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3 Easy Ways for Service Businesses to Beat the Competition (that have nothing to do with price)

Price is often the number one factor businesses assume they'll need to compromise on if they want to attract clients away from their competitors. But your potential clients often base their decisions on who to hire for reasons other than how much they'll be spending.


Convenience

If your hair salon is closed on Sunday, and all of your competitors are open, you’ll be alienating clients who only have Sundays available to get their hair done. On the contrary, if all of your competitors are closed on Sunday and your salon is open, guess who will acquire all of the clients who can’t get into the salon on any day BUT Sunday? Same goes for offering your service outside of normal business hours. It constantly surprises me how many companies only do business between 8 am and 5 or 6 pm. Most people don’t want to take time off from THEIR jobs to be home for you to clean their air vents or take their car in for service. Working non-traditional hours in your business will give you an edge over so many competitors.


In addition to the hours you’re open, think about whether you can offer home services or virtual services, whether people can book through your website or text, and if you have any specialized ongoing support you can offer.


Transparency

With tons of information available at the drop of a “hey Siri,” people are wired to want answers fast and without having to personally interact. The clearer you can be about your service offerings and prices on your website, or at least via email, the more of a chance you stand at landing a client. Plastic Surgeons who list prices on their websites or provide quick price quotes via email will be more likely to acquire a customer who has no idea what a session of Botox costs than any other plastic surgeons in the area who don’t easily provide that information. Even if prices vary per customer (as is the case with Botox- not that I personally know…YET, wink wink), it can be helpful to post a range showing what the average customer spends.


Besides all of this, posting prices adds an element of convenience to the potential client's exploration phase, which doubles the benefit as per point #1 above- convenience. You are essentially improving the customer experience before someone even becomes a customer.


Personalization

In an ever-growing low-touch world, personalized experiences and human connection stand out. One simple thing that professional services providers like financial advisors, attorneys, and accountants can do to improve the odds of earning a new client’s business is answer the call or personally call the potential client back and capture some basic personal information. Connecting with the client directly, rather than having an assistant handle all of the up-front communications will go a long way in making the potential client feel appreciated. Plus, collecting personal information will allow the savvy professional to better connect with clients throughout the relationship by asking about their spouse and children by name, referring to what the client does for work, and so forth.


It’s not always about snazzy advertising- in fact it rarely is- when it comes to winning new clients. Practical matters and how a brand (read: you and your employees) makes someone feel are often the factors that influence a purchase or at the very least, an inquiry.