Have you ever treated yourself to a “Spa Day?”
If you have, you likely had a lovely menu of services given to you. Manicure, pedicure, full-body massage, reflexology, facial, just to name a few (okay, now I want a full Spa Day with all the trimmings…).
Service packages are popular for a reason. Most people like to have a service or product that provides convenience, saves time, and delivers results.
As a small business owner, one of the most important tasks to accomplish is getting more customers and increasing profits. Service packages can be an effective tool for accomplishing this. They provide a great way to showcase what your business has to offer while incentivizing clients to remain loyal longer-term.
Having service packages that are tailored to the needs of your particular customers can be an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool. They increase not only customer retention but also new customer acquisition. Another plus is that they allow small businesses to build loyalty among existing customers by giving them access to additional services at reduced prices or higher value than what is offered directly by the company.
Customers who use service packages tend to stay loyal longer because they feel like they’re getting a better deal than if they were purchasing each service independently. This increased loyalty translates into more repeat purchases which can help generate additional revenue for the business over time.
Steal From the ‘Big Guys’
Well-known brands have used service packages for decades as a way of driving in revenue without having to invest heavily in traditional advertising or marketing campaigns. A service package offers a bundle of services or products at discounted rates with extra benefits like loyalty points or exclusive access.
This encourages existing customers to spend more money with you while providing incentives for potential customers to purchase from you instead of competitors. And the great news is that offering customized service packages allows you to tailor them specifically towards the preferences and interests of your target market. This results in greater engagement and satisfaction.
Service packages are much easier for small business owners to manage compared to other forms of marketing strategies such as email campaigns or social media ads. As well as being cost-effective, setting up service packages requires little effort and can be modified quickly due to their flexible nature. This allows you the flexibility needed when trying to stay ahead of trends or changes in customer behavior. You can make adjustments quickly to match current developments.
Overall, creating attractive service packages is an incredibly useful tool that small business owners should consider investing in if they want to increase their customer base and build strong relationships with current clients over time.
By providing discounts on multiple products or services at once and customizing them according to their target audience’s needs, small businesses can drive higher numbers of repeat purchases while also attracting potential customers who wouldn’t have otherwise bought anything from them.
Lessons From Big Tech
Apple comes out with a new, updated version of their products every year. They also highlight why the newer version is better and much preferable than the current one you might own.
I’ve always been fascinated with the excitement and anticipation that typically follows a “new product” announcement from Apple. And then I thought about B2B companies and professional services. Why don’t more businesses create their own “Big Announcement” party?
Why, indeed. I realize it sounds odd (“You can’t buy our service from a Walmart aisle…”). I understand the product or service isn’t the same. Yet I’d like to bring up an important point: people are used to looking for “new and improved.”
New and Improved
Like it or not, the buying public has been trained to pay attention to new products and services. Companies like Proctor & Gamble have targeted women for decades on “new and improved” laundry detergent, toothpaste, and shampoo.
Browse any grocery store aisle and you’ll see several packages with “new and improved” on their label. And… they get bought. So why can’t you do the same?
The truth is, you can—and should. You should plan to roll out something new at least once a year. When you do, promote your new service in several ways (press releases, brochures, newsletters). Sending a big announcement through email is another effective way to do it.
In fact, I’ll even nudge you at this point to consider a “launch party.” Why not? You would be the first advisor, accountant, EA, or bookkeeper in town known as “The Party Advisor” or “The Party Bookkeeper!” Of course, you’d need to do several launch parties to earn that nickname, but if you do it right, people will remember you. And being remembered is a crucial outcome of good marketing.
Version 2.0 and Beyond
I use the WordPress content management system as the platform for my website. As of this writing, I’m using version 4.9.8. Realize there was a 4.9.3, 4.9.2, 4.9.1, etc. preceding the most recent change. Software companies feature their new versions of “2.0 and beyond” to improve usability and add new features.
Like the “new and improved” approach toward packaging your services, you may want to consider marketing one of your strongest services but position it as a “Version 2.0.” You don’t have to develop something new. Simply take some of the services you already provide and combine them into a new offering. You can also add “bonuses” or certain services to make your “new and improved” offering even better.
When you announce your new version, make sure to let your clients and customers know you’ve listened to their requests and developed the new version to make things easier, more efficient, more economical, etc. The bonus is that your clients will understand you are always working hard to create better services for them—which creates more loyalty and customer lifetime value.
I’ve seen several accounting practices offer this and it’s one of my favorite types of services. It’s so important to offer your clients a service that will help de-mystify a system.
In this case, QuickBooks is used by many individuals and small business owners. However, these same clients make a lot of mistakes with using QuickBooks (which ends up becoming “SlowBooks” for you as you try to untangle the mess). Use terms such as “doctor,” “scientist,” or “repair shop” to instantly explain that your service will fix something.
I also would include a few diagnostic checklists to your marketing mix. Offering a quick and easy way for a client to assess their situation (and determine that they need your help) would be extremely beneficial for both you and your client.
Feature such checklists or questionnaires on your website. For added punch, offer them as a free download for those visiting your website. You can then follow up with them specifically with more questions regarding their use of a system and market your services in a targeted way.
Tiered Package Offerings
Today you see tiered package offerings with most online “Software as a Service” (SaaS) companies. They usually offer three options: the basic, the most comprehensive, and the one in-between (often called “Our Most Popular Choice.”)
There is, as you might have imagined, a science behind this. Marketers will test the positioning of such options, switching out prices, the size and color of fonts, specific language, and more. To put it simply, people like choices. And they usually like to see what types of features are available to them for a specific price.
Most people will tend to go to the middle. They want something more than something basic yet they don’t want to invest in the ultimate choice. However, remember there are people who always want the best and to them, that means buying the most expensive option.
You can be creative with the naming of your offerings. Popular names are:
- Silver, Gold, Platinum
- Essentials, Deluxe, Ultimate
- Beginner, Advanced, Expert
- Individual, Small Business, Enterprise
In Part Two, I’ll explain how you can leverage service packages and even expand upon them to secure even more loyal clients. Stay tuned!
Partial excerpts taken from the book, The Maverick Advisor: The New Rules of Marketing for Financial Advisors and Consultants – Get Great Clients, More Respect, and the Fees You Deserve, by Mary Rose Maguire.