In the current highly competitive market, businesses are striving to gain an edge over their competitors, but with potential customers becoming more knowledgeable, it is becoming increasingly challenging. Studies indicate that buyers are now more likely to investigate businesses online, with 86% of buyers currently checking out competitors. So, how can businesses secure a competitive advantage and retain it? Here are some strategies to set your business apart and keep customers engaged throughout their buying journey.
- Foster a Corporate Culture that Attracts Top Talent
Recruiting the best talent is crucial not only for productivity and cost-efficiency but also for creating a positive customer experience. Customers can distinguish between buying from a company where employees are unhappy and those where workers are supported. When workers are content, the quality of care is higher, and products have fewer issues. Customers prefer companies that care for their employees, as it reflects that they also take care of their customers, giving you an advantage over the competition.
- Identify Niches that are Underserved
In fishing, there are two types of fish: those found in oceans and those in rivers or lakes. Oceans have more substantial fish, but they are harder to catch, while fish in rivers and lakes are smaller but easier to catch. The same applies to customers, as targeting niches where customers are underserved can give you an edge over the competition. With fewer competitors, you can establish brand recognition early and gain a market advantage.
- Understand Your Ideal Customer’s DNA Footprint
Customers are unique, and targeting the right customer is crucial to retaining them for life. Knowing their buying process, decision-makers, and the information they need at each stage of the buying journey can help your sales team and post-sales support teams to win business and retain customers. When customers feel that you understand them, their needs, and serve them at the right time, they will consider you superior to your competition.
- Identify Your Strengths
Like every other business, you have core competencies that offer value to your customers, whether in processes, technology, or expertise. Use these strengths innovatively and creatively to gain new business and enter new markets, creating value for your customers.
- Establish Your Unique Value Proposition
Many companies use standard value propositions like pricing, service levels, quality, and brand recognition. To stand out, ask yourself the “so what” question repeatedly until you have a unique, competitive statement. For example, instead of talking about customer service, what makes your service better? What does it offer that your competitors do not? Keep refining until you have a statement like “Our 24/7/365 customer service provides guaranteed on-site care within two hours, or we replace the product free of charge within 24 hours.”
- Reward Behaviours that Align with Your Corporate Mission and Values
Whether it’s rewarding top performers in your organization or acknowledging your best buyers, incentivizing positive behaviour has many benefits. Travel incentives can combine leisure with business and build relationships outside of the office environment. In fact, 90% of top-performing companies use rewards.
Having a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace opens up more opportunities to close deals. The stronger your competitive advantage, the better positioned you are to maintain a position of strength in any market, regardless of competition or market conditions.