Competition is part and parcel of business in the 21st century. Competition drives performance and it inspires businesses to strive for continual improvement. If you run a company, and you’re looking to give your business a competitive edge, here are some top tips to excel in 2021.
Technology and innovation
Technology has become increasingly crucial, and it has never been more important to utilize the power of tech to compete with rivals, provide customers with superior products and services and boost efficiency. In 2020, technology played a vital role in keeping businesses afloat, with millions forced to work from home. While communications technology is critical, the advantages of investing in cutting-edge solutions are far-ranging. Modern technology can save time and money, it can provide businesses with opportunities to offer new services and products and it can speed up the manufacturing, distribution and delivery processes. Not every business needs all the latest devices, machinery, systems and gadgets, but often, upgrading and updating the technology you use can streamline operations, cut expenses and increase efficiency. Analyze the way you work, look into potential investments, carry out research and competitor analysis and seek expert advice from tech consultants if you’re unsure how to use new developments and innovations to drive your business forward.
When buyers make a purchase, they have an expectation. They expect to buy a product and for it to provide the benefits promised in a social media post, an advert on TV or a product description page or video guide on your website. Quality is essential when trying to give your business a competitive edge. If you don’t deliver on promises to provide your customers with products that work, or the quality doesn’t meet the client’s expectations, there is every chance that your customer will go elsewhere. There is also a risk of the individual leaving negative feedback and warning others against using your business. Work with other businesses, suppliers, manufacturers and distributors that have an excellent reputation and track record, implement quality control policies and processes and check items yourself. From the best industrial parts supplier to companies that deliver products from factories or warehouses to your customers’ doors, it’s vital to take steps to source high-quality components, to maintain high standards during the manufacturing and assembly processes and to ensure goods are delivered on time in one piece. Every step is essential to ensure your clients are delighted with the product they receive.
Customer service can make or break a business. In an age where reviews carry a huge amount of weight, it’s critical to ensure you devote time and energy to customer service and support. Use your own experiences as a customer to implement measures to make shopping experiences enjoyable and stress-free, to minimize the risk of complaints and to make your business stand out from others. Collect feedback, ask for reviews and take the time to read comments. Respond to questions quickly, be polite and courteous, show your customers that you appreciate them and resolve issues swiftly. If there are problems with an order, for example, contact your customer, communicate openly and explain the reason. Outline what steps you are taking to find a solution and offer compensation. If you’re sending out a parcel in the mail, and it will be delayed due to adverse weather, tell the customer that the product will arrive late, explain the cause of the delay, update them on the new delivery date and offer a refund on the postage fee or 20% off their next order. Ensure that customers can contact you if they have questions or concerns. Nothing is more frustrating than being on hold for hours or waiting for days for somebody to respond to an email. Live chat is an excellent addition to your website, as you can use it to provide advice and reply to questions around the clock.
Focus on promoting value
Many business owners look to boost sales by slashing prices or undercutting competitors. While low prices can attract buyers, it’s usually better to promote value. Customers want to feel like they’re getting more for their money and most are willing to pay more for a better quality product or extra features or benefits, such as free express delivery or gift wrapping. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and look for ways to make your offers a more appealing proposition.
Every business owner faces competition to attract and keep hold of customers. If you’re looking to gain a competitive edge and leave your rivals in your wake, it’s beneficial to innovate, to invest in technology, to prioritize quality and customer service and to promote value.