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As a new business owner, start-up or consultant looking to break through the clutter, developing a strong reputation for your service is job one. To develop a great service brand, not only do you have to provide an outstanding “service,” you also have to deliver outstanding “customer service.” Done consistently over time—you will begin to frame a strong reputation and build a brand that stands for quality.

If you’ve done your due diligence in identifying what makes you different in the marketplace through the brand development process and have created a professional website, here are seven secrets to keep in mind when developing a great service brand.

Clarify Your Service Brand Message

Most entrepreneurs and start up business owners don’t take the time to clarify their message. A clear message will help you grow your business faster and be more effective in communicating with your employees, customers and stakeholders. Confusion and distraction is at an all time peak in our culture. Most of your competitors will resort to using cute and clever messaging only to find that those with clear messaging are winning more customers.  Every day people are bombarded with information. Because they are being bombarded, they only listen to people (and brands) who communicate clearly. The best way to clarify a complicated message is to use the power of story with the StoryBrand framework.

Build Your Service Brand Reputation by being Proactive

When a project is underway, and your customers are asking for things, get ahead of them by thinking through the next steps. For example, don’t wait for them to ask where things are; send an email first thing in the morning letting them know where you’re at and how things are going. We use a project management tool like Asana to communicate with our clients daily. The calendar feature lets the client know exactly what is happening and when they can expect their deliverables. We also use HubSpot’s Tasks tool to automate reminders. It keeps everyone’s communication documented and organized.

If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist. 

Make Sure to Establish your Service Brand Expectations in Your Contract

Don’t wait three days to get back on a request. And if you said you’re going to do something, do it. This goes without saying. Respond to your customers as fast as possible or within 24 hours. Make sure to set expectations for your office hours and typical response times in your contract and make sure they know that. The single biggest problem in any given relationship is poor communication. Communicate well and you will build a great service brand.

Anticipate Needs

If a customer or client emails you a question, respond not only with the answer but also with whatever they may be asking for. It may be a file or a document. Think a head. This creates a positive impression on your customers, shows them you’re on the ball, and reminds them why they spent top dollar on your service firm.

A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.

55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.

Delight Your Customers

To delight your customers and turn them into promoters of your service, continue to solve their problems long after the project is ended. This is a key aspect of the methodology we follow. By continuing to solve their problems through relevant content (video shorts, emails, and blogs), you remain top-of-mind, which helps when they are asked for referrals or have other work for your service company to do. Retaining a new customer costs 6–7 times more than retaining an existing one – Bain & Company. By delighting your customers, you preempt the competition and save on marketing costs. Do some industry research and provide them with insights they will find helpful. By continuing to answer their questions, you will delight your customers and turn them into brand promoters.

Show Some Enthusiasm!

As a service company, customers come to you looking for answers. No matter their product or service, showing a little enthusiasm at the first point of contact can go a long way. Could you remind yourself or your employees to smile when taking calls? The smile comes through on the other line. Laugh a little, have fun, and make a friend. Be excited to talk to them! Your enthusiasm should also come through in your social media and blog posts. People work with people they like!

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. – McKinsey


HubSpot CRM for Service BrandsUse a CRM Built for Your Service Brand

As your business grows, utilizing the Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) features will be critical. A CRM will help you keep track of your customers, their interactions, and interactions with other team members. A CRM will also give you valuable insights into your customer base as a whole and keep you informed of how well you are guiding them through the customer journey.

There are many CRMs on the market, but we recommend HubSpot CRM. It’s free, easy to use, and scales as your business grows.

To wrap up,  clarify your message, show some enthusiasm, be proactive and responsive, anticipate your customer needs, delight them by continuing to solve their problems, and get a CRM in place to manage it all.

Don’t start your service brand on the wrong foot, whether it be in accounting, marketing, home service, dental, or any other service-based business. Go above and beyond.

StoryBrand Marketing Report

Most service businesses don’t have a marketing plan they feel confident in.

We’ve seen it happen to many service businesses. If you don’t know how to fix your marketing to grow your revenue, you end up trying idea after idea, hoping something works. In the end, you waste a ton of time and money, all with nothing to show for it.

The StoryBrand Marketing Report gives you a ready-to-go tailored marketing plan that works. Your custom report will guide you through the areas of your marketing that are weak and give you a detailed plan on how to fix them using the StoryBrand framework that has worked for hundreds of thousands of businesses.

Josh Claflin

As a trusted branding and marketing professional for over 25 years, I’ve seen first hand the struggles and avoidable mistakes entrepreneurs, startups and business owners make, which is why ClearStory coaches you on proven brand and marketing frameworks that will help you achieve clarity, build your brand and drive growth.

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