Any market worth entering is likely to be saturated, so it’s crucial that you do everything you can to ensure you stay competitive. While it can be tempting to compete by offering the cheapest prices on the market, this is unlikely to lead to long-term success. This is because someone can easily come along and undercut your prices, and the kind of customers you initially drew with low prices are likely to jump ship again to get the best deals.
In our experience, the best way to stand out in a competitive space is to provide the best service possible. Always aim to bring the old-fashioned service of a local shop to the internet, which may mean focussing a lot of resources on training staff to know your product range inside-out so they’re able to advise customers on the best product for their needs at all times.
Be on the lookout for the latest technological developments that might help offer a better customer service experience for clients at both the purchase and post-purchase stages. However, we’re wary that this is a fine line to tread – many bigger companies rely on the latest technology to grow sales, forgetting about top-quality customer service along the way.
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By putting focus on providing excellent customer service, you build up a lot of regular customers in both the B2B and B2C markets. Generating word of mouth will also garner you a good reputation throughout the industry, which in turn leads to more contacts and sales and fuels a self-fuelling cycle.
We also believe it’s just as important to retain existing customers as it is to attract new ones. If you maintain a core base of repeat buyers, you can rely on a regular source of income rather than having to constantly search for new leads, having no idea what your revenue is going to be at the end of the month.
One aspect of great customer service is to try to engage with your loyal customers through social media, rather than by constantly bombarding them with products and offers. Do this by, for example, posting articles to social media pages that you believe customers will find interesting and informative.
If you’re starting out in a saturated market, the best way to set yourself apart from the competition is by focusing your resources and attention on providing the best customer service possible. Follow the tips outlined above and you’ll put yourself in great stead to quickly rise to the top of whichever market you enter, no matter how competitive it is.
Gary Lyons is MD at online storage box retailer Plastic Box Shop.You certainly have to be clear from the outset what type of business you want to be – but you don’t need the flashiest all-singing product or marketplace to be able to engage millions.
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