) Ramp up your company’s accessibility. Plumbing emergencies, HVAC problems, and pest control issues often seem to strike at the most inopportune times. Emergencies frequently occur on the weekends, in the middle of the night, and on holidays. When these emergencies strike, customers are often dismayed to find that many businesses are closed or have limited hours of operation. You can gain an edge over your competitors by taking the following steps to become the most accessible provider in your area:
- Emphasize your need for weekend warriors when you interview field service technicians
- Advertise your company’s availability on weekends, nights, and holidays
- Plan your weekend and holiday staffing well in advance
- Incentivize and reward technicians who agree to work on holidays
- Do not be afraid to charge rush fees or holiday service fees
4) Design a superb customer experience. Designing an outstanding customer experience will grow your repeat business and increase the number of referrals that you receive. Here are some ways to foster a memorable customer experience that will bolster your sales.
- Provide customers with a photo and brief profile of their technician in advance of their service visit
- Give customers a brief summary of what they should expect during a service visit
- Host promotions and contests to keep customers engaged
- Feature preferred pricing for long-term customers and clients who refer business to you
- Offer customers multiple modes of payment (cash, credit card, wire transfer, and PayPal)
- Incentivize customers who pay in advance for service
5) Train your technicians to become masters of professionalism. Do not allow your zest to beef up your marketing initiatives overshadow the role that basic employee professionalism can play in bolstering sales and customer satisfaction. Below are some key steps that should follow. They should be emphasized during the onboarding process and during ongoing training activities
- Contact customers in advance of an appointment
- Arrive on time. If a technician is running behind, he or she should contact the client immediately.
- Wear the proper uniform or clothing. Make sure technicians have protective gear if required.
- Have spare uniforms and safety gear handy. Technicians should always look neat and clean.
- Avoid smoking or using alcohol during a service visit.
- Address customers properly and avoid using slang or vulgar language.
6) Employ cloud-based service management software. A cloud-based software system will drive efficiency and sales for your business. You can schedule and reschedule service visits within a matter of seconds, enabling customers to receive the fast response that they desire. Additionally, your staff will save valuable time and perform their jobs from any location with internet service. When choosing service management software, you should seek a provider that offers the following:
- Software that can be used by a variety of service companies (pest control, HVAC, plumbing, etc.)
- A complimentary trial to allow you to assess the software’s fit with your business needs
- A user-friendly interface to promote rapid learning among employees
- An affordable price tag
- The ability to employ the software using any mobile device
7) Make follow-up a top priority. One of the best ways to delight customers and increase repeat business is to offer thorough follow-up support. Customers often complain that companies disappear after services are rendered and payment is received. Here are some follow-up sales strategies to help make sure that your business stands out from your competitors:
- Create a follow-up schedule that mirrors the customer’s service needs
- Proactively reach out to customers by phone or e-mail at least once per quarter
- Encourage your customers to subscribe to your blog or newsletter for ongoing service tips
- Delight your customers by sending a card or message to them on their birthday
8) Train your service technicians to upsell client contracts. Most service technicians are not natural born salespeople. However, technicians are often in the perfect position to upsell client contracts because they spend an extended amount of time onsite and develop a trusted relationship with the customer. Because many technicians lack even the most rudimentary sales skills, they must receive some basic sales training to successfully upsell contracts. This training should be provided by a member of your company’s sales staff and should be integrated into ongoing compliance training provided to service technicians.
9) Ask customers for their feedback. One of the best ways to increase sales is to simply ask your customers to outline the reasons why they chose your business to meet their service needs. You can ask customers about their experience directly or you can create a short survey to administer after completion of a service visit. Answers to the questions below can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of your sales and service strategies:
- How did you hear about our company?
- Were you satisfied with the quality of service that you received?
- What, if anything, could we do to improve our quality of service?
- Do you plan to use our company again if future service needs arise?
- Would you refer a friend or family member to our company?
10) Seek the support of an industry visionary. A leading industry professional can give your company the tailored guidance and resources you need to bolster employee efficiency and increase revenue. An experienced professional can suggest scheduling methodology, follow-up strategies, and industry trade shows that will help you develop a winning sales and marketing campaign for your service company.
For more tips on optimizing your efficiency, please contact us. We have the tools and expertise to help your business thrive. We look forward to helping your service company prosper!