5 STRATEGIC WAYS TO BEAT THE CompetitION
On this side of the world, you can satisfy your craving for attention and spotlight by visiting the market.
Alaba market in Lagos Nigeria is one such place. The cacophony is deafening.
Traders screaming at the top of their voices to catch your attention WHILE the more daring and perhaps annoying ones grab you by the hands and pull you into their stores.
This scenario is probably true of your business environment.
Competition is changing the playing field and only businesses with the right competitive advantage can get their voices heard in the marketplace.
After discovering 7 great ways to wow your customers, there are 5 Secrets Your Competitors Must Not Know that you need to stay ahead in the game.
Customers have so many choices at their disposal and it will take more than the crowd mentality or business as usual to catch their attention.
This simply means that you must enact winning ways, most especially by either doing things your competitors don’t do or getting better at doing what they do.
#1 Run a family, not a business
Family is about love and loyalty. In most start-ups, family and friends are the first set of customers.
If I venture into music despite my hoarse voice, I still expect my family to purchase my album and dance to my lyrics like they were listening to Tu face Idibia.
In the same vein, when you set out to run your business like you would run a family, you get to enjoy the benefits of building relationships. So, how do you achieve this:
- Know your customers: Take the time to know individual clients and treat them as your most special one. Little things like calling them by name and chatting them up while in your territory can go a long way. Also, create a system of recognizing your first timers and remembering your old customers. This will dictate your approach to cultivating a lasting relationship with them.
- Create a customer database: You need to create a communication link between you and your customers. While your competitors are more interested in making one-time sales, you need to convert your new customers to loyal customers by keeping in touch. The database can include fields like name, email address, phone number and birthday date. Customers are very difficult to attract and they should not be left off the hook that easily.
- Remember their special days: Goodwill messages on birthdays or special holidays will give your customers a sense of membership. By sending messages on these special events, you earn a return visit as a sign of appreciation. This presents you with another opportunity to create a great impression.
#2 Offer a money back guarantee
There is no better way to build trust than to vouch for your product or services. When you say to the customer,” I am not satisfied until you are satisfied”, you protect the right of the customer. Your guarantee is an indicator that value not money is the fulcrum of your business ideals. This provides you an opportunity to stand out from the competition.
A money back guarantee can also get you another chance to offer an exchange or a better alternative when there is a problem. From a customer’s perspective, your business is risk-free and this can only produce a win-win situation.
#3 Engage technology to drive your business
With the emergence of the internet, the world wide web as become an effective tool in business marketing and networking. Unfortunately, a large chunk of businesses in Africa are yet to join this movement. Not you. Now is the time to engage this force for promoting your business. Here are some of the pertinent moves you can make to engage technology for business success:
- Host a business website: Your customers are online and you have to be there as well. Your website will give you an avenue to showcase your products and inform the public on your level of expertise. Your website is an open book that can be read by millions of to be customers seeking to make a “whom to buy from” decision. Equally important is your consistent updating of your websites content. It’s not enough to launch one. You can strike a with your web developer for the constant maintenance of your site.
- Employ social media tools: You can drive the level of public awareness by engaging popular social sites like Facebook, twitter, Instagram and google plus. Nairaland is a great avenue to boost your business here in Nigeria. Search for forums that discuss topics in your area of business, and begin to participate actively in solving problems and establishing credibility. TrustOrRun.com is another great avenue to show your expertise by giving simple solutions to customers questions.
- Send emails: Another great way of engaging your customers is by creating and sending periodic emails to your customers. By offering rich content to your readers, you can follow up on the already established rapport. In addition, you can market your wares or services by sending regular updates of new products and offering via email. Would you not rather consider this?
#4 Offer superior customer service
This is the next big thing. Customer satisfaction is the new marketing. The number of happy customers you have is a direct measure of how much growth to expect in your business. Read our article on 7 great ways to wow your customers. With continual innovation and superior customer satisfaction, you will literally give the marketplace something to talk about.
The quality you bring to the table is equally important as well as your pricing. However, experience has thought that customers will always settle for quality when they have a guarantee that you will always be available when they come calling for help. That is 100% satisfaction guarantee.
#5 Get your business listed on TrustOrRun.Com
TrustOrRun is Nigeria’s #1 customer reviews & business community.
It is a social community that brings businesses and customers to a common ground. Business owners get to open a social profile from which they can list their businesses, write engaging articles/blog posts of relevance to their niche; build their reputation as they give answers to questions posed by the community and also post pictures of previous works and services.
Businesses within a similar niche can also offer assistance on how upcoming business owners can grow their businesses.
Also, business owners can then promote their page by ensuring that every customer that buys from them visits their business page (on the site) to write a review about their business and at the same time share their review/profile on social media. Fun right.
TrustOrRun, also, features a rating system where customers get to rate the business based on cost, quality of service, punctuality, the level of customer satisfaction and their willingness to recommend your business to other potential customers.
The business forum is also a great platform to engage customers and market your wares. Simply, TrustOrRun is a complete package for business growth and not just a business directory.
Above all, you get to build trust and credibility within the community as you win the hearts of potential customers.