If you are wondering how you can add more value to your rates and packages, or just to your online service business in general, I have found the best way to do this is through offering client ‘perks,’ basically things they get in addition to the core service, when they purchase that service through you.
These ‘perks’ can come in a variety of forms. In order for me to consider adding a perk to a client service, I generally look for things where I can make an initial one time investment or pay a low monthly subscription that would be absorbed into the cost of my service, or where I could pass on relevant, useful information that I normally check anyway for my own business. You can get really creative with what you offer, and also target things to specific niche markets.
Here are some ideas on how you can include perks into your service for your clients.
#1 – Offer A Free Password Management Service.
I am introducing a service to clients where we will manage their passwords for them at no cost (for the passwords we use when working with them, for example social media accounts or website logins). The way I see it we need to data entry these passwords in anyway, so why not have the client set up a free account and we can then do the additional step of sharing the password with them, and they have an instant password storage facility.
#2 – Get A Developer Licence.
Consider purchasing a developer licence to a really cool online tool, for example, if you provide social media services, you could invest a couple of hundred dollars into an awesome social media toolbar, which clients would normally need to purchase, and then offer free installation and set up of that toolbar to any clients who utilise your social media services.
Whenever you come across a great widget, plugin or software as a service, see if they have a partnership programme or developer licence, and then you can make an initial investment to add that additional value to new or existing clients, ongoing.
#3 – Provide A Secure Private Online Client Area.
Okay okay, I know I prattle on about this often, but it really does make a big difference to the client’s experience. Offer clients a secure area free of charge, where you’ll store files, keep records, discuss things, just cutting out that whole thing for them of doing everything via email. Keep your clients organised online – this is the way of working and the office set up of the future. Client areas are essentially multi-purpose project management spaces.
#4 – A Convenient Appointment Scheduling System.
If you’re a really ‘busy bee’ like me, you may find that manually managing a calendar can become a bit tedious, especially with multiple clients across multiple timezones, and also the fact that my timezone changes periodically with my lifestyle, I have come to rely on my online calendar system for appointments. When people want to secure a time to chat with me the easiest and most convenient way for them to do this is through my online appointment system in Setster. I have a little video showing them how to schedule a call, but at the same time how they can switch the calendar to their own timezone, eliminating any possibility of missed calls, odd timezones etc… Whenever I attempt to arrange anything manually it can often end in there being a hour difference, especially during the summertime ‘odd’ hour. This way, the hassle of ‘where are you, what time is that’ is completely removed, and clients can book at a time that suits them, in their timezone, wherever they happen to be.
#5 – Easy To Use Client Guides.
Take a bit of time out of your day and spend that time putting together a “Client Guide” — this will not only help clients, it will save you time too over the long run. Keep adding to it when you introduce a new service. I have mine set up in my client area for all clients to access when they need it. In my client guide is a library of different ‘docs’ like pages in the area, they are categorised into:
- How To’s
- Delegation Templates
It teaches the client how to do common things like how to share files with us, how to share passwords online with us, how to request assistance etc… I also have delegation templates for different services, giving clients guidance as to exactly what information or details we need to carry out a specific service. I also answer common questions, like how they can get a service expedited or how they can update their billing information, and finally questionnaires, this is when we need to gather information to provide a more bespoke service, like a website development or SEO project.
#6 – Short Video Tutorials.
If you provide a particular service to a client, it’s really nice to be able to provide them with some direction afterwards as to what they need to do if they also need to be involved with whatever system you have put in place. For example, a CRM system which they may want to also dip into and use, or a content management system where they may want to learn how to post blog posts for example.
Short video tutorials keep this process simple, and can be an additional perk, because not only are you providing the service, you are providing a certain degree of ‘aftercare,’ which is great for ensuring long term, loyal clients.
#7 – Sharing Your Findings.
When we work online we tend to sign up for things out of interest, and even if they are for our personal use they could still be valuable to the client. By sharing information, you are saving the client time, and also potentially improving their business. Let’s say for example you sign up for HARO (Help a reporter out) and you receive their daily email for all of the media channels looking for stories to cover in magazines, newspapers, radio shows and even television. You can glance through yourself and see if anything comes up for you, but you also may see a great opportunity for your client. This is good because you can kind of cross sell a service. If your client is a Health Coach, and you see that there is a radio talk show looking to interview health coaches who specialise in Avocado recipes for example, and your client happens to specialise in Avocado recipes, why not contact your client to inform them of what you have found, and then suggest that you (as a service) draft the pitch for the media outlet and post the response for them?
So as you can see you have a variety of ideas here to get you started, this really just touches on the possibilities which are available to you for making your client’s experience better than they even could have imagined. It may mean you need to charge a little extra for the service overall or in your hourly rate, but I believe it’s really worth it, and a little extra can go a very, very long way…