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How to Beat Your Competitors Without Resorting To Rock Bottom Prices

tema-frank-uncomp2Guest Blog Post by Tema Frank – Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Customer Service Expert. Tema is also the Expert Presenter at our next SpeakEasy – Gangster Networking event.

Competition is more intense than ever these days. The Internet has made it so easy to comparison shop that we all feel pressured to offer lower and lower prices.

Not only that, but if we don’t give customers what they want, when and how they want it, they’ll blast us on social media. They’ll give us lousy ratings and reviews. They’ll make it harder to get new customers even if we do lower our prices.

At the same time, the prices we have to pay our suppliers are increasing. The bottom line is really getting squeezed.  Even Walmart, which used to dominate the world of cheap products, now finds itself losing business to dollar stores with even lower prices.

And it’s not just in retail where this is happening. Business-to-business sales reps struggle to keep up with the competitors their prospects have been checking out online. People can shop for hotel and travel deals with the click of a mouse.

Competition’s never been this intense!

Sound Familiar?

There comes a point where you just can’t go any lower and still be in business. You’ve got bills to pay and staff who are counting on you so they can feed their families.

So how the heck can you give customers what they are demanding and still make money? How can you avoid laying off staff? How can you turn the ship around? How can you get your company ready to sell or pass on to the next generation so you can enjoy some fun in the sun?

Or should you just give up on those dreams and keep on scraping by until you can’t anymore?

While Many Are Struggling, Some Companies Are Thriving

 What’s their secret?

The answer, it turns out, is they’ve managed to step out of the price wars.

They’ve figured out how to make themselves different in the minds of their prospects, and offer something customers are willing to pay extra for. Even in tight times. Even in really competitive industries.

Apple didn’t lower the prices of its smartphones in the recession of 2008, and their sales just kept on skyrocketing even though there were lots of cheaper smartphones out there.

It turns out that even people who say they’ve got no money will find it for something they really, really want. They’ll buy an iPhone when for half the price they could get an Android that works just as well. They’ll take the kids to Disney when they know they really shouldn’t.

So how do you get them to spend that kind of money on you?

People Will Pay Extra For Consistently Great Customer Experiences

I’m talking here about something beyond the ordinary. And doing it consistently, not just on customer appreciation days. Heck, nowadays even just being consistently good is out of the ordinary!

Things like:

  • Having staff who are always helpful and friendly.
  • Having systems that always deliver what customers expect, when they expect it.
  • Having products or services that don’t keep breaking down.

Most companies aren’t doing these things nearly as well as they think they are. In a 2012 study, Forrester Research found that 80% of companies believe they deliver “superior” customer service but only 8 percent of their customers agree!

But if your company manages to get into that eight percent, you won’t have to be fighting over price any more: you’ll be offering something customers are happy to pay extra for.

Here’s the catch: creating the kinds of customer experiences people will pay a premium for isn’t easy.

But with the right blend of technology and a people-focus, it can be done, and it’s your best hope of survival when every good idea gets copied and sold more cheaply in no time.

 

Tema Frank, author of the bestselling, PeopleShock: The Path to Profits When Customers Rule, will talk about how to change to a profitable customer experienced focused organization at the Gangster Networking Speakeasy on October 26. Register at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/speakeasy-gangster-networking-tickets-28233203271?aff=erelexpmlt  

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