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Sometimes, the decision of whether to buy from you or a competitor boils down to the simplest of differentiators — so simple that even great marketers can overlook them. They get so fixated on value propositions, target audiences, and other big-picture matters that they forget that the benefits are in the eye of the beholder. Differentiators don’t have to be obvious to be important.
Take Tesla, for example. Though it’s primarily a luxury car manufacturer, Tesla is also known for technical innovation — and that’s key. A passion for relentless research and development keeps the company at the forefront of eco-friendly vehicle innovation. Even if Tesla one day loses its luxury status and becomes a maker for the masses, it’s already cemented itself as the brand that can predict the future. And that makes Tesla tough to beat.
Similarly, Apple has always stayed one giant leap ahead by offering distinctive designs and proprietary operating systems and platforms. Apple superfans happily wait in long lines and pay more because they have a strong desire to own the newest Apple product. They also know that by hitching their wagons to Apple, they’ll enjoy status by proxy.
You should still care about your brand’s more apparent differentiators, such as strategic pricing and market positioning, but remember that less discussed attributes may truly set you apart. In fact, if you concentrate on improving these three areas of your business, you may leave everyone else in the dust.
When customers call your company, can your customer service agents instantly access their history? Receiving quick, personalized service is a delightful surprise, especially when people are used to sitting on hold or talking to chatbots. It’s even more delightful when agents know everything from a customer’s upcoming birthday to his or her last family vacation.
Treating people like individuals will not only keep your customers happy, but it will also encourage them to share their experiences with their broader networks. That word-of-mouth praise is important in generating more business: More than 40% of Americans say they value recommendations from their friends and family over social media personalities.
To start reaping the benefits of personalized service, utilize a customer relationship management platform to keep track of your customers and their past interactions with the company. Train your teammates on good note-taking. Have them record customers’ personal preferences and goals, as well as personal details. Even a small amount of small talk can show customers that you care and are paying attention.
2. Buying process
If people have to jump through hoops just to give you their money, you need to streamline your system immediately. Keep in mind that a huge complaint among consumers is that they have to give up too much personal information or answer tons of questions in order to make a purchase. Of course, you want to capture email addresses and find out what makes your customers tick, but don’t put so many obstacles in place that they abandon your brand altogether.
If you’re unsure whether your buying process is clunky, ask a friend or family member to try to make a purchase. Listen to the feedback, and compare it to your company’s online reviews. A little social listening and a lot of responding can go a long way toward improving your buying process. And if you’re a B2B company, take a prescriptive approach by providing customers with clear recommendations, which can boost purchase ease by 86%.
3. Website functionality
You know that the information on your website needs to be up-to-date, but did you realize you should also check your website’s performance? “Site speed is the new competitive battleground for e-commerce companies, thanks to consumer demand and Google’s recent updates,” explains Ajay Kapur, co-founder and CEO of Moovweb. “Faster-loading websites gain more search visibility, traffic, conversions, and ROI from search marketing.”
Research indicates that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Check your site frequently to monitor it for load time. Additionally, make sure the layout is user-friendly and that your site works consistently across browsers and devices. The stronger its performance, the less likely you are to drive away annoyed visitors.
Remove any doubt from potential customers’ minds that your brand is the right choice by anticipating obstacles and streamlining every touchpoint. Soon, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.
July 2, 2019 at 05:03AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs