All too often, service contractors divide marketing from service delivery operations under the assumption that the two are unrelated. Aside from truck wraps and uniforms, the two are not viewed as complementary. Aligning these business efforts is one of the core tenets of building an effective Digital Wrap. In this post, I want to focus on one particular union of service delivery and digital marketing: Marketing Impressions per Service (MIPS).

dominoes pizza tracker is a great example of Marketing Impressions per Service

The concept is simple. For each service delivered, there are a series of useful, electronic communications your company should send to every customer that will build trust, customer loyalty, sales, and brand value. From pizza to your pantry, there are many great examples of this practice in other markets. From prep to arrival time notifications, Domino’s is dominating the pizza-buying experience thanks to their app that provide real-time updates about your pizza’s delivery status. On the other hand, Amazon has mastered the art of MIPS with order confirmation, delivery updates, and personalized product recommendations.

Below is a list of eight MIPS every service contractor should implement. Each communication serves a different purpose for the customer, however, each should contain the following:

  • Branding: You should always include your logo and company name in every communication
  • Contact information: Provide the most relevant point of contact for each type of communication.
  • Link to service details: Much like the notifications sent by Domino’s, your MIPS communications should contain a link to additional details about the service(s) you are providing. Domino’s links users to their real-time pizza tracker. Similarly, you should send users to a job summary updated in real time like ServiceTrade’s Service Link.

1) Due for service reminder

Especially when providing relatively infrequent recurring services such as preventative/planned maintenance, inspections, and cleanings that occur on a less than monthly frequency, a reminder that the customer is due for a service should be sent about a month before the service is actually due. Between services, this reminder will help you retain your position as the vendor of choice. Without this reminder, the customer may turn to one of your competitors when they need service and your brand was not there to help. In addition to the bullets listed above, this message should include:

  • When the service is due.
  • What to expect next. For example, they will receive a call or email to schedule the service.

 

2) Appointment reminder 

Every appointment for a service should be preceded by an appointment reminder 1-7 days in advance. Like the text reminder your dentist likely sends you before your teeth cleaning, this type of reminder is very helpful for the customer. This communication, like many others in this series, reinforces that your brand is helpful, easy to work with, and technologically savvy. Include the following in this message:

  • All upcoming appointment dates and times.
  • The technician’s name, picture, and contact information.
  • Information about how to change appointment dates or times.

 

3) Tech on the way

Much like Amazon’s out-for-delivery notification, your techs should have the capability to let your customer know that they are on the way and when to expect them. Your customers will appreciate the heads up so they can prepare for the tech’s arrival. This message should include:

  • Expected arrival time.
  • The technician’s name, picture, and contact information.

 

4) Appointment complete

After the work is complete, the customer should receive a brief summary that provides access to pictures, videos, and other data that the technician collected during the appointment. Visibility to the great work your company provides will build trust and customer loyalty. The following should be included in this message:

  • The time that the appointment was completed.
  • The technician’s name, picture, and contact information.
  • Any problems found.
  • Any recommendations for additional work.
  • A signed acknowledgment of work completed.

 

5) Satisfaction survey and/or review request

Checking the pulse of your customer satisfaction is critical to building a dominant brand. If your customer satisfaction is high, take advantage of it by requesting an online review that can help grow inbound lead generation. There are a couple ways to skin this particular cat. One approach is to request a review from customers who respond positively to a dynamic survey via a platform like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. For example, if a customer indicates that they are satisfied, you could request a review on your Google My Business Page. Another option would be to use something like ServiceTrade’s Service Reviews feature to generate reviews on your website that drive local search engine optimization. Note that you will likely receive better reviews before you send an invoice to the customer, but you should always keep an eye on the impact your prices have on your overall customer satisfaction.

 

6) Job summary

After the job is complete and the office has a chance to review and collate all of the data gathered on every appointment, a message should be sent to the customer summarizing what happened. Like the appointment complete MIPS, this message should provide the customer with visibility to the service(s) you provided with rich media like pictures, videos, and other data in order to build trust and loyalty. Include the following:

  • The date and time that all appointments were completed.
  • The technician’s name, picture, and contact information.
  • Information about problems found.
  • Any recommendations for additional work.
  • A signed acknowledgment of work completed.

 

7) Invoice with job summary

In order to keep the primary focus on payment, this message should be limited to the most important details, but still provide access to all of the important job information. Simplifying the payment process will further reinforce your brand as being easy to work with. This message should include:

  • An invoice file with details for payment or, preferably, a link to view and pay the invoice online.
  • Invoice due date.

8) Personalized recommendations

This often takes the form of a quote for additional work or repair of issues found by the technician. When a quote is sent within 48 hours of the initial service, the likelihood that a customer will approve new work increases dramatically. This message can be sent prior to the invoice if it is ready. It should include:

  • Details of the new services with access to general information such as a web page or video.
  • A link to an electronic quote with pictures that can be approved at the click of a button. For a great example, check out ServiceTrade’s quoting feature.

Though many of these communications may not seem like marketing in the traditional sense, they represent the future of brand building via digital marketing for service contractors. They are not blatant, in-your-face promotions. Instead, they are seamlessly integrated into your service experience in a way that provides value to your customer and, therefore, builds the value of your company’s brand.

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