So you’ve finally made it to the market and you’re now wondering, how can I stand out from my competition? Look no further, you’ve come to the right place! Establishing your own identity can be somewhat difficult when you have to compete with individuals whose main focus is to be the best in the industry. A few may not even mind putting you completely out of business just to establish a stronger foothold in the market. So just exactly what do you do to cruise your way right into Rockstar status? Well, we thought you’d never ask.
The simple answer to this question is to offer value-added services. What this means is that you give your customers a little more than what is expected in hopes that the customer will return to your business. For instance, let’s say that you purchase a pair of shoes from a website. Simple enough right? Now, at the very least you can expect the merchandiser to furnish the pair of shoes to you via mail.
Now, let’s say that in addition to the shoes, the seller decides to throw in a coupon for 50% off of your next order. The fact that the seller went the extra mile to provide good service will almost ensure that you will return again, even if it’s only to redeem your unexpected but, much-appreciated coupon.
As a new business owner, you’d want to adopt that same mindset. Give a little extra in hopes of establishing a lifelong relationship with your customers. As you may already know, advertising your services can be very expensive so, once you’ve gotten your customer’s attention, you should do everything in your power to keep it. Your wallet will be most thankful in the long-run.
Value-added services do not always have to be tangible. In fact, intangible services will give your customers an intrinsic value over your services. This will make your wallet even more thankful because, if executed right, it shouldn’t cost you a dime. Some examples of these can be tips about a certain problem, training on a new product and, my favorite, superb customer service. I mean take Chick-fil-A for instance, they are dominating the customer service arena in fast-food. How many of you have waited a little longer in the drive-thru than expected at Chick-fil-A, just to be handed a coupon for a free chicken sandwich along with your meal? Guilty! Although that may be a combination of both tangible and intangible, they go the extra mile just to ensure that their customers receive a great experience for every visit.
You don’t have to be in the fast food industry to incorporate value-added services into your business. In fact, this is where many business owners fail to maintain their competitive edge. Do not ONLY look in your industry to determine what standards you must meet in order to remain competitive. Look across industry lines to determine what value-added service you can incorporate that will allow you to stand out.