It’s a competitive world out there. Customers now have access to more products sold by more companies, from more countries around the world, than ever before.
So how can you make sure they buy products or services from your business? Here are our tips to make your business a cut above the rest!
Tune in to your customers
Use surveys and social media to discover who your customers are and what makes them tick. What are they interested in? What else are they buying, using, watching or talking about? If there’s a demographic lacking in your customers, ask yourself:
- If that’s to be expected, due to the nature of your business
- If it’s because you’re failing to market to that demographic
- If you’re not attending to the needs and wants of that demographic, even though you could do so
Monitor trends closely
Look at your sales data to identify patterns in purchasing (or booking, if your business is service rather than sales-based). In simple terms, try to offer customers more of what they want and less of what they don’t!
Keep an eye on the media to see what general trends may be influencing your customers or interest them in the next few months, whether it’s an event like the Olympics or a major TV show like Game of Thrones. Research by eBay shows these things have a significant impact on customer’s purchasing behaviour.
Ensure your customer service is second to none
Be quick to reply to and resolve complaints. Aggrieved customers increasingly turn to social media to air their issues, even if they’re also making an official complaint. This means many, many people see that complaint—and watch with interest to see how it’s dealt with.
Resolve the issue, replace the item swiftly and add in a goodwill gesture for the complainant’s time and trouble, such as a freebie, discount voucher or free express delivery for a set period.
Know your competition
Some potential customers will always go elsewhere out of habit or loyalty. But some of them—and those customers ambivalent about where they purchase goods—have the potential to be swayed to buy from you instead.
To ensure they come to you and not the competition, you need to know what the competition offers. Then you need to make sure that, as far as is feasible, your business does at least one if not all of these:
- Offers everything your competitors offer
- Offers something your competitors don’t: something extra or unique
- Does what your competitors do, but better
Make the buying experience easy and pleasant
Sometimes, customers will go to a competitor and even pay more purely because the buying experience is easier or quicker. To attract new customers and retain your existing ones:
- Make sure staff answering the phone, dealing with social media messages/emails or serving customers in person are courteous. professional and knowledgeable
- Ensure your website is slick, attractive, easy to navigate and full of easy-to-find, bite-sized information to help customers make their choice and their purchase
- Ensure your customer-facing premises are bright, clean, tidy and well maintained
- Offer various methods of payment, both on premises and online
- Keep customers informed of the progress of their order and expected delivery dates
Follow all these tips and your business stands a good chance of standing out from the competition, so why not decide on one change today—and start putting it into action?
How do you ensure your business is a cut above the rest? What do you do differently to others? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.