Northeast Pennsylvania has recently acquired the nickname “The Unofficial Pizza Capital of the World”, and for good reason. In this area, there is a pizza shop on nearly every corner, so October being National Pizza month is an exciting time! But with so much competition, how can companies stand out to their customers?
Provide Outstanding Customer Service: Perhaps the most essential piece of advice. Treat your customers like royalty, because they are the reason you are in business in the first place. Because customers expect good customer service to begin with, going above and beyond will help your business stand out. Look for extras you can add to your products or services that can instantly change them from normal to memorable. Changes such as restaurants adding an entertainment portion for customers waiting to be seated during a dinner rush, 24/7 availability via text or email, and making it as easy as possible to do business with your company will have customers coming back time after time.
Be honest with your customers: Honesty is the best policy; it sounds like a cliché, but it’s necessary. If you can’t deliver by a previously agreed upon time or if something goes wrong during the process, increasing the customer’s cost, let them know immediately. It’s a tough conversation, but lying to the customer will cause them to lose faith in you and even worse, possibly spread negative comments to other potential customers. In most situations, the faster you share bad news, the more likely it is that the customer will respect you, especially if you bring solutions to the table.
Be innovative: Continuing to improve your company will keep you competitive. If your competitors are advancing and you’re standing still, you will be left in their dust. Keeping up with technology, such as joining social media, and introducing new products and solutions to problems will keep your company competitive. Remember to think outside of the box and strive to create a product or a service that everyone would desire.
Create offers that are hard to ignore: Being creative with your offers can easily set you apart from the competition. Offering a money back guarantee or a free trial of a service will make new customers more comfortable giving your company their business. If you are a restaurant, offering a free appetizer or something similar will attract customers looking for the most bang for their buck.
When the market is flooded with competition, standing out is the key to your company’s survival. Keeping up with technological changes and keeping your products fresh and innovative is vital, but more importantly, putting your customer first will ensure they return to you rather than searching out an alternative in your competitors.
Amy Simpson, B.S. Business Administration 2018