What can your competitors teach you? Well, for starters, these competitors are offering your customers something important. Perhaps it is something you don’t currently offer, but because of all of this, it is a good idea to look at what your competitors are doing to get some guidance on how to improve your business. This is true in any business model.
- Communicate With Customers and Respond Quickly
Communication and excellent customer service is one of the first things you must do for a successful business. Look to see how your competitors are communicating with their customers. Are they communicating through social media channels, in person, or both? What works better for them?
It is crucial for any business to have great customer interaction and engagement. When a customer sends your organization and email or message through social media, how long does it typically take for you to respond? Is your wait time longer or shorter than your competitors?
Most customers will call around to different businesses to get information. They will typically work with the first one that calls them back. Regardless if it is the best choice or not, they got a response and that means a lot to customers. They have made a connection. It is crucial to be the first to get back to them or your competitor will win their business.
Listen to your customers and your competition. Look to see how your competitions listens to their customers. They can provide some valuable insight on how they handle things and what works and what doesn’t. Being able to provide the right solutions for your customers the first time is so important in any business. This creates a very valuable, positive business relationship that can last a very, very long time if you take care of it properly. Remember, that these are the people that will be sending you referrals, etc. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster.
- Look At Their Marketing and Advertising Efforts
While it may be rather difficult to know everything your competition is doing to promote themselves, you can look to see how their ads are listed. Check out their website, how do they present themselves? What keywords are they using? What social media platforms are they on? Do you see ads on those social media channels and how are they worded? Pay close attention to what really catches your eye about these advertising efforts. Chances are if something caught your eye, it may do the same for their customers as well.
- Be Involved
Do your competitors frequent trade shows, conferences or local events? Make sure you and your team are not missing out on gathering information from these type of events. Be sure you are showing up prepared with business cards and information about your business, product or service. Establishing a presence in your field is important. Get the word out about who you are and what you do!
- Investigate Your Competitors
If your business is a local business, be sure to stop in to your competitors’ stores to see what is working for them. Look at how they layout their business promotions. What kind of material do they have out for their clients? If they do not have a physical storefront, be sure to check out all aspects of their website. What wording are they using? What keywords are used throughout the site? What kind of things do they use on the site that catches your eye? While you don’t ever want to outright copy your competitors, it is important to see what they are doing that may be working and test several things.
- Gather More Information
How are your competitors obtaining certain information? They may be using social media or other sites to gather information about their potential customers. There are many ways you can conduct surveys or polls to ask relevant questions to gather more detailed information about your target audience. These are fabulous ways to get pertinent information on your potential customers to know better how to market to them in a more attractive way.
- Learn From Your Mistakes
Be sure to keep track of mistakes you have made in your business. Why did you lose that one customer to your competitor? What did you do wrong? What are they doing right? Make sure to really inspect these instances and learn from your mistakes. These are very valuable lessons in building a business and they do happen to every business at some point. Just be sure not to make the same mistake twice!
- Recognize Your Strengths
Your competitors can teach you what you can do better, but at the same time, they can also show you what you are already doing correctly. If a customer leaves a competitor and comes to you, be sure to listen very closely to the reasons why they came to you. This will certainly teach you more about your business’s strengths. Be sure to maintain these strengths while you work on building the rest of your business.