Companies are finding today’s market to be a bit of a double-edged sword. While there are more opportunities for expansion and getting new customers, the competition is also getting heavy and the market very crowded.
It’s hard to stand out.
However, if you do want to stand out, here are 5 Tips on Differentiating Your Business In Today’s Crowded Market
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Before you do anything else, examine and evaluate your competition. Are they better than you? If so, how? What can you do to be on their level?
In some cases, companies feel like their competition is beating them in various fields but that may not be true.
And you do need to look at different areas of doing business.
For one, their sales – are they selling more than you are at any given moment? Next, look at their branding – do they have a great relationship with their customers? Why are you not at their level?
Look at the other aspects of doing business in your niche. What makes them better and what makes them worse than you?
After you do all of this and answer all of these questions, you can start building a differentiation strategy that will actually work instead of doing it all without proper planning and strategizing.
Add something they don’t have
Once you have examined your competition, you can see and compare their product or service and what kind of packages they create for their customers. Are they missing something? Is there something they are not offering that could be of value to your customers? If so, add it to your offer.
For instance, if you are in the business of making cookies and you see that your competition is not offering a certain type of cookie, you can offer it. Or if your competition is offering great packaging – like jars or baskets – but no cards or good-looking labels, you can implement this in your offer.
Always aim to offer more than your competition. But, be subtle. Don’t cause a war within your competition because of your changes. Make them incremental rather than large and sudden. However, if you are in the industry where innovations are possible and where you can add something entirely new to the market that no one else can, go for it.
Give outstanding customer service
“Customer service is one of the most important parts of your business and also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In the age of chatbots and other AI technologies, it’s a great thing to have someone real and human on the other side of the chatroom, ”says Crystal Gregory, a business consultant at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk.
While a large number of customers can cause many issues here, use modern technologies to make customer service easier on your agents and invest in educating them and hiring only the most patient and compassionate personnel.
Implement branding in this area as well. For instance, have them speak in the brand’s voice – however, if your brand voice is strictly formal, it can be a good surprise to have friendly and informal customer service.
Admit mistakes and fix them appropriately
This is where most companies make mistakes. They want to differentiate but they don’t want to do the hardest thing of them all – admit that they are wrong. This has been changing in the recent years but it’s still not where it needs to be in order for customers to truly believe that they made a difference by complaining or giving criticism to the brand.
For one, provide easy and simple ways for your clients to complain. Include a complaint form on your site, create a social media profile just for that or give them resources like emails, phone numbers and chats where they could share their complaints.
Next, respond quickly. No one wants to be left hanging when they have a problem. If anything, politely let them know that their complaint is being processed and that you’ll contact them within a few hours. The best way to go is to answer right away.
“Fix their problem and offer compensation if appropriate. For instance, some customers can be complaining just because they didn’t like something that’s out of your hands – try to fix their issue but don’t compensate. If they had a real issue that could have been avoided with better business practices, compensate within your means”, says Tim Halliwell, a freelance writer at Draftbeyond and Writinity. Make it meaningful. For instance, if you sent the customer the wrong or broken product, send the right one and a little complementing gift to go with it. Bad situation fixed and the customer got even more than what they originally wanted.
Work on your branding
Finally, your brand is your best tool for standing out. Build a unique voice and connect with your audience in a deep, human manner. They need to see that you are not just a company but a team of people dedicated to serving their needs.
Website design, messaging, content etc. all go into this.
If you truly want to stand out and improve your business, there are always ways to do that. But you need to be willing to invest time and resources in some cases in order to do that. Hopefully, these tips will help.
Martina Sanchez is an entrepreneur and a content marketing specialist with Lucky Assignments. What she loves doing the most is writing content for her blog where she talks about different subjects like digital marketing, SEO and others.