Right now, there are potential customers who are looking at your business and comparing you with your competition. If they don’t see much difference, then clearly you won’t stand out as the obvious choice.
Both you and your competition advertise that you offer quality products and services. You are all competent, experienced and helpful. You aren’t competing on price, are you?
When businesses try to differentiate themselves by offering the lowest price, they have fallen into the snare of the commodity market. Unless you have no choice, please do not choose to differentiate yourself by offering the lowest price. You can’t climb out of that hole.
Here are 5 better ways to distinguish your business:
Be Fast: Respond quickly. And, always be on time.
Become known for your prompt return of phone calls. Guarantee on time delivery. Respond. Follow-up. Show up. A handyman business owner, whom I coached, was noted for on-time arrival for appointments. It was clearly a differentiator and earned him many referrals. Because of this differentiation, he did not have to offer the lowest price to build his business.
Be Easy: Easy to do business with, that is.
Review your processes and make sure there aren’t glitches that are costing you customers. If there are ways to simplify a process or make doing business with you easier, make those adaptations now.
Show Value: Spell out the value that your customers will enjoy when they do business with you.
Do not assume that your customers know that you’re worth what you charge. Educate your customers so they fully understand why they’ve made the right choice in doing business with you.
Be Relevant:Serve your customer with a “big picture” approach.
Always look beyond your customers’ immediate needs with a bigger view of how you can create opportunities for them or help them succeed. As an example, one company that provides accounting services to businesses holds several complimentary seminars each year for their clients on how to better manage their finances.
Deliver with Excellence: Consistently good service earns the loyalty of customers.
When service is dependent on the mood swings of your staff, it’s time to do some coaching. Talk about your expectations, the standards of service excellence that you want delivered every time. Model the behavior that you expect. Example is the best teacher. It is never OK to be inattentive, impatient or unkind to customers. Period.