In an era where customers increasingly demand transparency, instant access to information, and personalized services, overwhelming technology has become an obstacle for many businesses attempting to get seen and noticed, but covid has delivered some key opportunities for professional service providers who want to stand out from the noise.
Many professional service industries who may have struggled in a race to the bottom, now have a massive opportunity to become the cream of the crop in a post covid world.
For years we've been told, the only sure things in life are death and taxes and that "change is good"...the reality is, however, humans are not built for ongoing change at the rate we have experienced and many are looking for a sure thing.
There is an increased desire for security, safety and a sense of reliability that only comes when you know you are getting the best professional service available.
So how can Professional businesses like mortgage brokers, real estate agents, accountants, lawyers, travel agents and those who provide home care services, make the most of the opportunity to become the trusted brand?
What can specific industries do to up their game in order to make the most of the opportunity to become a leading force?
Real estate agents may struggle to gain new leads post covid with limited stock and people staying put while values increase, but at the same time, the move away from inner-city to lifestyle, investing in homes in areas where life with lockdowns might be more pleasurable, is creating opportunities for savvy agents to position themselves as the expert, if they can capture the right prospects fast and nurture the relationship better.
Now that everyone knows what a QR code is, every agent can use their own unique scannable code on collateral at open homes to send people to a specific website, capturing and nurturing them instantly, rather than allow prospects to disappear onto domain.com or similar.
If you are an agent with a business card or brochure, you need to have a QR code on them, with a landing page and welcome automation.
Mortgage brokers need to be up with the play even more than before Covid, as banks and lending providers jostle, interest rates move and the government continues to help new home buyers with incentives and policy to drive the construction industry.
These rapid changes and a combination of the demand of quick results and acceptance of online access, means Mortgage Brokers need to also engage prospects online and ensure they have information at their fingertips.
Thanks to the lockdowns, this means no more time wasted driving to appointments, simply having a zoom call and allowing clients online access to you, will help you foster a relationship sooner and make you the hero.
Travel agents always won customers who struggled with the ability to plan but were losing out to online booking and direct competitors pre-covid. Now, however, there is no sense of surety when it comes to safe travel destinations, updated quarantine restrictions and constantly changing border requirements, some even changing while clients are in mid-flight. Now more than ever, the uncertainty is helping agents become essential where, not that many years ago, the prediction was that travel agents would go the way of the dinosaur.
Travel brands that push the safety and security issue, making sure they promote the benefit of having an agent to take care of everything, will win the place of market leader. Cost is secondary to knowing you will get where you are going and be able to contact your agent to sort out the inevitable changes that will occur when travelling, so travel agents should see an upturn in clientele, as long as they position themselves as being a travellers insurance policy to stress free travel.
Pre covid, accountants were being been inundated with clients questioning their fees and the promised value of their service. Having to deal with different client needs pre covid were all about tax returns, post covid it's more than just taxes. In an uncertain world, clients are looking for future solutions, better returns on investments and the ability to access funds should the market totally change, including an increased enquiry about entering the enticing world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Those in the financial world should make sure they are up to date on financial issues and developments as always, but primarily invest in developing niche knowledge and school-up to become an expert in a particular field to be considered the go-to person for that specific area of expertise rather than trying to be everything to everyone.
In terms of promoting your services, before covid, accounting and financial admin were fast becoming outsourced or replaced with AI and covid has pushed the need for online services even further. The opportunity here is to embrace technology and be more flexible, offering consultancy via zoom calls, online access to platforms, training videos, expert webinars or podcasts.. all to help clients solve common problems at the touch of a button. Focusing your marketing topics on avoiding costly mistakes and making sure your financial situation is set up to deliver the best return has never been more appropriate.
Many of us have experienced a situation where we've needed to find an attorney pronto, perhaps for a personal emergency or a need for the most ethical, reputable attorney in town but they don't know who they can trust...and safety has become a primary focus during the pandemic, so litigation and human rights are hot topics.
By complementing the traditional professional services, using technology that clients are now comfortable with, you can get your expertise in front of a prospect very quickly - the acceptance of Zoom calls is one of the biggest upsides delivered from Covid - and this flows on to all online channels as the general public start to be more accommodating.
Providing expert advice or opinion via YouTube or on blogs will help create more engagement and deliver a higher level of trust.
Downloadable resources and checklists where prospective clients can self determine if they have a case will help legal experts to manage workflow and create opportunities to nurture new relationships at the same time. A weekly newsletter with case studies will also ensure your brand is seen as the leader at the coalface.
Centralising admin and records, using blockchain technology so clients can access what they need faster, will also help legal brands who wish to stand out as market leaders.
Franchise services such as landscaping, painting and decorating, pool cleaning, home maintenance and improvement, and plumbing and HVAC are all in-demand post covid, based on the sheer volume of investment in property, living at home, and a lack of travel.
All that money invested into property, pools, gardens and redecorating now needs to be maintained and cared for..and as people return to 'normal' they are going to need help looking after their homes.
Franchise businesses who embrace technology and how customers prefer to communicate with mobile devices, will win the lions share of the market - convenience wins over cost and superior service, with multiple customer touch-points or customised contact will make your business the talk of the town.
Offering service calls to clients via a quick zoom chat, or reminders on text message, means franchisees can create a more personal experience and build the overall awareness of the brand and its high-quality services, clearly showing the market that you are the leader in your industry.
Online events hosted by franchise service brands, reaching many prospects at once to inform and educate, such as HOW TO webinars, will ensure the leading professional service brands keep generating consistent leads and stay ahead of the pack.
The post covid world is more competitive than ever and businesses everywhere are looking for ways to stay ahead of the game. In this post pandemic world, where information is readily accessible online, you can't afford NOT to have a stand out online presence, utilising the technology that customers pre-covid hesitated to use and now are more than comfortable with.
Providing any sort of professional service can be complex, but the opportunities covid has delivered in terms of communication, connection and speed of response and delivery should help you navigate a constantly changing environment, leveraging the need for security, and making sure your marketing and promotion paints a picture of safe, stress free services, means opportunist professional service providers can easily reach the summit of being well known, well paid and wanted.