Why Service Companies Need to be Online Now

A recent report just released by Altimeter Group shows how “the shopper has fundamentally changed and wants a new buying experience.”

The report shows that trust in big brands is low, and if the current political climate is any indication, people are generally fed up with the big and powerful.

This could be good news for the small and mid-sized professional service company. As the economy begins its inevitable upward movement many more companies are going to ask for outside help to find their way out of the quagmire. They’re going to seek out smaller companies, and they’re going to do so by reading what others have to say about them on social networks and through other online media.

The Evolution of Social

The report goes on to say that the evolution in buying habits that’s now taking place “is both a new channel and a new way of doing business. It is reshaping how consumers shop.”

Where it’s headed, they say, is a “convergence” of e-commerce, mobile and social collide. They call this convergence “Frictionless Commerce,” where the goal is to build a closer relationship and increase brand presence with shoppers through the use of new technologies.

Defining Social Commerce

As the report indicates, ask 10 business owners to define “Social Commerce” and you’ll get 10 different answers.

For a professional service company who wants to generate more leads and close more sales using social media, social networking, and the rest of the internet, “Social Commerce” is all about relationship building.

It’s a matter of building an online presence by being online with your constituents. You provide helpful advice, offer tips and suggestions, and interact with your prospects and clients in online forums and social networks.

As your prospects and clients turn to the internet and social networks for information and help, you need to be there with the answers. This is how you’re going to build trust and develop the social relationships that will be critical to your future.

While your clients aren’t going to find you through smartphone apps like Urbanspoon, they’re still going to be connecting with others and researching their problems on their smartphones. This means that your website must be fully smartphone enabled, and I don’t mean that it’s visible if the user magnifies the screen.

If you’ve got a blog, for example, you should invest in WP Touch to fully enable your blog for smartphones. It’s easy, and it enables your users to place an icon for your blog right on their smartphone home page.

As the report clearly shows, the way people shop for products and services has already changed. Are you going to be ready for the future?

Written by Sid Smith Written by