How does your business compare to your nearest competitors? Your customers will be looking to find out, as will your rivals, so it’s in your very best interest to do the same.
By gaining the competitive edge in your industry, you are less likely to lose customers, and consequently, face a downturn in your business profits when they migrate to your rivals.
To gain the competitive edge, you should concentrate on the following.
- Get to know your customers
Never assume you know who your customers are or what they want from you. It’s in your best interest to find out more about them, as you will then be in a better position to tailor your business accordingly. To get to know them, you should use customer feedback surveys,
keep an eye on consumer trends in the media, and analyse your business data to chronicle demographics and behaviour patterns, perhaps using a technology consulting firm to help you. When you know your customers, you can then step up your game to both win them over and keep them on your side.
- Prove your credentials
Why should somebody choose your company over your rival? Easy. If you can prove your credentials to your customer, the choice should be a no-brainer. You can do this by showcasing testimonials on your website, as well as any certification you may have acquired. Speak at industry events or write an eBook to highlight your expertise. And let your customers know you are better than your rivals through direct comparisons, perhaps by highlighting your more attractive prices and offers on your website.
- Love your customers
Customers can be fickle, migrating from one business to the next in search of the better offers and deals. But if you can secure your customer’s loyalty, you may keep them on your side for longer. How do you do this? Show them you love them, with exclusive discounts, personalized thank you cards, and the occasional freebie. Let them know how much you care with your customer service, showing respect in the way you do business with them. Hold company events, inviting your customers along, wining and dining them to secure their favor. And be the best that you can be, letting the quality of your work showcase the care you have for the people doing business with you.
- Keep an eye on your rivals
As we said, they are watching you, so cast your eye over to their side of the business wall. What are they doing well? How are they appealing to their customers? What is their pricing structure? And ultimately, what are they doing better than you? Find out the answer to all of these questions, by sending in your staff undercover to visit them, speaking to their customers, and by searching for clues on their website. You don’t want to force another company out of business in your efforts to be better than them, but you still want to have a decent foothold in the marketplace to give you that competitive edge.
The business world is cutthroat – it’s a case of do or die if you want to survive – but by following the advice we have given you, it is possible to give your business the competitive edge. Let us know your thoughts!