Consider this: In the unlikely even that your business has more than 50% of the available market share, most of your customers are buying from your competition.
When most business owners have to face this, their reaction often isn’t great. They think it’s because customers simply don’t know how much better they are then the competition.
Of course, better lead generation and marketing will indeed increase their market share. But what many executives don’t want to admit is that sometimes, customers are perfectly content buying from somewhere else.
It’s great that regardless of your industry, most businesses services their customers well. Some may do it better than others, but if we were to apply a minimum value of customer satisfaction across the board- Most of them would pass.
Every business is stepping up, and improving their strategies. It’s a necessity in today’s ever competing world, With the exceptions of a few outliers, brands have had to improve their presentations in order to stay in business. It is likely that this creates an improved product or service, helping deliver better marketing, improving the customer experience, or – neither. Regardless, the average customer satisfaction is trending upwards.
All Businesses Are Looking To Deliver Better Customer Experiences
There are two major considerations on this position. Firstly, customers and brands are brought closer together. You’re not limited to buying something from your local downtown store when you can source it from anywhere in the world. To remain relevant, brands have been forced to reconsider their value proposition.
The second point has been in regards to social proof. Way back when, you’d buy a product from someone, find out it wasn’t the best, and become determined to never buying from there again. However today, word of mouth means that subpar quality cannot as easily hide.
People Might Be Using Your Competitors Because Of How They’re Being Treated
What’s the biggest source of lost revenue for your business? Is it your pricing? Product? Distribution? Competition?
None of the above.
The biggest lost source of revenue is the customers you don’t even know about.
- The people who left your website after a few seconds because it was too slow or confusing.
- The people who thought your store looked too run down, or lacked parking, and drove right past.
- The people who tried to call, but got lost in an automated menu and hung up.
- The people who thought your marketing e-mails were impersonal and irrelevant.
Ignorance Is Lost Revenue.
It’s important to walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. Take a step back and evaluate your buyer’s journey.
Many people will say that they’re already doing that. The issue is that they’re biased towards themselves. Even if you brought in every consultant, or secret shopper under the sun, they’re going to rank you based on YOUR standards, not your customer’s standards.
Have A Great Competitive Advantage
We often speak with business owners who use the word “quality” as their competitive advantage. That they’re committed to quality, or they produce a higher quality product.
It’s a nice fantasy to live in, but it does not affect the reality your customers live in.
I’m not trying to say the quality of your product is irrelevant, because it isn’t. It’s just that quality is equally important to all of your competitors. It’s the lowest common denominator. The quality of your product or services is as implied as purchasing a brand new vehicle and expecting it to be able to drive off the lot.
If quality is not a good value proposition, perhaps focusing on what you do better than the competition is.
Back to the real world- If we’re being honest, it’s unlikely to be true. Unless you have a monopoly, a patent, or your product is just that much better than everybody else’s, people will continue to buy from other places. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete on “I’m better”.
Trying to bad-mouth the quality of your competitors won’t help. This is because the clients already purchasing from your competition are already happy. Perhaps, there’s a possibility that customers don’t always place “better” as a high value step in their purchasing decision. Maybe they like what they’re getting, at the price they’re getting it at.
Your competitive advantage isn’t a barometer to compare your services to what your competitors are already doing- Rather, it’s about what you do DIFFERENTLY than your competitors.
Know Your Target Demographic Better Than Your Competitors
There’s real opportunity to better understanding your customers. In designing relevant and meaningful marketing experiences based on those insights. Instead of saying you do better, show how you do it by providing better value. Do it faster, more conveniently, easier, etc.
It’s a well known fact that selling to an existing customer is easier than selling to a new one. However, retaining loyalty is getting more and more difficult as time passes. Having to find “X” amount of new customers every year just to keep yourself at a baseline level severely hampers your growth.
But what if customer attrition had more to do with legacy sales rather than some kind of expected default behavior? Rather than chalking it up to the “reality of my industry”, businesses could simply look at better ways to serve the increasing demand their customers have.
Let’s have a thought experiment here. Suppose you started a program to treat your existing customers better. We’ve all seen businesses offer new customers gifts or incentives. What about their existing customer? The people who will remain loyal, and recommend your business to others? What if you gave your existing customers the same treatment as you did new ones?
If you could lose customers at a 10% or 20% reduced rate, what benefits would it bring you?
What You Recommend Is Not Always What’s Understood
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, there’s always someone thinking about how to disrupt your industry. Perhaps these ideas are coming from your competitors- perhaps not. Consider how Apple & Spotify disrupted music distribution, or Uber disrupted transportation, or AirBnB disrupted accommodation.
The way you design, organize, and position your business may have the best intentions, But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your customers are aware of the value and process in ways you might expect. If you only do what you think you’re supposed to be doing, you’ll be missing opportunities.
So take a step back and evaluate who exactly each customer interaction is designed to benefit. Does it benefit you, or your customer? Compare it to how you perceive your competitor’s buying journey, and adjust accordingly.