We all want to stand out in a crowd, and if you’re running a business, this is especially true for you! Effectively differentiating themselves is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face in today’s world. When a customer is looking for a business in your industry to work with, they are going to want to make sure they’ve made the best choice. Do you know what potential customers are looking for to determine who they want to work with? It can be really difficult to know how to make your business stand out, and draw attention to it (in a positive way), but it’s far from impossible. Good news! We’ve put together a list for all business owners to find out who really sticks out against competitors:
Customer Service Pros
Over 75% of consumers say that customer service is the most important thing to them when it comes to working with a business. Small businesses naturally have a leg up in the customer service department, because it’s easier to manage fewer employees and to ensure customer complaints and issues aren’t slipping through the cracks. There are several ways to ensure that your customer service is superior to that of your competitors. The best places to start would be: responding to negative and positive reviews/feedback online, consistently training employees to be friendly, honest and proud of their work and fixing any issues that do arise quickly and professionally. Companies known for their great customer service have a much easier time succeeding than those who don’t show concern for their customers. Being a customer service pro can be as easy as being available when customers call, getting back to them quickly, completing a job as soon as possible and being friendly and personable when you’re working with them.
Everyone is looking for the next best thing. With such a high-energy and technology driven society, it’s important to be an innovator when it comes to your business. A successful business is constantly changing and evolving to meet their customers’ requests and needs. If you notice that one of your product offerings is out-of-date, drop it and replace it with something fresh in the industry. Train your employees to think outside the box when it comes to helping your customers with their problems. Remember, people hire businesses just like yours to help them fix a problem. To be a pro innovator is to be a pro listener and having a genuine want to help your customers.
More likely than not, your competitors are engaging with their (your) customers. It’s absolutely necessary to engage with your customers is you want to create loyal and repeat customers out of them. If you complete a job and your customer never hears from you again, your business becomes easy to forget about and pass over. Meanwhile, your competitors might be sending out useful emails with tips about carpet cleaning, lawn care, HVAC solutions, etc. and stealing those customers out from under you. If you are running a deal or promotion, that’s the perfect time to send out a text or email campaign to your past customers. This reminds them about your business and gives them a big reason to come back. People like content that is valuable and useful to them, and not just junk-y emails.
Another great method of engaging with your customers is through social media. Keeping your social pages up-to-date and ‘friendly’ is a positive way to engage with your customers where they are. Responding to customer comments, posting interesting content that deserves a response and keeping your social reputation current are the keys to positive customer engagement through social media.
Being the expert in your field gives your customers the confidence they need to keep coming back to you. If you have employees, this is just another reason to hold regular training to ensure they are also the experts. You want your customers to feel comfortable when they hire your business, no matter which of your employees shows up at their door to help them out. Keep your methods and services consistent, so everyone is on the same page and customers know what to expect when they hire you. Staying current on the best methods and any new products coming out in your industry is a big job, but an important one for any business owner who really wants to stand out.
There are many ways to make your business stand out against competitors, and these are some of the best ones. There will always be competitors, no matter what line of work you are in, but the key is to be the best in your industry so you don’t have to worry about what they’re doing and how they’re running their business. Instead, you can focus on continuing to grow and better your business everyday.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!