answering serviceIt can be agreed that regardless of the industry or field you belong to, competition is unavoidable. But how do ‘smart businesses” handle competition? Do they treat fellow competitors as friends or is it an all out war – only the best player wins?

Here are a few ways to not only keep up with the competition but also gradually outshine them:

Be different and don’t be afraid to stand out

While there are marketing strategies that have proven to work better than others, ever so often it is healthy to get away from the ‘norm’. If your business has used the same marketing strategies for an extended period – now might be a good time to ‘spice things up’.

For instance, Pepsi – one of the world’s most renowned and recognized brands spent millions each year to advertise during the super bowl. In 2010 however, the company opted out of the super bowl and invested in a social media campaign: ‘The Refresh Project’. Even though the campaign was forced to an early end, it proved to be a great success because of the attention it received.

Compare your business to your biggest competitor – and don’t mimic what they are doing, do something opposite and better. If you want others to remember and recommend your business you must first leave a mark.

Get involved

Know your customers – know what they want, know what they like and know how to relate to them. The simplest way to engage your customer is to address them by name. Saying “Hi Bob” or “Hello Susie” is much more engaging than a dull nameless “Hello”.

Also it is beneficial to send thank you notes or happy birthday messages to your customers. Not only will they remember your kind gestures, but they will have a tangible representation of your brand.

Businesses like our mother company Global Response, have found unique ways to interact with their customers. When a client visits the call center, the sales team will ‘put on a show’. They sing and even dance to welcome and entertain their clients. Not only does this make the company memorable, but it engages those watching to hum along or even tap their feet to the performance.

Blog about it

If your company doesn’t have a website, now is the perfect time to get one. We live in a world where everything is electronic. Personally, I would not know how to find a business if it was not on the internet… would you?

Having fresh content about your services or business is likely to appeal to a group of customers who you have not been able to reach. Blogs also provide the ideal platform to interact with customers and get immediate feedback.

It is also beneficial to have some degree of Social Media presence. Social Media channels such as Twitter and Facebook allows you to disperse information easily. You can also promote new products, services and any special events your business maybe having.

Be you and be true

Customers look for trust in the companies they do business with. Do not over exaggerate your services because it will come back to haunt you. Figure out what it is that your business does best and promote exactly that. It is never a wise business choice to say “the BEST in town” as it will always be debatable and you will create an opening for complaints.

Customers will gravitate towards simple, truthful and relatable companies.

So, do you think you can keep up with the Joneses now? Remember these tips and good luck!

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