Considering all the planning and preparation involved, it’s no surprise that business owners in the services sector get pretty excited when they bring a new service offering to market. But then what? Just adding another line item to the menu isn’t likely to attract much attention. How do we gain better traction with our existing customer base when rolling out a new service?
Here are a few ways to effectively introduce a new product or service to customers.
Introducing a New Service or Product to Customers
While there may be any number of ways to accomplish this, we have always endorsed a multiple exposure approach that does not rely on any one “shot” to get the job done. This approach is easy and affordable, because we are already interacting with them on a regular basis. Here are just a few possible ways to piggyback a new service introduction onto existing customer communications.
Inbound Phone Calls — This one is super unintrusive because it takes advantage of those instances where the customer is initiating the call. Depending on the nature of the call, the representative may choose to initiate a scripted introduction. “Mr. Jones, while I have you on the phone, have you heard about our newest service?”
Routine Paperwork — Work orders, invoices, statements and similar documents can carry an introduction to your new service. This could take the form of some well-crafted verbiage appearing in the “comments” section or, for even greater impact, a pre-printed sticky note heralding the arrival of this amazing new service.
Digital Communications — Any online customer communications could mention a new service offering. This may include a customer e-newsletter, email or text service or payment reminders, emailed invoices or statements, or a customer-interfacing web portal. The cost of adding on a new service introduction to an existing digital communications channel is usually incremental.
Renewal Tie-In — This may involve direct mail, email, or both. Does your customer’s existing service program automatically renew from year to year? Do you send out notices to that effect with prepayment discounts and/or special add-on offers?
What an awesome opportunity to introduce a new service and offer it for purchase with an exclusive promotion, all in one tidy package! Imagine the possibilities when that package arrives after a number of earlier introductory communications have already been launched.
Service Provider Recommendation — Whether it comes face-to-face or in the form of a handwritten note, it’s hard to ignore a sincere, personal recommendation from the individual who provides your services. “Mrs. Jones, you’ve expressed concerns in the past about disease-bearing mosquitoes, especially during the rainy season. We’ve come out with a new service that may interest you!” This shouldn’t be the only touch point, but it’s a good one.
The Cross-Promotion Advantage
Existing customers are often an overlooked resource. We have individuals who are already actively engaged with your brand. What better audience do you have for sounding out new ideas or promoting new services? These folks are not only familiar with your company; they’re already sold on the notion of doing business with you.
Of course it’s not just about where but also how. Here are a few more considerations regarding the introduction of a new service to existing customers.
Acknowledge the Relationship — An existing customer is already sold on the idea of doing business with you. Use this to your advantage by acknowledging and expressing gratitude for that relationship. “Mrs. McGillicuddy, you’ve been my customer for six years now and I’m grateful for that. May I have your opinion about a new service we’ve been working on for a while now?” You get the idea.
Sell the Sizzle — Don’t drill down into the unique molecular compounds or quantum equations that make your new service so terrific. Talk about the aesthetic beauty, peace of mind, and envy-invoking colors that the customer will experience just by trying your exciting new service. Appeal to the senses, the fulfilled desires. Then introduce the offer.
Sweeten the Deal — In can cost a small fortune to acquire one new customer. By comparison, the cost of retaining a customer is much lower. Give them a deal worthy of the loyalty they’ve shown you. Again, these people are already buying from you. Treat them accordingly.
Ask for The Order — Whether in writing or in person, please don’t conclude without asking for the sale! Make it as direct or soft as is appropriate, but the result must be a yes-or-no answer. “What do you think,” isn’t a closing questions. “Would you like me to schedule you,” is.
The Spring-Green Way
The Spring-Green Business Consultants and Support Center staff have been helping franchise owners across the US when it comes to ongoing support for the business. From marketing new services to growing your business, the Support Center and Business Consultants ensure that you have expert guidance whenever and wherever you need it. Would you like to learn more about how we do this? Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.