Standing out from your competition has never been more difficult thanks to the far-reaching potential of the internet. Companies from the opposite side of the globe can now accurately advertise to your audience with laser-focused targeting and PPC campaigns, giving you thousands of businesses to compete with instead of a handful of local options. As if it wasn’t difficult enough when that was the case.
With so many options out there, it’s the consumer’s market, and you need to find a way to connect with your audience and show them that you’re the best choice. There are plenty of good methods to do this, so let’s take a look at the 7 most effective ways to consistently stand out from the competition and snag those new customers.
1. Have a Great Value Proposition
Your value proposition tells users what you have to offer them, explaining why they should do business with you and what makes you different.
Some businesses go for the lowest cost value proposition, literally trying to offer the most value for the lowest price. Others might try to offer additional features on a product or service that no one else has, giving them a cutting-edge value proposition. And some might prioritize exceptional customer service, knowing that too many businesses don’t invest in this and pay for it.
While you should choose the value proposition that will help you stand out, you should also consider what will help you win over and keep customers. The lowest cost value proposition can help you win over customers initially, but it may not help you keep them; great customer service, on the other hand, will build loyal relationships that will keep people coming back to you for years to come.
2. Answer the Phone
Notice how we mentioned that customer service can be a value proposition?
As a customer, say you had an urgent question that would determine whether or not you purchased from a certain business. Maybe you wanted to ensure that they were open or ask about pricing. If you don’t answer, they might call your competition. And if that business answers, you can officially kiss that customer goodbye.
This is heightened when a current client calls asking for help. If they aren’t able to get ahold of you, there’s a possibility that you will have lost that customer for life. It doesn’t matter to them if you’re swamped and overworked and trying to take on everything involved with running a small business; they just know that you couldn’t meet their needs.
If you need a little help in this department, we’ve got you covered. Our live answering service can help answer customer questions 24/7 and ensure they’re getting all of their concerns addressed. You can learn more here.
3. Be an Expert
Establishing yourself as an expert in your field will help you become the go-to person people flock to.
Content marketing is a great option if you want to get started down this path. You get to share what you know in a very valuable, very public, and very searchable way. If you’re choosing the right keywords, you can even present yourself as an expert to users who are searching for information and are early in the research process.
If you don’t want to do the heavy lifting, you can also be an expert source in articles. You can sign up for sites like HARO, which pair up journalists and industry experts for articles.
4. Ask for the Business
You know that saying “If you don’t ask you’ll never get it” that’s been going around for decades? It turns out that there’s some truth to that.
If you want to grow your business, find new clients, or make a sale, ask for it outright. You likely won’t close a sale if you don’t actually try to close it.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for cold calling or to put yourself out there at networking events. Just remember to make sure that your ask is relevant to the customer, and that you’re framing what you can do for them, too, instead of making it all about what you want from them.
5. Deliver Something a Little Better
Is there a need that your customers have that is going unfulfilled in the industry? Maybe this is a crucial pain point that hasn’t been addressed, or certain features, or even just reliability in service.
I had an exceptional doctor, for example, who I adored. She was great with patients, but it was almost impossible to get an appointment because she was booked, and because she took her time with everyone, she often ran late. Eventually, I had to switch doctors to one with a stronger office staff and more availability– and she was great, too.
Figure out what your target audience wants and needs; be open to customer feedback, because this can be an exceptional source of information. Tie it into your value proposition and find a way to give it to them, making it a core part of your marketing.
6. Ask for a Referral or Review
Reviews and testimonials are extraordinarily powerful, with online reviews affecting an estimated 67.7% of purchases and 91% of consumers trusting online testimonials as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. With these kinds of numbers, it’s not surprising that peer reviews are more valued and trusted than branded copy and marketing materials.
Reach out to current happy customers, and ask them to leave a review. Follow up with an email that include links to the review platforms of your choice, which can include Google, Yelp, and Facebook so that you make it easy for them. You should also feature reviews clearly on your site to build trust when potential customers arrive there for the first time.
7. Respond on Social Media
Increasing numbers of customers are reaching out to brands they love on social media, relying on both both posts and private messages. Too many businesses ignore this or are slow to respond, and this is a vital mistake.
If you engage with your followers on social media, you have the opportunity to build a community, establish relationships with your followers, and show your customers that you truly care. Fast response times make people feel heard, respected, and appreciated, and you get to strengthen your brand while resolving customer concerns.
If you need some help with your social channels, third party social media management software like Agorapulse can help you manage all incoming messages from one dashboard.
Consumers have more choices than they ever have before, and while this means more competition, it’s actually great news for businesses who are able to find ways to set themselves apart. Too many, after all, ignore the fact that this is needed and instead try to hope that meeting the status quo won’t be enough. By being committed to fulfilling a need that isn’t being met and having outstanding client relationships, you’ll be able to set yourself apart and stand out.
Want to learn more about how PATlive can help deliver true customer service excellence to all of your customers? See what we can do for you here.