We live in an increasingly competitive world which means it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. So how do you differentiate your business and become your prospects’ number one choice?
From an outsider’s point of view it may seem that there’s very little to distinguish one accountant or one solicitor from another.
You could be forgiven for thinking that by offering the most competitive price you have set yourself apart, but today’s customer demands a lot more than just value for money; you need to step out of your comfort zone to attract and retain loyal customers.
This is where brand identity, key messaging and creative marketing will come in handy.
Be the brand that has it all
Outstanding customer service and fulfilling your existing customers’ needs should be your number one priority; it is much easier to sell to your existing client base than acquire new clients (and satisfied customers are also more likely to become your best brand advocates, so keep them happy!).
We live in a digital age where nothing is private any more and anyone can be a reporter, so social media is increasingly becoming the go-to platform for customer service complaints. Should you slip up – hey, it happens to the best of us – you will do well by responding to the complaint promptly on social media for all to see, and humour – if appropriate – is often well received.
Once you’ve addressed the complaint, be sure to take the conversation offline by asking them to direct message or email you their contact details so you can call them and avoid a public discussion that others may wade in on.
Try not to favour one channel and ensure your customer service standard is consistent across all the platforms you use to connect with your customers, leaving no room for confusion or contradiction.
Stay on top of technology
Technology is fast evolving and it’s hard to keep up at times, but today’s customers are tech-savvy and expect nothing but the best.
To stand out, make sure you are using the latest tech advances to your advantage. By offering a wide range of touchpoints to your customers – from a mobile phone app to quick and efficient telephone services to a responsive website – you will not only have the edge but also be user-friendly.
After all, it’s all about the customer experience and if you make things as easy as possible for them they’ll thank you for it.
Go above and beyond
Don’t just limit yourself to your core services: listen to what your customers want and put their feedback into action.
With competitive prices, outstanding customer service and additional services such as business advice and coaching or a good referral system, you could become your customers’ one-stop shop. If you are their first point of call when they don’t know where else to turn, you will definitely have the competitive edge.
Ask yourself: what are we offering that no one else is? If you can’t think of anything, you might not be offering enough.
And if you are doing all this already, don’t forget to shout about it! Let people know just how good you are at what you do and showcase this with customer testimonials and case studies which can be uploaded to your website and shared via social media.
This article was originally published on Lincolnshire Business on 8th June 2017.