• Marketing

Why Customer Outreach for a Service Business is Harder

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 8 min read
Why Customer Outreach for a Service Business is Harder

Intro

If you are a service business, you’ve probably already determined that customer outreach is an important part of your business's success. It’s an important part of building your customer base, and it helps you connect with customers on a more personal level helping you retain them.

Not That Familiar With Customer Outreach?

Customer outreach is a crucial part of any business, especially if you want to gain trust to actually build and maintain your customer base. This process is often a combination of marketing and sales activities, such as sending emails or answering customer questions. It can also involve the use of social media to post updates about your business or respond to customer complaints.

You can conduct outreach to customers in various ways, including face-to-face interactions. Face-to-face interactions enable you to meet customers in person and discuss your products and services. You can also host events, such as seminars, conferences, and trade shows, to meet potential customers and answer their questions. Public forums are another great way to get in touch with customers. Most commonly, businesses communicate with customers online via social, chat, direct email, and of course the phone.

What are the Benefits of Customer Outreach

Customer outreach is a great way to boost customer loyalty and sales. Not only will this increase the number of new customers, but it will also help you improve the quality of your service. After all, customers will be more likely to recommend you to others if they have a positive experience with your company.

Customer outreach is critical for any business to;

  • Instill consumer confidence
  • Product a higher CTR
  • Increase Conversions
  • Improve Response Time
  • Drive Customer Satisfaction
  • Retain Customers.

Why is Service Business Outreach Different?

Oftentimes, service businesses struggle to figure out the proper approach to outreach. While networking and socializing is an excellent first step, it can quickly devolve into a cliché if not done correctly.

Customer Outreach is an important strategy to help manage your company's reputation as well as boost conversion rates. Online stores have a lot more opportunities to create customer touch points throughout the customer journey because customers are shopping, comparing, and buying actual products. This exponentially increases the opportunity to generate reviews, share socially, and communicate with customers.

A good example of the opportunity created simply by having an online store is the ability to create automated outreach triggered simply by;

  • A customer’s interest in a product
  • Adding to cart
  • Abandoning a cart
  • Abandoning during checkout
  • Follow-up emails after a successful purchase
  • Adding a product to a wishlist, etc.

All of these things make building trust a lot easier with a lot less effort. eCommerce stores have more opportunities to build a larger amount of reviews and more quickly through products. Shipping and checkout options can improve confidence and incentivize buyers. Likewise. Product videos and other user-generated content can drive customer trust and improve sales.

Services businesses simply don’t have those same opportunities along the customer journey. Selling a service can be a bit more difficult, but not impossible if you focus on creating outreach opportunities. As a service-based business, you can model some of those eCommerce touchpoints into your customers’ journey to help create compelling calls to action.

How to Create Outreach Opportunities?

To be successful, your strategy needs to be as personalized as possible. We all know that people are more likely to buy from brands that offer a more personal experience. Effective outreach is all about making a more personal connection with your customers.

To reap the benefits of outreach, you must first define your ideal customer. Then you need to create content that will attract them. Obviously, your website content is going to need to describe your services and how they can benefit your customer. That being said, this can be extremely difficult to do without being salesy. How in the Hell do you engage with customers without being salesy? You need a consumer perspective.

A great place to start is by understanding what your customer is after. For example, providing easy-to-access FAQs is a great way to show potential customers what other customers have asked and more importantly - how you’ve already answered their questions.

This is a simple approach to providing relevant information and value for customers that can increase brand loyalty and boost sales. This type of approach can also act as a stepping stone for a good touchpoint. By also providing a simple online chat along with some great FAQs, you can help incentivize customers to contact you directly, consequently getting their contact information. Look at that - outreach success.

How to Create Outreach Opportunities

I implement this very tactic on www.happycampers.store to engage with customers via chat every day. True; it is an eCommerce store, but the principle still applies.

How to Personalize Your Customer Outreach

Personalizing your customer outreach is a crucial part of your marketing strategy. Providing relevant information and value for customers increases click-through, engagement, and retention. When creating your customer outreach, remember to consider customer attributes, location, and events. These can all be used to personalize your messages.

Get a Name

Get a Name

A good customer experience increases the likelihood of a purchase, referral, and endorsement. One of the easiest ways to personalize any communication is to be able to address a customer by name.

Fortunately, most forms, chat tools, and phones port this basic, yet essential information. Even for me as a marketer and I know that an email is auto-generated, When I Dear Chris or Hey Chris in my mind I’m like… oh ya, this email is legit and I’m much more likely to read it.

Get Their Interests

Personalization begins with catering a message to your customers. You can’t do that without having information about your customers first.

To get this type of information to personalize your marketing campaign you have to ask your customers questions. Finding out what is important to them, what they want, and how they want it. You can do this in several ways like;

  • Setting up an online quiz
  • Simple Intake Forms & Offer Reward (like a free trial)
  • Run a contest or giveaway

The goal of outreach is to provide the best possible experience for your customers. A bad one hurts revenue, sales, reputation, and more.

When determining which outreach method you should use, start by considering your goals. Make sure your outreach offers a clear call to action for your recipient. This will motivate them to take action, and help you determine which method is the most effective. You should also track your outreach results to determine which ones are working and which ones are not.

What Outreach Channels Should You Use

To reach a larger audience, your outreach program needs to take advantage of multiple channels. This means using the right messages and marketing materials for your target customer personas. You also need to understand which outreach channels will work best for your business.

For example, many small businesses don’t have a big social media presence and instead rely heavily on LinkedIn. There’s nothing wrong with this if that is the space where your customers hang. LinkedIn provides an easy chat and messaging system as well as a platform for happy customers to leave reviews. That being said, if your particular customers are more inclined to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., you may want to look at adding those connections to your website for streamlined communication.

Email is An Essential Channel

Email outreach has been and still is the best way to reach out to current and potential customers. Let’s look at some tools to help collect customer feedback and communicate effectively.

Customer Outreach Tools for Automation

There are several customer outreach tools available that can automate email outreach for service businesses. These tools can automate email follow-ups, schedule follow-ups, and create multi-channel touchpoints. They can also schedule phone calls and LinkedIn messages. In addition, these tools have simple user interfaces and can integrate with any type of CRM like Salesforce.

As your business grows, engaging with customers can become a challenge. In fact, your customers may be more demanding than your staff is. Even if you have a small team of customer service agents, they might become overwhelmed by the number of customers requesting your services. With automated customer engagement tools, your team will not have to spend countless hours manually following up on customers. Plus, these tools will track all customer interactions and scale your business.

Tools for List Building

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a premium WordPress plugin that gives you the power to automatically collect and segment email addresses and customer names. These can be segmented based on the user’s activity, inactivity, cookies, geographical location, and more.

OptinMonster lets you build stunning lead-generation forms that are proven to grow your email list. OptinMonster also integrates with the most popular email marketing tools.

2. Moosend

Moosend is more of a complete email marketing automation platform that also features one of the most functional online form builders. With it, you can easily and quickly create any style subscription form of your choosing, with no technical skills required. Its builder includes modern, responsive, and customizable templates that you can leverage for capturing email subscribers, generating leads, and enhancing conversions.

Tools for Email Marketing

1. MailChimp

MailChimp (Source)

One of the most popular email builders out there is Mailchimp. It’s got an easy entry point for free with the bare necessities. It comes with a wide variety of ready-made email designs and online form builder options that allow for great lead generation.

Mailchimps’ email builder seems more intuitive for non-marketers, allowing users to easily manage their visual content, build spot-on automation sequences, and edit their templates through its Content Studio feature.

2. Hubspot

HubSpot is one of the best known platforms for digital marketing and they have recently launched a free email marketing tool. Hubspot is a great platform because it acts as one hub for all your digital marketing and SEO management.

The free version of HubSpot's Email Marketing tool is pretty robust allowing you to send kickback emails from lead offers, thank you emails after purchase, or just promote current campaigns. This tool is also very easy to use featuring a handy drag-and-drop visual editor, and ready-made templates to get you up and running quickly.

There are plenty of good email marketing tools out there, some others to look at would be Constant Contact and Sender.

Tools for Live Chat

Chatbots are a great way to communicate directly with customers quickly. Again, there are plenty of solutions you could look at, here are few I really like.

1. Tidio

Tidio is well thought out and provides multi-channel support for your team. It keeps all your communication with customers in one place and is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.

Tidio is very customizable allowing you to set up both an AI chatbot, and live chat. You can use Tidio on most platforms and it’s fairly easy to install. There is some you’ll need to spend in the settings configuring options, but this is a great service.

2. WhatsApp Widget

This is a personal favorite of mine, the WhatsApp widget by Elfsight. I find this app particularly easy to install and use, and keeps customers connected to answer any questions and requests. Even when I’m away from my desk, I can be available live for customers in their favorite messenger all day long.

You can also establish start-chat triggers, write your unique welcome message, choose icons, and even more. With the help of HTML Chat code embedded on a web page, you will remain connected with your viewers anytime and from any place.

Track Your Customer Outreach Efforts

For every business including a service business, it's crucial to track your customer outreach efforts. These efforts should be based on the goals you have for your customer base. Then, you can decide which outreach efforts are working best.

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track outreach efforts can be especially helpful. This software can help your sales team automate processes, providing a single repository of customer data and analytics that allow you to track interactions and opportunities. Using a CRM will also allow you to standardize the processes that your sales team uses.

Start Doing Outreach the Right Way

As a service business, you may be conducting broad outreach through on a shoestring budget or with a sales team. Outreach efforts can only be effective when you’ve set the right goals, targeted your ideal customer, and executed contact the right way.

Remember, the goal of your outreach effort is to generate business and retain current customers. Regardless of the outreach tactics, sound alignment between marketing and sales efforts can lead to an effective outreach strategy. I’m hoping this post has provided you with enough information and resources to perfect your approach.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins

is the Co-founder of Ranktracker, With over 10 years SEO Experience. He's in charge of all content on the SEO Guide & Blog, you will also find him managing the support chat on the Ranktracker App.

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