Convenience, immediacy, personalized attention: all aspects of customer service we may take for granted in our day-to-day lives. However, these same qualities have become essential to marketing services online with success.

The Internet harvests choice: a user might browse eight different cleaning service companies online before deciding on one. Fluidity in the experience of obtaining pricing online should require minimal steps for the user. Businesses advertising their services online must shape their user’s experience of obtaining pricing hassle-free.

Marketing your service online with hassle-free price quoting that encourages users to inquire further can be effectively executed. Take Socket’s advice:

1. Provide immediate, personalized service

Ever encountered an email like this?

Dear person@mailaccount.com,

Do not reply to this email.

Your inquiry has been sent. Please expect a 2-5 day wait while we assess your question. A sales representative will be in contact to further discuss your needs.

Thank you,
Very Impersonal Service Provider

As Net Magazine writer Des Traynor notes, “every communication from a business is a chance to delight your customers,” making auto-responses like the email example above clearly ineffective.

The response fails in several ways:

  • It’s impersonally addressed to the user’s email account, with a generic message that every inquiry receives.
  • It shows it’s “hoops”. The user must wait 2-5 days for response of any kind. The process continues. Answers that might be needed today will have to wait.
  • It’s vague. The user does not know what to expect for pricing, or whether waiting around for a response will be worth their while.

Traynor says “when you’re trying to grow a user base, you simply can’t afford to lose customers every month…you have to care.” Automated email responses that don’t provide answers strongly suggest a lack of value for the user.

Providing users with immediate, personalized responses to their pricing inquiries cuts down the hassle of browsing services online and suggests your business’ commitment to every individual inquiry.

Socket quoting software delivers immediate email responses to price requests, detailed by the user’s needs and tailored specifically to provide answers.

Equipping your site with Socket puts your users in the power position. As web writer Holly Berkley notes, “marketing in the new media revolves around catering to today’s consumer’s demand for control”(ix).

2. Keep contact hot

“Customers leave because they don’t feel like you care about them,” says Traynor, citing a study from the Rockefeller Corporation researching this exact problem.

Online quote request forms require immediate attention. Neglecting to answer user requests within a timely manner risks the sale of your service, as alternative options could be sought in the minutes or hours (or days!) between. Answering pricing inquiries at a later date indicates that the users’ needs are not your priority or interest.

Keep tabs on your customers pricing requests and they will keep tabs on your company. With Socket, instant pricing information is provided via email, assuring customers that you’re immediately ready for their business.

3. Lose the lengthy contact forms

Contact forms requiring laundry lists of personal information (yearly income, family size) require too much effort and create a barrier for the user to obtain the information they seek. SmashingMagazine contributor Anthony T notes “if the form is long and complicated, then the user’s excitement for your website could turn to displeasure,” practically setting the user up to bail out.

With Socket, user needs are met with privacy and respect: users receive emailed responses that require little more than basic contact information and service preferences.

4. Consider the power to browse

Cost comparison for online service marketing is huge. Your business site will be ahead of the pack with immediate answers to cost inquiries.

It’s always been the case that “new visitors should be able to find out exactly what your company/product can do for them in less than 15 seconds [from the time they land on your site]”(Berkley): we can create similarly efficient experiences with tools like Socket, which allow for convenient and to-the-point pricing information that is easy to locate and quick to gather.

5. Keep it simple

Provide users with straightforward information regarding their product and pricing inquiries. According to SixRevisions writer Keane Richmond, the essentials include:

  • Product/ service name – Sounds so basic, but providing concise and unique names for each product and/or service will help customers “clearly identify the differences between each product.”
  • Price – Again, while seemingly obvious, a prominently displayed and correctly correlated with matching product or service price indication is absolutely essential to simplified, convenient price quoting.
  • Call to action – It’s the “Buy” button for price inquiries: make the next step instantly available to the user. A “Make Purchase” or “Order Now” button that corresponds with the pricing information.

Conclusion

Make browsing your service site a delightful and fluid experience for users, with no obstacles for obtaining information that is needed to make a decision, and directed convenience, immediacy, and personalized attention.

And while we’re talking about hassle-free service browsing, consider this: Socket eliminates commitment for the user and for your business. Try Socket for a month for free. With no subscription commitments, you are in control of how you use your Socket account. Cancel at any time, no risk. Users and business owners unite!

References

Berkley, Holly. Marketing in the New Media. Self Counsel Press, 2009.
Richmond, Keane. “Anatomy of an Effective Product Page.” Six Revisions. 24 Feb 2011 http://sixrevisions.com/user-interface/product-page-design/
Traynor, Des. “The death and rebirth of customer service.” Net Magazine. 20 Oct 2011. http://www.netmagazine.com/opinions/death-and-rebirth-customer-experience#comment-2596

3 Comments

  1. bache piscine

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

    • Mike Walsh

      To be honest, it’s not something I would worry too much about. Google’s “Panda” update has made great strides in detecting scrapers and determining the original content source. If anything, others syndicating your content will actually help you in some cases, especially if they link to your original content. You can read more about the Panada update here.

    • Sarah Bauer

      Hi bache piscine,
      Mike makes a great point about the Panda update for Google, and the potential for content syndication to increase your traffic and Google rankings. However, if you’re concerned about certain sites “ripping off” your content, there are a number of steps you can take. It starts with simply notifying the source of the infringement. To learn more, I would suggest scoping out blogging expert Lorelle VanFossen’s guide here
      Cheers!
      Sarah

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