You have provided the best service to your customer, BUT still, they leave you. Why? What are the marketing strategies required to stop losing customers to competitors? Competition happens to the best business. It’s unpleasant especially if you are the one losing customers.
Creating a plan, running an advertising campaign, driving traffic to your website with SEO, generating leads, and then losing those lead prospects due to the lack of proper communication systems and Lead nurturing systems in place is inevitable for small businesses and startups. Yes, there are hundreds of possible leads, and it is impossible to respond to them. But, large businesses can afford to integrate a unified lead nourishing system with automation into their application that can communicate to all leads at the same time. For example, an automated follow-up system that acknowledges a lead message and starts a conversation with the lead, explaining the details, which is a chat in text form.
Competition is an inevitable part of any business. Without any doubt, having more competitors, competing for the same product or service, makes life difficult for any individual company, affecting their customer base and ultimately their revenue. But, the customers are the ones who are benefitted the most from the competition, because they have multiple choices and variety in the offering, and, they can avail of the product at a lower price. So it is natural, they will start demanding something newer and better.
Your business must understand the niche in the market, make new research and innovations, adopt a unique marketing strategy, add new features to your products, update technology, etc to survive in the market. For instance, think about it this way. When you purchased a new car, it was the best model at that moment in time. After a few years, your competitor comes up with new features. That’s when your customer begins to lose interest in your product. They will compare your model with theirs. If you fail to come up with some new features, your customer will switch over to your competitor’s model.
Business competition can be fierce, especially in fast-moving markets, where customers hop around from one place to another at a quick pace. Your client may leave you for various reasons. It could be due to a lack of proper customer service from your end, a bad experience, or perhaps, a better deal from your competitors, etc., In order to hang around, you need to be aggressive in your approach, and stay ahead of your competitors. You can use the following ideas to build a competitive advantage and formulate a unique marketing strategy to stop losing customers to competitors:
- Understand the level of competition in the market: You have to do research on the markets and find out who are your competitors, what are their business practices, what are their products/services they are offering, the price they are selling, their strengths and weakness, how is their customer service, marketing strategies adopted by them in the market, compare the differences between the competing brands, etc., This will give you a fair idea on how to enter a competitive market segment. You can also identify your weakness and take steps to improve upon them.
- Understand your customer’s psychology: it is important to understand customer behavior because it will help your business understand what influences customers buying decisions. It attempts to understand the various stages people go through before making a purchase. This can be done by analyzing demographics, ie., statistics such as age, income, educational level, etc that can help to predict customer behavior. By understanding customer behavior, businesses can predict how their customers will act, and determine how best to market their products and service. Customer behavior is of four types viz., Complex buying behavior (ie., the customer will research a product thoroughly before buying an expensive product and the risk involved is very high. Highly unlikely the customer will switch over to another product), Dissonance-reducing buying behavior (customer involvement is high and low availability of choices and fewer significant changes between brands. Highly unlikely the customer will switch over to another product), Habitual buying behavior (Customer has low involvement in purchase decisions, few significant difference between brands, products used in daily routine, customer has various options to buy eg bread, salt, sugar, etc) and Variety seeking behavior (customer involvement is low, significant differences between brands, the customer does a lot of brand switching, the customer buys new product not because of dissatisfaction, but with an urge to try different variety eg., cookie, biscuits, etc., ).
- Use the best CRM Application: The best CRM software for your business depends on the needs of individual companies. For eg, you can focus on marketing for new sales leads, or building good relationships with customers ensuring quality service or advanced analytics and automation which will enable you to take strategic marketing decisions. If you are in the eLearning business, having a great CRM will highly help you stop losing your customers to competitors.
- Create a niche in the market: To compete in an open market is complex, and you need a unique selling proposition to achieve your target sales. The more unique it is, the less competition there will be. But, if you create a niche in the market, the prospects are much easier to target and it is reliable too. Also, the customer retention rate is good. When you create a niche, you come closer to achieving your target.
- Be Innovative: Provide some variety to your customer, so that they don’t feel bored and move to your competitor’s products. For instance, in soaps, we have a variety of products like lime soap, cream soap, sandal soap, etc.
- Never take loyal customers for granted: Do not give your customer a reason to look for alternatives. Improve customer service by being more responsive to customer needs and expectations. If you lose your customer’s trust, you are most likely to lose a customer. It is easier to retain existing customers than to get new customers. Express your appreciation to your client, because sometimes, all that it requires is a simple “thanks for coming, hope to see you again soon.” Gathering regular feedback from clients really helps to a great extent. Top-quality services are what justify relationships.
- Product Promotion: You can do this by adopting optimal marketing strategies such as advertising in conventional print and electronic media, online platforms like social media, Flex Ads, pamphlets, consumer VR products like Gear VR and Oculus VR, etc. In a competitive market, prospects will gravitate towards the vendor that makes things clearer and easier to understand.
- Customer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is the key because it can make or break your business. It indicates whether your customers are satisfied with what you are doing. Researches show that high customer satisfaction leads to greater customer retention and a stronger brand reputation. According to a survey, about 50% say that they would switch to competing brands after just one bad experience. Hence, there is a need to prioritize customer satisfaction. No matter what, customers will compare your business support and customer experience to the biggest and best competitors. Therefore, if your products and services don’t stand out, your customer service must be if you want to avoid losing customers to your competitors.
- Get Feedback from your customers: Feedback is one of the important marketing tools for businesses today for a better customer experience. Ask them how they feel about the product, seek any suggestive improvements to be made for the product, how you rate the product, complaints if any, hobbies, etc. You can also request feedback through SMS, email, phone calls, and through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.,
- Set competitive pricing: Providing affordable pricing to beat the competition is a good strategy. The best pricing strategy isn’t always about lowering the price. Since the market is segmented by lower, middle, and upper-tiered customers, you need to figure out where your customer lie and fix a reasonable price for your product.
To become successful in business, you need to find ways to stay ahead of your competitors. Smarter companies limit the effect of competition, in order to increase market share, by adopting aggressive marketing strategies like an advertisement, discounts, various promotional offers, etc., Do not lose heart when a client leaves you. Instead, be grateful for the opportunity you had, focus on the positives, and look forward to having more opportunities in the future, because business relationships don’t last forever, but they grow and evolve. Hence, be the best of your authentic self, and strive to deliver excellent service to your customers. Your commitment to excellence will help you serve your existing customer well, and bring more prospective customers in the future. Try to follow the above executions to avoid losing customers to competitors and improve your customer acquisition and retention rate.