No matter what your business does, or what industry you are in, you are going to have competitors. To be the best, you have to have the best product. But, when you see your competitors succeeding publicly, competitors who maybe have better (1) funding, (2) marketing campaigns, or (3) a competitive advantage (such as an additional service offering, product feature, etc); it’s hard not to go on the offensive. Just remember to keep in mind these rules of combat so that your business succeeds while playing fair. Your contact center is going to be your main line of defense.
1. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
If you are keeping track of your competitor’s internet presence, you can be sure that they are aware of yours.
You can use this to your advantage, however. When your prospective customers are researching your industry or type of product, capitalize on search traffic and make sure that your company’s name comes up whenever your competition’s does with Google AdWords. To take it a step further, make sure your customer can easily get in touch with your contact center with social media widgets and links to your website and company contact info.
2. There is always a way. The easy way is always mined.
There’s never an easy way to success. Your marketing might go viral, but don’t count on it. Instead, do the hard work. Focus on creating the best product or service and then using a contact center solution with all the right features to engage and delight your customers. Focusing on anything else might blow up in your face.
3. Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
You can always go the other route and fly under the radar on marketing. Use your customer’s word of mouth and the contagious nature of their satisfaction to spread your business organically. You’ll escape the competition’s notice until you’ve been established and it’s too late for them to strike while you’re small.
4. Professionals are predictable; it's the amateurs that are dangerous.
If your business is new in the market or a start-up, your competitors don’t yet know what to expect from you. Take advantage of your wildcard status with unexpected moves like unusual promotions or lateral marketing schemes that differ from the norm.
5. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
a. When you're ready for them.
b. When you're not ready for them.
So you had best be ready at all times. When it comes to marketing for your small business, act, don’t react. Have a plan of action so that when your competitor announces a new product release, you already have yours in the works. Send out the word quickly and effectively with a personalized call blast to your customers.
6. Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.
Team up with larger partners to ensure the success of your business. Maintain excellent relations with those partners and they’ll be sure to help you out of any foxhole.
7. If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.
Don’t get complacent with your efforts; that’s exactly when your competitor is going to whip out something big to demolish your efforts. Always be working on how to improve your company’s offerings and how to best get the word out. Be ever vigilant.
8. Anything you do can get you shot, including nothing.
Remember that your competition is competing with you too, so they’ll be watching your every move. Be aware, but just keep working on what you do best. Creating the ultimate product or service for your market!
9. Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won't be able to get out.
While it probably is a good idea to stay hush-hush about new campaigns and product releases until they’re ready, you still want your website to be transparent enough to provide your customers with the information that they need. Don’t prepare for a siege and then end up getting stuck.
10. If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in a combat zone.
No one ever said that running a business was easy. No matter how good you are at planning, there will always be unforeseen issues, bugs, and expenses coming at you from all sides. One of the best ways to prepare is doing the research and making sure that the tools your company uses, including your contact center solution, has all the features and capabilities you need to scale to whatever problems come up. Having the right tools might be the only defense you have.
11. When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
Win an award? Dominate a marketplace? Send out a call blast announcing your company is “The #1 provider of….” Let your customers know as well as your enemy. It might light a fire under their butts, but it will also associate your company’s name with success.
12. Friendly Fire Isn't.
Don’t ever degrade your competition by name, either directly to customers or in public advertising and marketing campaigns. It makes your company’s public image look petty and it will incite your competitors to come at you with everything they have. It’s not smart to start a fight you don’t know if you can win, especially in the precarious early years of your business. If you’re a start-up, you won’t be able to fight fire with fire, friendly or not.
Don’t Win Battles Only to Lose the War
To beat or keep up with your competition, you have to make sure that you offer the best product or service. Any product or service is going to have some faults though, so the best way to win in your market is to provide the best customer service to complement your business offerings. Provide your customers easy access to you at all times and across all available channels of communication. Knowing that you will be there for them will ensure their loyalty and happiness with your brand or company.