Guest blog by Joe Dowd
It’s no secret to commercial and residential service providers that their market is a very competitive space. It takes more than radio spots and billboards to build a strong customer base. And with new companies continuing to pop up, you are never safe in assuming that your current customers will remain loyal. The days where people pull out the phonebook and search the yellow pages for a service provider are behind us.
If you want to stay competitive in the current marketplace, you must have a strong online presence. If you are reading this post, chances are that you already have a website for your service company. But are you getting the maximum value from your site? Here are 4 characteristics that every service provider’s website should have in order to create a positive user experience and lead to conversions.
Visible Contact and Service Information
It should go without saying that your website needs to contain a list of the services you provide and an explanation of each service. I should also be able to assume that your site contains relevant contact information so customers can get in touch with you. The real question is: are these vital elements easy to locate, or do visitors have to hunt for the information?
A new user should be able to visit your company’s site for the very first time find your contact details as well as all the services you offer without any confusion or delay. Most users are accustomed to looking for service categories and a “contact us” option in the top navigation of a website.
In addition to this structure, I recommend that you display your company’s phone number on every page of your site. Also consider linking to your service pages from other relevant information on different pages of your site. For example, if you publish a blog post about air conditioner troubleshooting, it would be appropriate to include a link that directs readers to your “Air Conditioning Services” page.
Business in the service industry is heavily reliant on word of mouth from other customers. It is very important for visitors to be able to access what other people are saying about your brand and services. Your company website should display customer reviews so that new visitors can quickly see what kinds of things are being said about you.
Earning positive reviews for your quality service and customer care lets others know that you will get the job done right and gives them confidence in their decision to hire you. If testimonials are hard to locate on your website, or worse, if your website does not include testimonials, it can be a red flag to potential customers who may interpret this absence to be an indicator of poor performance.
With more online searches being conducted via mobile devices than on desktops, it is absolutely vital that your company’s website be mobile friendly. This could mean your site is responsive or that you have made a mobile version of the site. Search engines now display whether or not a site is mobile friendly, and their ranking algorithms actually favor sites with this classification over those without it when serving results for queries entered on a tablet or smartphone. Why? Because a mobile friendly site will provide a much better user experience, and search engines want to provide results that make users want to come back and visit again. If your site is not optimized for mobile search, you are likely missing out on a considerable amount of web traffic and potential customers.
Another characteristic that good websites have is that they openly share helpful information with readers even if it doesn’t directly lead to a sale. This practice helps establish a company as an authority in their field.
An example of this in the service industry would be an HVAC company that provides a resource page containing troubleshooting tips for common problems homeowners experience with their heating and cooling systems. If a customer tries the company’s advice and still has a problem, they are likely to call that service provider for additional help. If the recommended troubleshooting methods work, then the homeowner has a positive perception of the company and is more likely to call them in the future for assistance.
Another great way to provide helpful advice to your target market is to create short tutorial videos. A common practice is to publish the videos on YouTube and embed them on your company’s website.
The best thing to keep in mind when creating or updating your service company’s website is to create an online experience that is user friendly. Make your digital presence an extension of the quality service you provide to your customers.
About the Author: Joe Dowd is the owner of Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a residential and commercial HVAC professional, and he’s proud to work with a team that is dedicated to quality service.