I wonder … from your experience, how have you been able to stand out from your competitors?
In a world where the competition regularly claims to be Numero Uno, it’s difficult to differentiate and build your own identity. Difficult, but not impossible.
In a sea of competitors that all look the same, small business owners have to find a way to stand out, be heard and more importantly, be remembered favourably. Entrepreneurs face this challenge daily and have to position themselves uniquely to rise to the top of the stack in their industry.
Customers have plenty of choices, so it’s a fair expectation that you provide them with a reason for buying your services or products. They will be spending their hard-earned money, so they are always on the lookout to find something different or something extra.
Business owners face constant threats from competitors in a marketplace that rushes with new technologies, products and advertising strategies. But excellent customer service is still rare and is a sure-fire way to leverage your current business wins for future growth.
Do you have a lot of competitors, and are having trouble getting your business apart from the rest? Your potential customers are waiting to see some selling point that defines you as the better choice of all the options for your product or service. There are a few simple processes you can put in place to start gaining an advantage over your competitors.
How many times have you entered a place of business and it seemed like no one acknowledged your presence? No warm “Hello, nice to see you,” or “Great to have you back again,” or “We’re so happy you have visited us.” Not even a hand gesture! You seat yourself and wait for someone to acknowledge your presence. No matter what type of business, you already have a bad taste for the experience you are about to encounter. It doesn’t matter how good things get from this point on, your service experience didn’t start as a 5-star and there’s no undoing that first impression.
If your staff successfully create a healthy and professional relationship with your customers, it will build loyalty and generate increased revenue for your store. Every customer who is greeted well and made to feel comfortable at your business will become an asset to your company.
91% of customers who have had a bad customer experience won’t do business with your brand again. What’s even more alarming is the fact that an upset customer will tell an average of 16 friends about their poor customer experience! Thus, it is important to please your customers every time you interact with them, and well-developed systems for customer service have the greatest impact.
Excellent customer service is the foundation for long-lasting emotional relationships with your customers. Providing excellent customer service humanises your brand and builds the emotional foundation needed to sustain a long term relationship with your customers. It’s these emotional experiences that set you apart from your competition.
How you provide this exceptional service is different for every business, so customised procedures are vital. It could mean offering free returns to customers who aren’t totally in love with your product or having 24/7 support on your website ready to answer any customer questions. All that matters is that your customers feel cared for! If customers feel that you offer a more personal, caring purchase experience than your competitors, they’ll return to shop with your brand time and time again.
POINT OF SALE
The last thing a customer should do is have to hunt down the best way to contact you to give you their money! Having a clear contact page on your website with phone numbers, email, live chat, or links to any social media support accounts is helpful for modern shoppers. And the friendly staff working an informal sales and upselling script will also make a big impact. The more clear the options are to your customer, the easier and faster you will be able to do business with them.
To access further services from your business, to become a member, to jump on a membership site, all of those sorts of things make such a massive difference when it comes to building repeat business, and it always comes down to having systems in place for your customer service.
People like feeling appreciated and valued by the companies they do business with. When you have routines and automation to keep in touch with your customers and make sure that they’re happy, they will be a lot more likely to like you. And simply put, consumers make purchases from businesses that they like. Engaging with your customers through follow up calls will inspire them to become and remain loyal supporters of your brand. It is also very likely to lead to referrals. It’s pretty hard to argue that referrals are among the best possible ways to attract new customers. A recommendation from a happy customer is more impactful than any television commercial. And follow up calls often make for happy customers.
Consider these tips while creating strategic processes for your business and stick to them! If you can set up systems to serve your customers most exceptionally, you will see yourself set apart from your competitors, and you will be able to maintain a system ready to be duplicated across multiple outlets. That’s where the fun begins – when you can scale those systems and start putting more and more pieces into those puzzle gaps.