Knowing how to stand out from a group of competitors is a hurdle most small businesses face. Especially when there are larger and more established ones with greater brand awareness..
But standing out doesn’t always mean having the biggest advertisements or the largest budget. In fact, it’s much more than that.
Making your small business stand out starts with your brand’s values and how your customers feel. So, in order to aid your efforts in getting noticed without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled our 4 best practices to help your small business stand out in a competitive landscape:
Unparalleled Customer Service
As a small business competing with prices can be difficult, so it’s important to show your customers the value you offer for their money. Providing exceptional service that is more tailored toward the individual experience is a way for your business to go above and beyond. It shows your customers that you care but it also makes the experience more thoughtful and personal.
A great way to provide over the top customer service that differentiates you from your competition is knowing your customers on another level. Garnering real time feedback for example can help you pinpoint what your customers prefer and where your business needs improvements in order to make your brand the preferred one.
Imagine a customer walking into your café and getting angry because they’ve waited over 15 minutes for their meal. With a kiosk or a survey available on their mobile device – like Loop Pulse™, they can rate their service and a manager can be notified immediately of their dissatisfaction. The manager then has time to speak with the customer face-to-face about their experience and turn their negative experience into a positive one. Not to mention, the manager is now aware of the preferred waiting time and can make adjustments to operations accordingly.
Regardless of the industry, providing an enriching experience is a great opportunity to set you apart from your competitors.
Stay Technologically Relevant
Technology is evolving rapidly and with more and more people engaging with it, it’s becoming a necessity in any business.
Staying on top of the latest technological trends become a brand differentiator, setting you apart from larger businesses that might be behind on implementing fresh and innovative technology.
Messaging, for example, has grown substantially over the years; according to Flurry Analytics “messaging and social networking apps sessions grew 44 percent from 2015 to 2016”. We live in a fast-paced world where customers have a plethora of options, so if competitors only have a select few channels and a customer can’t reach them, they’ll contact a brand that has the channel of their choosing. Offering a point of contact from multiple channels can then make your product/service more easily accessible for a greater audience.
With Loop Messenger™, customers can message from the channel of their choosing. What’s more, the work on your team member’s end is made easier by having all conversations – from the array of customer channels – accessible from one unified inbox.
Engage on Social
When running a small business it’s important to build loyal customers through strong relationships, so why not take it one step further and engage them online. Social media is a great opportunity to interact with your customers in a fun yet professional manner – even when they aren’t at your physical store, hotel or restaurant.
Especially in this day and age, people turn to social to answer questions and to express their concerns, so it’s important to have a voice online that can separate you from your competitors.
With social, you can build a community of people who are interested in your industry, as well as share relevant content to engage potential prospects. Having a focus on generating optimized content as well as having a team member dedicated to social can set you apart from your competitors.
Build Effective Workflows
Your team member workflows directly affect the service you provide. If it’s slow and cumbersome for them it’ll most likely be slow and cumbersome for the customer. Having efficient workflows in place that deliver a fast and efficient service/product will make you stand out in any crowd.
In order to improve efficiency with your work, try segmenting communication to your team into departments. For instance, if you are a small boutique hotel try implementing a messaging system that auto analysis and routes messages to specific departments. With Loop Messenger™ customers can make requests right from their smartphone and then have them auto-routed to a team member best equipped to help in a respective topic area. If a customer wants their car brought around to the front of the hotel, for example, the message will be sent directly to valet.
With effective processes in place and active communication between team members, service can be optimized to provide a lasting impression.
Standing out as a small business can be a daunting task at first, but following our best practices can help you make a great impression with your customers, and help you stay top of mind.