Does your business stand out in a way that attracts and keeps loyal customers? Sure, you can grab anybody's attention with flashy ads and sales gimmicks, but those aren't enough to close the deal. To truly stand out where it counts, you have to do a bit more.
As a BBB Accredited Business, you inherit over 100 years of BBB’s earned notoriety and trust with consumers. This gives you a HUGE competitive advantage. Because consumers trust BBB, they also trust you.
With BBB's Seal of approval, you are on your way to becoming a standout business. Here are 6 simple strategies that will push you further to the top and keep you in front of consumers.
1. DON’T CONCEAL THE SEAL.
Let everyone see that you carry the prestigious BBB mark of Accreditation. Display it on every customer touchpoint. This helps increase your online visibility and marketplace exposure and gives consumers the confidence they need to do business with you.
In a survey conducted by StreamPage, 81% of BBB Accredited Businesses said BBB has helped them build trust with consumers.
“Having that sign on the door gives our customers confidence that we will be honest and provide good service” (Schaefer Auto Body).
“We have had several customers tell us that they picked us over a competitor because of our Accreditation” (Southern Loss Consultants).
So, where should you put the BBB Seal? Put it everywhere!
2. KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS.
Showing off your BBB Seal is a great start, but don’t stop there. If you want to beat your competitors, you need to know what they're up to. “By monitoring competitors on an on-going basis you get to know their behavior and so can start to anticipate what they will do next. You can then plan your own strategies, so that you can keep your customers and win” new ones (Inc).
When investigating the competition, look for answers to these questions. Where do they fall short? What are they doing right? See how others measure up in terms of location, size, pricing, types of services and products, availability, accessibility, efficiency, promotions, customer service, and marketing. When you find holes in your market, you can better define and refine your own niche, creating additional opportunities to deliver more value to customers.
(For more information on how to check out your competitors, refer to the infographic at the bottom, "8 Amazingly Simple Ways To Check Out Your Competition.")
3. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Who are you selling to? If you don’t know, it’s important to find out so you don't waste money and time trying to impress the wrong people. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Many assume they’ll achieve greater success if they cater to several different groups of people instead of just one. This strategy doesn't usually work.
“Your prospects are rarely looking for generalists. They want someone who has the knowledge and experience to provide the solution to their specific problem. When you are clear about whom your products and services really help, you’ll attract more customers and you can charge more because of your specialization.”
For some help understanding different generations of customers, refer to Streampage articles, “How To Gain The Trust Of Three Generations" and "What Every Business Ought To Know About Millennials."
4. OFFER SUPERIOR SERVICE.
Do you really want to crush the competition? Be the best at what you do. Don’t give customers a reason to go for Average Joe's HVAC Repair instead of you. Show customers exactly why the BBB Seal is attached to your front door.
Make sure your products and services are superior to anything your competitors offer. This means your company’s top priority is exceeding your customers' expectations with each encounter. You may offer the best deals in the state, but it won’t matter if doing business with you is a pain. Customers want their buying process to be easy and hassle free.
A good way to make sure you’re on track with customer expectations is to ask them regularly for feedback. One way to do this is through a customer survey.
Customer Experience Survey
Ask your customers to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 how important they feel certain features are in their overall customer experience. These list can include:
The information you glean from a survey like this helps you pinpoint which areas are most important to your customers and where your business can improve. You can also use the features you excel at to differentiate yourself in your market.
5. BE DIFFERENT.
Once you have identified your consumer pain points, you’ll be able to devise a USP (unique selling proposition), your “secret sauce” that sets you apart from your competition. "It grabs people’s attention and offers a clear-cut, marketable benefit to your customer” (Entrepreneur). Here are some examples of ways you can differentiate your business.
Offer A Guarantee.
Example: A contractor has to show up within 15 minutes of a scheduled appointment or the first hour of work is free.
Solve A Problem.
Example: A contractor is known for how well his crew cleans up at their worksite at the end of each day.
Specialize In One Area.
Example: Jan's bakery caters to customers who are diabetic and gluten intolerant. Even regular customers buy their delicious treats because their cupcakes and cookies taste just like the real thing.
Differentiate By Size.
Example: The owner of a local, family-owned corner market knows all the names of all his regular customers. He and his employees are able to provide personable and customizable service, which is harder for larger chains to deliver.
Take On A Social Cause.
Example: When any customer buys a pair of TOMS shoes, another pair is donated to a child in need.
6. BECOME THE EXPERT.
People would rather buy from businesses who know their stuff inside and out and have the knowledge and credibility to back it up. Being seen as an industry expert gives you a huge competitive edge. It increases your demand and places you in a position where you get to pick and choose which customers to serve. You can also command higher prices, which consumers will be more than willing to pay.
How do they know you're an expert? You uphold higher standards than everyone else and are always evolving and innovating in order to meet consumer demands.
You are current in your area of expertise by keeping up with professional training and industry trends. You also know how to get the word out.
How To Show Your Expertise
-Put your BBB Seal everywhere.
-Show off your awards.
-Write articles for your industry and have them published in online trade magazines or other relevant publications.
-Write a book.
-Offer free content (podcasts, videos, guides, webinars, infographics) that solves customer problems.
-Be a guest speaker or give a seminar.
-Start a blog.
-Include customer testimonials on your website and social media channels.
-Network with prospects and other industry leaders through forums and social media sites.
TO STAND OUT, MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or what your market conditions are, there will be always a need for good, honest businesses. With BBB on your side and implementing these key strategies, you’ll be outshining your competitors in no time and giving consumers a reason to choose you.