Running a business can be difficult, especially with high competition on the market. You might be a young upstart or an established brand in the market. Either way, you are likely to face off against the top competition in the market. You must stay ahead of the competition to grow your business and compete against small and industry giants. Well, we have compiled a few tips that will help you stay a step ahead of the competition.
Focus on excellent customer service
According to a report, 75% of customers consider customer service as a real test of business competence. It would help if you came up with strategies to keep your customer service at the peak. For example, you should have a clear and comprehensive service agreement. This will guide the customers on what they should expect to get from your company and at what terms. Also, develop a strong knowledge of your audience base, and build lifelong customers by crafting relationships based on trust and loyalty.
Quite often, customers remember good service. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition is by offering top-notch customer service while taking good care of their needs. All customers expect receiving great service, and they will easily turn away if you don’t meet expectations. Yes, a good customer relationship will keep them coming back to your company.
As the old adage goes, honesty is the best policy. This applies to businesses as well. It would be best if you were honest about your goods and services to your customers. For example, if you cannot deliver on a due date, you must call and inform your customers. In case one of your customer representatives messed up on a bid, you should move fast to solve the issue. Lying to your customers will make them lose faith in you and your company.
Be smart with marketing strategies
You will also need to be smart with your marketing strategy if you are to beat the competition. Most businesses are now investing a lot in digital marketing, and you should. Use the likes of social media, search ads, SEO, content marketing, inbound techniques, etc. That’s just a piece of the pie, though. Other traditional methods still work.
A good example is what’s known as cross-promotion. It is a marketing approach that sells your brand and products using new channels, often via collaboration. You can work with agencies offering cross-promotion services to help expand your customer base. A good agency will ensure that you pick the right partners for your campaign, and you build meaningful partnerships. At the end of the day, you want connections that translate to return on investments.
Partner with your competition!
Again, there are cases when it is best to partner with your competition to create a win-win situation. A good example is when Amazon brought in third-party sellers to its marketplace, now known as Fulfilled by Amazon. It worked like a charm-the FBA now accounts for 50% of the sales on the marketplace. That said, this kind of collaboration will require greater partnering maturity and skill. To succeed in it, you can do the following:
Develop clear rules of engagement: to avoid overlapping your interests with your partner, you can set rules that will apply for both of you. For example, you could determine the level of production and shared costs. This will help that neither of the parties will take advantage of the other.
Encourage communication: Both of you must have clear communication channels in place. Quite often, your representatives or employees might be engaging with each other on your behalf. They need to be well aware of the ground rules that are governing the partnership. That will make the flow of work smooth as intended.
Admit mistakes and solve issues
We can’t reiterate this enough. You should know that experience your customers get gives an impression of your brand. In case they receive poor treatment, or a bad experience that remains unresolved, customers are likely to write off your brand. Besides, any negative review from a customer spreads like a bushfire through social media and word of mouth.
Always go out of your way to rectify any errors or mistakes that may arise. It means that you can at times admit business mistakes and take responsibility. Customers tend to prefer businesses that own up to their mistakes and take appropriate actions. Or steps to correct them. This will strengthen your customer relationship and increase your market base, as many will receive positive feedback about you and your company.
In a nutshell, you have to keep innovating if you are to stay ahead of the competition. At the core of all the strategies is the end consumer. Keep them happy and you will grow your business!