When marketing a service-based business, customers want to purchase results, not a process. If you’re a portrait photographer, selling customers a two-hour photoshoot is less compelling than a perfect business headshot or lasting memories of their family.
In today’s video, ProcessDriven CEO Layla Pomper advises small business owners on how to increase efficiency, profitability, and scalability by productizing one or more service offers.
Let’s get started!
What is a Productized Service? (timestamp 01:00)
A productized service is a service that has standardized product-like qualities. By fixing service variables, like process and price, you can package a service to feel and sell just the same as a product. Note that this is not the same as bundling or offering cookie-cutter services, and it has as much to do with operations as it does with marketing.
- Bundling is a payment method where you select and combine a number of hours.
- Cookie-cutter services offer identical results. For example, while the steps for getting the perfect headshot may be the same or similar, each client’s headshot will be different instead of receiving duplicate images.
In short, productizing a service doesn’t mean everyone gets the same results. The process is still customized for each client.
Is Your Service Right for Productizing? (timestamp 03:10)
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before productizing your service:
1. Do you have a clear customer avatar that you target for your business?
By narrowing your focus and offer, productizing your service can attract more of the customers you want and fewer of those you don’t.
2. Do you have a preferred process?
Having a set way that you like to work with customers is a great starting point for productization.
3. Do you have a customer avatar who doesn’t understand the whys and hows of how much time your work takes? Or do you have difficulty explaining the ROI or return on your services?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might want to explore productizing your service by establishing a signature service or amending your offer menu.
Five Steps to Productizing Your Service (05:00)
Step 1: Define Your Journey (timestamp 05:50)
Where does the customer journey start and end? In the video, Layla uses an example of a dog trainer. Here the start is identifying dogs with behavioral issues, and the end is providing a behavior audit and training plan to address and correct these issues so the dog and its owners can live happier and more fulfilling lives.
Step 2: Map Out the Journey (timestamp 06:48)
To map our process, we want to identify and list the steps from Point A (a dog with behavior problems) to Point B (a plan to correct these issues).
For example, our fictional dog trainer’s process might look like this:
- Meet the dog and owners at home.
- Board the dogs to observe their behavior away from the owners.
- Record the findings.
- Return the dog and discuss observations with the owners.
- Present a plan for corrections.
You don’t want things to be overly rigid or complicated in this step. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae but rather focus on the broad strokes.
Step 3: Define Your Positioning (08:45)
Positioning is how you present your offer to potential clients. You really only need these four things:
A name: What can you call this productized service that accurately reflects the results the client will achieve?
Price: What will you charge for this service? Aim for a midrange point, knowing you will increase the price as you gain more confidence and customer experience.
Deliverables: What are you providing to the customer? How would you reflect these on an invoice?
For our dog trainer, this might look like an in-home consultation, two days of boarding, a behavioral audit, and a custom training plan.
Elevator pitch: How can you describe your service in one sentence? For the dog trainer, it might be “a tailored training plan to bring out the best in your behaviorally challenged pup.”
Step 4: Sell It! (timestamp 12:05)
You may think it’s early in the process to get out there and start selling, but we need to ensure that the offer we’ve created appeals to our target customers. You don’t want to do the work of building a landing page, defining a workflow, and setting up automations until we know we have identified the right features and offer variables.
Once you’ve gotten initial interest, taken a refundable deposit, and confirmed that your audience wants and is willing to pay for this, you’re ready to start building the workflow.
Pro tip: Book your first clients several weeks out to give you enough time to refine the process to deliver high-quality service and results.
Step 5: Build It (timestamp 14:55)
Now that you know you’re on the right track with sales, it’s time to start building out the process. Begin with the first two steps: perhaps your 1. booking/reservation system and 2. client reminders.
Once a client reaches the second step, build out the next two. Stay ahead of the customer and give yourself enough time to ensure you’re not feeling rushed. As more clients go through the process, you’ll find areas that need to be adjusted or refined, where you can save some time or effort or provide a little extra value.
You will also see what challenges or stumbling blocks arise. Remember that while your objective should always be to provide the absolute best experience for your customers, perfection is an impossible initial goal. The first time you do anything is the most difficult. You’ll be a confident pro by the hundredth client, and your pricing will reflect that growth!
Pro tip: This growth and refinement period is why we recommend starting your pricing at the midpoint of the service range and not at the top.
If we can offer one final bit of advice, it’s don’t let the fear of not having a perfect offer or process be your roadblock. It’s easy to stall your progress when you feel every detail should be addressed before selling your new productized service. It’s all about the journey!
Did you enjoy this video? Let us know how it went by leaving your one-line productized service description in the comments section of this video!
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Until next time, enjoy the process!