The internet is essentially the modern shopping mall — a centralized location where consumers can access an immense variety of goods and services. Almost 90% of American adults populate this growing digital marketplace, where millions of commercial entities compete for clicks, per analysis from Pew Research Center. Field service businesses are among the numerous enterprises vying for attention here. In fact, an estimated 44% of these companies maintain formalized digital initiatives designed to draw in online shoppers, according to research from the Field Service. If you're organization has yet cultivate a strong internet presence, immediate action might be necessary. Just consider this: When have you ever purposely stopped into a storefront with shoddy or nonexistent signage?
Here are four simple strategies you can use to expand and enhance your field service business' online profile:
Improve the digital user experience
Consumers who regularly shop for products and services online have short attention spans and high demands. Extended website load times and difficult-to-navigate features are unacceptable to these seasoned digital savants, most of whom will navigate elsewhere should they encounter these and other common ecommerce roadblocks. To reduce the likelihood of customer attrition and develop loyal online followings, field service businesses like your's must create and maintain simple yet robust website user experiences, Entrepreneur reported. How? Strong information architecture — this includes things like your menu and page structures — and streamlined scheduling and payment components are key to success here.
Select social media sites that matter
Social media is an incredibly popular tool among U.S. small businesses, more than three-quarters of which use these platforms for sales purposes, per SCORE. A good number of these enterprises take the volumetric approach to social media adoption, working under the assumption that they benefit from configuring and maintaining as many profiles as possible. This is not ideal social media policy. You should instead target the networks that your customers are mostly likely to leverage, according to the Digital Marketing Institute. Why? Different demographics gravitate toward disparate social media sites. Today, older consumers tend to navigate more traditional sites like Facebook and Twitter while younger shoppers frequent emerging platforms such as Instagram. You want to make sure that your service business is moving in the right online circles and facilitating customer connections that lead to sales.
Engage with the marketplace issues
Digital consumer engagement used to be one-dimensional — companies would essentially pitch prospective customers using social media and online advertising and wait for website traffic to spike. This methodology no longer works. Shoppers now expect companies to function as industrial thought leaders and demonstrate their handle on important marketplace issues through engaging online content. This slow-burning approach builds consumers' confidence, drawing them deeper into the marketing funnel and priming them for straightforward pitches, per Entrepreneur. Your field service business would be wise to adopt this tried-and-true strategy, as it leads to the creation of customer communities filled with individuals who will champion your brand and help enlarge your digital footprint.
Develop an effective brand voice
The businesses that boast the best and most expansive online profiles do not act like commercial entities when connecting with consumers through digital channels. They instead formulate online personas that allow them to function as users rather than organizations. Some adopt fun personalities, engaging current and potential customers with humorous content while others cultivate professional identities and earn user trust by offering expertise and sound advice, according to the Content Marketing Institute. No matter which way your service business decides to go, make sure you're committed to publishing content and communications that have a cohesive voice and point of view.