Complete tutorial: a great introduction of services on the web

Introducing and selling services through a website requires a different approach than selling products. A service is not tangible, it cannot be imagined so well, it cannot be returned so easily. Its quality is directly dependent on who provides it and how.

This is why service providers face a 'crisis of trust' from the customer. But on the web, such a crisis can be overcome very effectively, turning "selling promises" into a very concrete, imaginable and defined offer that systematically converts visitors into customers. As you read on, you will learn how to do it. 

Examples of well-crafted services on the web

Only a few companies in the market excel in masterfully presenting a comprehensive portfolio of services. Let's go through a few examples that are worthy of pursuing. We have broken down the websites of the best companies into individual sections from which you can later reconstruct the detail of your service. And if you don't understand something, don't give up. We'll explain everything in the article.

McKinsey 

It is one of the largest and best consulting companies in the world. Its business is entirely service-based and McKinsey employees are among the highest paid people in the market.

  • Clearly categorises and names services
  • Prefers benefits over features (main claim)
  • Introduces a team of key people
  • Extensively uses "social proof" in the form of case studies
  • Works with content marketing
  • Publishes client reviews
  • It uses lead-generation and names conversion actions well

Hatchworks

It is a high-tech company based in Atlanta. It prides itself on a straightforward navigation structure and provides a small number of specialized software development services.

  • Harnesses the power of professional photography and typography
  • Defines the scope and subcategories of services
  • It presents people and their vision through videos
  • It relies on data and figures
  • Illustrates a process that helps deliver high quality service
  • Works extensively with client statements and logotype listings
  • Lists awards received on the service detail
  • Works with conversion form (lead-gen) at the end of the page

TIP: Browse the websites of the best service companies and subject their website to the same examination we outlined above. This will help to better understand what the building blocks are that have brought them to the top. You can also continue with this list. Always open the detail of a particular service:

Check Product-Market fit

Before you set out to create a great presentation of your services on the web, you need to clearly answer basic questions about your services and clients.

This set of questions is called Product-Market fit and it is a way to find out to what extent your offer meets the real market demand. It's also a way for you to adjust the structure and communication of your services so that they are as closely aligned with demand as possible = selling like clockwork.

In addition, quality answers will give you a solid foundation and support for any further decision-making and communication. On the contrary, if you don't have quality answers, it will be very difficult to build a great service presentation on the web.

Start communicating at the benefit level

A well-crafted Market-fit gives you insight into your clients and their strongest needs, wants and concerns. We all want certain things deep down and others we want to avoid at all costs.

Great communication highlights how your services will help fulfill the strongest desires and avoid the darkest fears. Technically speaking, it's benefits-level communication.

Your service may have many technical details and complexities that are important to you, but your client has a slightly different perspective. They're not as knowledgeable about your industry and they're always subconsciously asking, "What's in it for me?"

Service Feature: We use predictive models and advanced analytics to purchase electricity

Service Benefit: Always buy electricity at the best possible price
Service Benefit: Never pay more for electricity than you need to again.
Service Benefit: What would you do with an extra $250 a month? That's how much we'd save each client on their electricity bill.

Always talk about the benefits to your client first, instead of naming the technical details that you naturally see at the forefront of your products and services. That's benefits-level communication.

Clearly define the services and name
important principles and qualities

If you have more than one service, name them such that the name makes it clear what the content of the service is. Similarly, try to define as precisely as possible what the service contains and what it does not contain. The more specifically you can describe your services, the more imaginable and therefore safer they will be for your visitors.

Focus on topics such as:

  • How do you provide services? Is there a unique process involved, or do you have special equipment or facilities that put you in a different position to your competitors? Above all, show and briefly name the benefits to the client.
     
  • How do you monitor the quality of service? Do you have an experienced team of consultants or a sophisticated system or a strong internal know-how and training system? How do you guarantee the quality of your services to the client? Do you have any level of ISO certification? And what does a sufficient level of quality actually mean to you? How can the client tell?
     
  • How long does the service usually take? Are there any phases to the provision/delivery? Can they be illustrated on a process chart? Seeing is believing.
     
  • Introduce the consultant or the whole team that will provide the service. There is essentially an equation between people and service. Services are only as good as the people who provide them. Briefly introduce the education, experience and relationship of your people to your industry.
     
  • Write briefly about how you perceive the future of your industry, what qualities and values are specifically important to your team, and what you are doing to live up to your commitments on a day-to-day basis.

Example case study on the STRV website

Harness the power of references

Selling services is essentially selling promises. However, quality references, completed projects and quality work are not among the promises. It's about the tangible results of your work that no one can deny.

Therefore, it is critical to work on the detail of services with different kinds of references that will act as a social-proof of your work. Take into account that there are several formats of references and it makes sense to work with a combination of them. Always remain truthful and authentic when doing so, though. Don't purchase client images from a databank; today's visitor will know immediately. Better fewer high quality and truthful photos than lots of untruthful ones. In references we distinguish categories such as:

  • Testimonials: A short verbal statement from your clients ideally including their photo, position and company name. The shorter and punchier the better.  If the clients' statement coincides with your key benefits, then you've won.
     
  • Case studies:  The delivery of a specific solution or service to a specific customer, analysed and described in detail. It's an opportunity to convince new clients that you have the experience and knowledge to solve their pressing problems.
     
  • Photos of clients: If your service is end-customer oriented and the number of clients is a relevant figure, then just show their faces without any other content, such minimalist presentation will be enough. But authenticity is always a criterion to be followed.
     
  • Company logotype: If you are in the B2B segment, then company logos will be the right thing to present to your clients. The more publicly known the brand is, the more the reference will work as social-proof and you will gain a position as a quality supplier. Conversely, if you only work for small and unknown companies, maybe putting them on the web isn't as important.
     
  • Rating system: in the hospitality industry, for example, this is the best possible way to show the quality of your service. Integrate an existing rating system like booking.com or trustyou.com

Guarantee the results

Because services are much more difficult to claim than products, many companies provide guarantees and warranties as part of their competitive advantage. This benefit can be as simple as a refund within 90 days of providing the service or it can be a so-called brand guarantee, which can also be used in marketing campaigns, for example:

  • Office Depot: Next day delivery or free of charge
  • Rohlík: Purchase delivery within 90 minutes
  • Zoot: Free returns without giving a reason

Another category of guarantees is ISO certification or any other certification where the client is guaranteed security by an external certification authority. A weaker form of guarantee is the quality of equipment or experience of your staff.

If you are concerned about maximizing your conversion rate on the web, you probably need to come up with specific guarantees to reduce the concern and entry threshold for purchasing your services over the Internet. 

Use the appropriate conversion action

Services require a different introduction than products and also convert in a different way. The more the price and complexity of the services offered increases, the less clients are willing to order and pay for the service online. Choosing the right conversion action is crucial on the road to great results.

House cleaning: can be ordered and paid online
Building a house: you can only generate a contact (lead) to a potential client

It would be foolish to think that a client would order and even pay for a service worth millions over the Internet. And this is where a solution called Lead Generation comes into play.

Example of leadgen form on a website

Selling electricity: let's find room for savings togetherLead Generation 

If you are ready to invest millions in the construction of a family house, you will probably want to check a large amount of information before you choose such a contractor. In this case, the website takes on the role of generating leads to potential clients through a web form.

Technically, it's almost always the same: choose the best quality information about potential new clients, and the form can contain almost identical fields across industries.

However, the naming of such an action always varies depending on the industry and type of service. The more relevant the conversion action is and the more value it has for the client, the more people will fill out the form. The purpose of the form is to psychologically start the sales process and put the client on the starting line. Examples of conversion actions by industry:

  • Building a house: Book your free no-obligation project consultation
  • Selling electricity: Let's find room for savings together
  • Custom production: Send us your blueprints and find out the price
  • Car sales: Book your test drive today
  • Software sales: Book a 1:1 demo with a specialist

Use these section types for services

Each detail of the product can function as a kit, which consists of individual sections. This makes it much easier to create a great service presentation. Moreover, you will be able to test different variations and gradually improve your "sales-pitch" on the web to complete perfection.

We have prepared a list of all the sections that a service detail may consist of. Of course, some of them can be used more than once on the same page or in different variations.. Conversely, it is not necessary to use all of them for a great presentation of the service.

  • 01 - Service header
  • 02 - Benefits of the service
  • 03 - Boundaries and benefits of the service
  • 04 - Introduction of the team
  • 05 - Testimonials / Case studies / References
  • 06 - Processes, background, certification
  • 07 - Emotional section
  • 08 - FAQ 
  • 09 - Content Marketing
  • 10 - Conversion Events

01 - Names and claims of services

Introduce your service and its greatest value to the client. Answer the question "What do customers value most about my service?" and highlight 1-3 of the strongest benefits to tell us more about later.

  • You can use iconography to introduce the benefits
  • We recommend using full-screen photos and videos
  • Don't forget to place the conversion button right at the top of the page
  • Put emotions into the first section
  • If there is a lot of content on the page, work with anchors to navigate

02 - Main benefits of the service

Present to your clients what are the strongest points of the service from the client's perspective. Talk about them.

  • How people feel when they use the service
  • What the service will allow them to do differently, compared to the rest of the market
  • In what position does the service put the customer
  • What problems can the service easily solve
  • What price the client will pay if the service is not used (lost-opportunity cost)

Communicate concisely and always show in a complementary image or infographic what cannot be expressed in text.

03 - Definition and explanation of other benefits of the service

Does your service have any sub-categories or qualities that make sense to write about? Do they influence each other or are they directly dependent on each other? Name everything included in the service and what outcomes it will lead the client to. Conversely, indicate what is not part of the service. This will better set the client's expectations and make it more realistic to meet them.

04 - Team introduction

Introduce each team member and their roles in delivering the service to the client. Focus on the information that:

  • build a relationship between the client and team members from the very beginning
  • build team credibility
  • emphasize the knowledge and experience of the team
  • explain the values and principles on which the team is built
  • explain the team's relationship and view of the industry and services in which they operate
  • provide insights into the field

05 - Work with references

If you're in a position where you have a customer base or direct community that you can let speak, take advantage of it. Any content that your clients say for you has many times more credibility than content that comes from yourself. You can use the following types of testimonials:

  • Text expression/client evaluation
  • Photos of publicly known people
  • Case studies
  • Company logotypes
  • Video references

06 - Explain processes, show facilities and equipment

Give your visitors a peek under the hood. Show your office space, processes, methodology and always tell them what it specifically means for the client and the quality of service you provide. Show how you select and train your employees.

You can provide important numbers, facts and graphs about your service delivery process. People are curious by nature. Take advantage of this.

07 - Use emotional/mood sections

It is useful to intersperse structured content sensitively with sections based only on fullscreen video or photos. The purpose of such a move is to "dilute" the facts and get only a certain kind of emotion/mood across to visitors instead of constant persuasion.

08 - FAQ

Visitors and clients often ask the same sets of questions. Give them answers before they even ask a question. They'll get the sense that you understand them like no one else in the market. That's why they'll buy from you, too. Not to mention, such a list of questions and answers will save you many routine phone calls and inquiries.

09 - Content Marketing

Quality content is a great opportunity to show how deeply you understand the topic and present yourself as an expert. Among other things, it's about secondary conversion - if clients aren't ready to buy from you right away, but stay in touch with you through quality content - they'll definitely buy later. That's why it makes sense to include:

  • kquality PDF download in exchange for an email address or lead
  • regularly publish news and insights on the company blog
  • send out a newsletter (can be automated)

10 - Conversion actions

Intersperse the content with conversion buttons that direct to a form located at the bottom of the page or on a separate conversion page. Design each form so that you get enough information to qualify the contact, but at the same time, the form is not too lengthy to fill out. The number of fields has a direct impact on conversion rates. In addition to the form, you can:

  • indicate what will happen after submitting the form
  • provide a telephone and email address as an alternative contact method
  • show who will respond to the client's message
  • connect forms to CRM systems and use automation
  • redirect the client to a thank you page to better measure conversions

The author of the article is Radek Botoš
managing partner solidpixels, Breezy

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