Three Tips For Offering Free Services To Your Customers

Three Tips For Offering Free Services To Your Customers

CEO & Founder at Educate Online

Research published in 2019 by Merkle (registration required) found that 61% of consumers believe “the most important way a brand can interact with them is by surprising them with offers or gifts just for being a customer.” Many companies launch free products that help customers build a solid emotional connection with the brand and earn their loyalty. And in 2021, I believe the importance of loyalty programs in attracting and retaining customers has only increased.

Customer experience is a top reason purchasers choose a particular brand. From my perspective, this means brands should abandon the naive strategy of focusing solely on sales and focus more on the cost-free value they offer. From my perspective, this can enhance their consumers’ experiences and build loyalty. Finally, the main argument for loyalty programs and bonuses is that they have the potential to increase income. Companies that are “loyalty leaders” grow their revenues 2.5 times faster than their competitors, according to Harvard Business Review.

Many huge worldwide companies implement different loyalty programs to increase customer engagement. In my company, an online learning platform, we use free webinars to share knowledge, attract new customers and strengthen relationships with regular ones. I have seen that the more value you give for free, often, the more it can convert into profit. So, how can you go about offering free services?

Don’t underestimate webinars.

Despite the common assumptions that people are fed up with webinars and customers view them as a lure to purchase a paid product in the future, I find that webinars remain one of the most effective tools for attracting an audience.

In 2020, people watched three times more webinar content than the year prior, according to webinar platform ON24. In my experience, webinars can help you generate more leads, increase your brand reach and connect with your audience online.

My team regularly hosts free educational webinars and has identified a few rules on making them practical and selling simultaneously.

• Respect your audience’s time. Keep in mind that people value their time, so if you can provide the necessary information in 30 minutes, don’t run your webinar for an entire hour. The same goes for the number of webinars you host; it’s better to have two big ones than 10 that offer only small bits of helpful information.

• Provide real value. Ensure your webinar is offering insights that make your clients’ lives easier. Only after that — at the end of your webinar — should you mention your product. Don’t turn a webinar into an ad.

• Use storytelling. Plain facts, especially if you have a complex topic, will force the audience to click the “leave the webinar” button and go on with their own business. Make your online translation engaging.

• Give a special offer to attendees. This might be the sale of a new service or product at the price of early birds, a discount on your product and so on. It’s essential to offer a limited-time special deal for the audience, as I find adding a sense of scarcity encourages customers.

• Keep things fresh. Do not use the same webinar for years or even months. The information can quickly become outdated, and the audience’s interest in your brand will fall.

Create a free guide.

Another way to increase customer loyalty is to offer a free online guide or template. The topic of this guide will depend on your business. For example, if you sell language courses, you might create a guide on the “10 phrases native speakers use in business letters.” If you sell tours, you might discuss the “seven destinations to go on vacation in 2022.” If you run a gym, perhaps your guide would focus on the “best exercises that will quickly get you in shape after the holidays.” You can also create templates consumers can fill out, such as “how to build a business plan.”

A few elements of a valuable guide or template include:

• Uniqueness: Do not copy information the user could already find on the internet.

• Relevance: Do not create a guide that no one needs anymore because most people already understand the topic.

• Usability: Add examples of how people can use your advice. If you’re creating a marketing guide, for example, include a couple of paragraphs describing a specific case to help illustrate the takeaways.

• Visual design: Include images and charts where relevant. If you don’t have a designer on staff, you can use a graphic design platform. There are also many online templates you can research to help you create your guide.

Give access to a course for free.

Many educational platforms provide one to two free courses. This lets users get acquainted with the material and understand how interested they are in the topic and whether the service can provide the knowledge they are looking for. 

That said, there is no need to have an education business to offer a free course. If you have a flower shop, for instance, perhaps you can launch a floristry course and share your experience. Or, in the case of a food-related business, you might create training for restaurateurs. Courses work well for brand awareness and enhance the entrepreneur’s personal brand. Whatever topic you create training on, provide a couple of lessons for free. This will attract the audience.

If you want to be a responsible business, attract customers and increase the average check, take a look at what free bonuses you can provide. The main thing is that it should be beneficial and relevant.

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