In today’s hyper competitive market, every business strives to gain an advantage over the competition. It’s getting harder too, thanks to buyer’s becoming more savvy. Studies show that buyers investigate more online. In fact, 86% of buyers are likely checking out your competitors right now.1
What can businesses do to earn a competitive advantage, and keep it? Here are a few strategies that will differentiate your business as well as retain your customers throughout their entire buying lifecycle.
- Create a Corporate Culture that Attracts the Best Talent
Finding the best people isn’t just important for productivity and cost reduction. It’s also important because having happy workers means that your customers have better experiences. Customers know the difference between buying from a company where workers aren’t happy. They know that when workers are supported, the quality of care is better and products have fewer issues. Customers want to buy from companies that take care of their people because this means that they take care of their customers. This provides you with a competitive edge.
- Define Niches that are Under-serviced
In fishing, there are two types of fish. Those you find in oceans and those you find in lakes or rivers. For obvious reasons, fish that grow in oceans are bigger, but they take much more effort to catch. Fish that grow in lakes and rivers are easy to catch but tend to be smaller compared to their ocean counter-parts. It’s the same with customers. When looking to gain a competitive advantage, it can be easy to go after known niches where customers are easy to find. However, looking for niches where customers are under-serviced can provide you with a market advantage. There are often few competitors, plus you can tap a market an establish brand recognition early.
- Understand the DNA Footprint of Your Ideal Customer
Customers aren’t all the same. In fact, just because someone is willing to buy from you, doesn’t make them the best customer. Targeting the right customer, being aware of the buying process, who is involved in decision-making, what information is needed and at what time, and so forth can help your sales team (and post-sales support teams) win business and retain lifelong customers. When customers feel that you understand them, truly are in tune with their needs, serve them exactly what they need at the very time that they need it, they will place you far above the competition.
- Clarify Your Strengths
Your business, just as any other, has core strengths and competencies. Perhaps these are processes, or technology, or knowledge/expertise/experience. Whatever they are, these offer value to your customers and are what customers what to buy from you. Consider how you can use these strengths in innovative and creative ways to gain new business, tap new markets, etc. Additionally, how can you use your core competencies to create value for your customers? These are key factors you should explore to create a clear market advantage.
- Establish Your Unique Value Proposition
Many companies often use common value propositions such as pricing, service levels, quality, brand recognition, etc. to create a competitive advantage. While this can and often is a great beginning, continue to ask the “so what” question until you have a much more unique, special and competitive statement than that of others in your market. For example, if everyone in your market is talking about the quality of their customer service, ask yourself “so what” about your customer service. In other words, what makes your service and support better? How is it more valuable? What does it offer that your competition does not? Don’t stop until you can come up with a single statement such as “Our 24/7/365 customer service provides you with guaranteed on-site care within 2 hours, or we replace the product free of charge within 24 hours.”
- Reward Behaviors that Support Corporate Mission and Value
Whether you seek to reward top performers in your organization, or to acknowledge customers who have been your best buyers, rewarding behavior has many benefits. First and foremost, rewards such as travel incentives, provide opportunities to combine leisure with business and build relationships outside of the office environment. In fact, of top performing companies, 90% of them use rewards.2
Even when faced with stiff competition, having a competitive advantage provides you with greater opportunities to close more business. More importantly, the stronger your competitive advantage, the greater your ability to sustain a position of strength in the market no matter its conditions or level of competition.
To learn more how travel incentives can help you earn a competitive advantage in your organization, contact Gavel International.