If your customers aren’t spending as much as they used to spend and your rivals somehow always seem to have the upper hand over you in one or more area, you will need to make your business more competitive.
Easier said than done. So how do you do it?
Focus on customer experience
Customer experience is almost as important as the product or service that you are selling them. If they don’t enjoy the time they spend doing business with you, they are less likely to do business with you in the future. How many times have you gone to a restaurant that served you nice food but vowed never to return because the service was Fawlty-esque?
If a client has a good experience, they are more likely to recommend your business to others. So, not only will you have repeat customers but you get new ones because of the quality of your customer interactions.
One common way to improve the dialogue between yourself and your customers is to give out your email address as managing director – a hotline to the top of the tree, if you will.
If a customer is ever dissatisfied with a product or service that you have provided then they feel you care enough about them to listen, compensate somehow, and adapt.
There are many ways that you can make your business stand out and they don’t all involve just what you’re selling.
For instance, you could develop a more user-friendly website. This will make your business much easier to deal with and to buy from. If your rivals’ websites are poor, today’s impatient consumer may not be willing to waste precious time on their sites and may choose yours for convenience.
You may want to look at ways of improving employee job satisfaction. A happy employee will work harder and more efficiently than one who is apathetic about their career – in theory, at least. Introduce staff nights out, employee of the month awards – you can find some way of taking advantage of the £50 per employee gift incentive offered by HMRC (ask us more about this if you don’t know what it is – our details are below).
One way you can improve employee productivity is by offering a bonus scheme. By doing this you are incentivising them to work as hard as they can, and they will innovate your business themselves.
Research your competition
Make your competitors’ weaknesses your strengths. No business is perfect so examine what the customer journey is like when someone buys from you and someone buys from one of your rivals. Try and spot the ways that your competitors can improve dealing with customers from the point of view of a customer and then apply those improvements to your own own business.
At the same time, take note of where their service outperforms yours. If they do something really well or they offer something you don’t that seems to be in demand, it might be worth considering copying that in your own business.
Target new markets
Selling to new markets can increase your customer base and the amount of revenue your business makes. This doesn’t have to mean opening up another shop somewhere else – you could sell online.
The more people you can get your message across to, the easier it will be to outpace and beat your competition.
Investing in new and emerging technologies is a good way to get ahead.
Is your website mobile-friendly? Do you have an app? Apps make your products and services more visible not only to your existing customers but to potential new ones too.
We can help
To talk to us about any ideas you have on becoming more competitive and to stress-test your business against any investment you make in your competitiveness, please call us on 01202 577 500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.