Is competition popping up in your neighborhood? Are you afraid they are going to take your customers away from you? Do they have lower prices or better customer service? Maybe they have unique products and services that you do not offer. It is scary. However, there are many things you can do to help you sleep at night.
First, you need to perform a basic competitive analysis of the competitor in question. What are they doing for their customers? How are they advertising and marketing to their customers? What does their store look like? What are their hours? What does their website look like? Do they have a strong Social Media presence? How are their online reviews and testimonials? How does their staff treat the customer? What are their policies? What types of products and services do they sell and at what price? Is everything they offer a higher value then your company? Yes, you need to know ALL OF THE ANSWERS AND MORE!
Second is to make sure you are BETTER than the completion. I suggest you do everything you can to make all of your customers as happy as possible. Happiness, in some cases, trumps everything. If your customer is happy and the perceived value they get from you is high most will not stray from your company.
How do you make your customers happy? Here are some ideas.
- MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL SPECIAL!
- Have customer appreciation sales OFTEN.
- Let customers bring in competitors coupons and offers and beat their prices for like items.
- Make sure your customer service is second to none. Have a procedure for each issue a customer could bring to you so there are no grey areas when confronting an employee. Remember the customer is always right, even when they are wrong. Test yourself and your staff often with secret shoppers of varying sex and race, to make sure they are treating everyone with respect. Keep this n mind. When a customer is unhappy they do not just keep it to themselves, they spread the word to many friends who in turn might also do the same in passing conversation and that is BAD. ALWAYS resolve a customer’s problem.
- Create VIP programs for customers that hit a certain level of purchases.
- Give them ways to share your company with their friends by having a bring a friend days/sales.
- Give them unconditional money back guarantees when possible.
Collecting customer data and purchasing information helps your business grow.
You should also be doing everything possible to gather all of the contact data and purchasing activity from all of your customers so you can keep in touch with relevant information. Sending your customers information they actually want will keep them happy and hopefully interested in your products and services.
Collecting Demographic and Psychographic Information – Knowing your customer demographics and psychographics helps you decide where to market and advertise your company. For example if you know your customers are 35 – 45, Married with children, has a gym membership, etc. you would seek out publications and websites to place your ad that serves this type of person. If asking your customers these types of questions is difficult for you, we have ways to determine your customer’s demographics and psychographics through technology.
Collecting Emails – There is money in your customer email list. Think about it. If you had 5,000 customers on your email list and sent them a sale or offer once per month. (More would be better) and the profit from the sale is only $20.00. If only 5% of your customers took you up on your offer that is 250 sales! 250 x 20.00 = $5,000!!! Now do you get it? Now the offer must be a great value in order to get 5% but the better the offer the more sales you would make.
Know what your customers are buying.
If you separated your email list by what a customer purchased you would know all of the potential upsell opportunities. Did you miss that? Let’s say I purchased lawn chairs from you. Do you think that maybe I would be interested in a new grill? What about a table and umbrella? Now you got it!
Let’s say you do not want to get involved in email marketing. You could do the same type of database marketing with postcards, letters, and phone calls. BUT if you really want to crush the competition, you would do it all.
So to wrap things up.
Keep a close eye on your competition. Do everything to be better at EVERYTHING. Grow your business using proven marketing methods to get customers to buy from you, buy more and to buy more often. Build a huge email and contact list and advertise and educate to it often. MORE THAN ONCE PER MONTH!
MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY!
If you need help let us know. Click here to contact us.
As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated.