With businesses vying for attention and market share, I think the definition is spot on. Most consumers that have a disposable income are restricted with the amount they have to spend on goods or services each month and therefore companies can only seek a limited number of prospects. This can lead to a fierce and often bitter rivalry amongst businesses big or small and these head to head battles can go on for years, if not forever.
With all this competing going on, companies that do not keep up will ultimately fall behind and then into obscurity. Apart from the solid fundamentals that a business needs to function, what else can you do? We would like to suggest four tips from our own experience to help compete against your rivals.
Relationships: If you have good relationships with your customers and clients you can be sure that they will think of you ahead of other companies when they need what you provide. Things may have changed over the last 4-5 years since the recession took hold of the UK, and yes, you will lose a percentage of your customers to those competitors that undercut you, regardless of your good standing and relationships, but don’t let that deter you from looking after your existing customer base.
This can be easily done with a caring, proactive attitude to any queries or issues, follow up phone calls or letters, sending special offers, free promos etc. Taking extra time to build a sense of trust will serve you well in the long-run. Loyalty is very much a big part of a consumers make-up and they will stick with you like glue if you treat them right.
From an industry business to business perspective it is also wise to connect and introduce contacts to contacts if you deem it worthwhile for each party. With no regard or recompense sought, you will be known as a connector; a business with connections willing to share and these introductions will bolster your companies reputation and benefit you greatly in the future.
Honesty: If you want to stand up and be counted, be willing to tell your customers and clients the truth. If you have a client that needs a bit of ‘tough love’ – do it. What’s the worst that could happen? They say thanks, but no thanks? If they don’t want to hear your professional wisdom and opinion, so be it, but they’ll trust you all the more for being honest. Do your competitors call it like they see it? Or possibly just bank the money regardless? Honesty is the best Policy in our opinion.
If you are selling a product and need to improve it, actively seek honest customer opinions. The same theory goes; what’s the worst that can happen? You find out you are not fulfilling some of your customer’s needs? How do you think Apple improve their products? Be Honest, Seek Honesty and your competitors feathers will ruffle wildly.
Be Unique: Yes you might provide the same or similar services to your competitors but is there a unique angle you can offer? An innovative spin that adds a little touch of class or attention to detail! It’s all in the details, tiny improvements to a service can make a massive difference. It’s not about cutting corners or prices but providing a unique, memorable experience that will have your customers spreading the good news like gossip in the playground. Be Excellent.
Be Social: Are you using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest et al. to interact with industry leaders, experts and your customers alike? These social platforms link everyone to everyone and an active presence here can go a long way in showing you are in tune with the latest in trends, marketing and that you are generally tech savvy, (which you have to be these days if you want to survive). You would be surprised how many companies are not using these social platforms at present, get ahead of your competitors and get socialising online. Small talk can do wonders for you. Could you convey a strong call to action in a 140 character tweet? Find out!
Whether you are a new business or well established, it is imperative to keep an eye on your competition and always strive to keep an edge. Whether that be; better prices, better value, excellent industry knowledge or exceptional customer service. At Mahon Digital we have all these bases covered and more. If you would like to enquire about the services we provide, please do so by going to our contact form here.