Do you have a service-based offering?
Did you know that there are six risks in the minds of your potential customers that are stopping them from working with you?
These risks are not necessarily real; they are perceived risks
Nonetheless, they FEEL real to the people who could be working with you!
What are the six risks?
In services marketing, six perceived risks are regarded as an issue. These may not all apply to your service based offering, but I find that usually, at least three or more do.
Addressing these perceived risks using your marketing communications will lead to higher conversion rates from your website and social media.
The six perceived risks are:
Is your pricing clear? The risk in people’s minds around pricing tends to arise if there is ambiguity or lack of clarity in the copy on your website or social media about how much your service costs.
Sometimes, this is unavoidable because services are generally customised to meet the needs of the client at the time. If this is the case, I recommend having a one off introductory session that is priced so that people can at least be clear about the initial cost.
Other financial concerns arise regarding ongoing costs or hidden costs. The more transparency and explanation you provide, the better potential clients will feel about engaging with your service.
How long will it take? What if there is a long wait in the waiting room that compromises my ability to meet my other time commitments? I would say, most people have issues with feeling time poor, rushed or overloaded. Time is not a place where customers generally have much give. So, if your service requires additional time to be allocated in an ongoing manner or there is ambiguity about the duration of the service, potential customers NEED to know about this beforehand. There is power in knowledge for customers.
Make sure your copy is clear about time! If waiting room waits are an issue, give customers the option to have you text them about their appointments. Allow your customer to be in charge of their time and they will appreciate it, even if you have to re-schedule; if this is handled elegantly, the customer will generally appreciate your efforts to save
them time rather than sit in a waiting situation, with no information about how long it will take and be fuming and worrying.
Is she going to touch me? Is it safe? in certain healing practices, this is a huge issue. Especially if you run your sessions online. Your clients may be wondering how you are going to heal them on Skype. Similarly with yoga, Pilates, Art Therapy and more, clients may have injuries or preferences that effect their willingness for contact. Even hairdressers need to address the physical safety issues of clients in terms of hair dyes or other practices.
Video demonstrations of the process can be helpful here as well as detailed written explanations of the process the client will undergo. Also, if you are a member of an association or have other certification/qualifications, these can help allay fears about physical issues.
How will it work? What if it doesn’t work? Services can be intangible or have intangible aspects. If you can demonstrate your service using your online communications, you can easily address these concerns. For functionality, you can go further and offer guarantees or warranties on your work to address the perceived risks. Reviews and testimonials are another great tool for making the seemingly intangible into something potential clients can grasp.
What will my friends/family think if they find out? This risk can be related to the type of service you provide or the reputation of your business and needs to be addressed in the context of the concern. If you think you have a reputation issue, I recommend testimonials, reviews and your credentials plastered on your online presence. If it’s in regards to the type of service you provide, you can make assurances about privacy, discretion and confidentiality.
Either way, this risk CAN be managed using your online marketing communications.
What does this mean about me as a person? Similar to the social risk but more about how the client sees themselves, this risk can be addressed through your copy by giving assurances about the validity of the persons choice or the normal-ness of the client need. Again, testimonials, before and after stories and reviews can put a client at ease about themselves or their needs. Each service has distinct characteristics and the marketing messages you choose to create and provide can address the distinct needs of your business.
How Do I Fix This?
As you can see in the description of the risks, the most common marketing communications to address perceived risks are:
- Show your credentials and qualifications
- Use before and after stories
- Use reviews and testimonials
- Use video demonstrations
- Use copy for allaying fears
- Use copy to explain processes
- Guarantees or warranties
As I said above, each service based business has it’s own distinct characteristics and will need to make their own evaluations about how to address these risks. It’s definitely something to keep in mind when you are creating your online marketing content and if you are finding your conversion rates via online channels are low or nil.
Tell me what some of the risks are in your service based business in the comments and I can give you tips on how to address them xxxx