Do you know what makes your business special?
Knowing what lets you excel in comparison with your competitors is the crucial element of a successful business strategy. It is also your competitive advantage — something that makes you more attractive in the eyes of consumers.
So, here are the strategies you could use to differentiate your business from the rest in the market and gain more loyal customers.
1. Use technology to reduce operational costs
Among the first things that come to mind of an entrepreneur aiming for a market place is competing on price. In fact, many consumers are price-sensitive, so being able to provide sustainable quality for a reduced price is a good addition to your competitive advantages.
The efficient way to cut operating costs and maintain high quality is to use technology. Automated tools work faster and make fewer errors than humans. Using robots, you can significantly improve supply chain processes. Besides, automation apps allow you to schedule, advertise, and manage money in less time and with fewer hands.
Moreover, by using information management tools like HelpCrunch’s knowledge base, you can save costs on employee training and customer support. By giving your employees and customers access to a reliable source, you ensure your staff has all the necessary information to make informed decisions and clients don’t have to wait for a free support agent for the majority of questions.
To identify what kind of automation technology your company must choose to maintain its competitive edge, ask yourself these questions:
- What knowledge do I lack?
- What regularly takes an excessive amount of time?
- Which one of my most time-consuming tasks do I want off my plate?
Once you answer these questions, determine the major areas where your business will benefit from automation implementation.
2. Attract the best people
When your employees give you creative solutions, offer innovative ideas, provide excellent customer service, and meet deadlines — they become your competitive advantage. Having the best talent in your team means not only improved productivity and cost reduction, but also a positive company image.
Happy employees are more committed to their work and strive to achieve company goals. They tend to be more attentive to customers and care to learn more about their company’s processes. In turn, customers value businesses that show care and support; thus, they are ready to pay more for products and services.
To turn staff into a competitive edge, a company should consider its employees’ physical and psychological safeness. Monitoring workplace conditions, showing respect to workers, setting clear goals, and encouraging feedback let your team focus on work-related tasks without any need for distraction.
3. Target a narrow niche
You can’t make everyone like you, and you don’t have to. Instead, focusing on a specific product or service that you can deliver with excellence (and your competitors cannot), makes you more powerful. Shifting to a niche with less supply lets you have a bigger share of the market and become a specialist in the consumers’ eyes.
Niche marketing can also give you better customer relationships. The reason for this is that the audience is smaller in a niche business. So you can provide more personalized services and quickly build brand loyalty by getting on a first-name basis with your returning clients.
Another benefit of focusing on a smaller market is less money on advertising. Customers here are very specific about their needs which makes it easier for you to know how to reach them. What’s more, word-of-mouth is powerful in niche markets since people here tend to trust each other’s words. And basically, it is free advertising.
4. Create a rewards strategy
A loyalty program is a good incentive for customers to buy from you again and again, thus making it another competitive advantage. Today, most businesses offer basic rewards to their clients but you can go beyond and create the best-in-class loyalty program.
Consider featuring a customer of the month on your website, social media, or email newsletter. If you run a brick and mortar store, you may pin their photo near the register. This person can be someone who helped your business thrive or just a random customer from your loyal client base.
In addition, think of setting up a referral program to reward customers for attracting new people. With membership management software, you can create a structured loyalty program and make your clients feel like they are part of something special.
Time for action
These competitive advantages examples are aimed to inspire you to find your own way to market domination and run a profitable business. Analyze your rivals, determine what you can do better, choose your niche, and be creative. Remember: the recipe to success is to do what you are good at, not what everyone is doing.
Author’s bio: Lidia Bondarenko
Lidia is a blogger behind HelpCrunch, an all-in-one customer communication platform. Her free time she spends searching for new marketing trends and tv shows.
Follow her on Twitter @Liya_Bondarenko and Linkedin