Imagine a world where you could sell your products and services for top dollar, and have your customers be thrilled to pay whatever you’re charging. It may sound too good to be true, but it is entirely possible if you’re using the right methods – that is, competing based on every aspect of your company except for price.
Business owners can actually charge significantly more than their competitors, and still have customers lining up around the block if they can employ these three important tips:
1. Offer Better Service
One of the best ways (if the not the very best way) to separate yourself from the competition is through absolutely outstanding customer service. This is the one aspect of a business that customers will rave about if it’s great, and never forgive if it’s terrible.
Companies like Nordstrom have built legions of repeat customers through unparalleled customer service, going above and beyond for each and every customer. In one account, a Nordstrom employee noticed a customer had left behind a few bags, used the receipt to look up a phone number, and -- when still unsuccessful --managed to have airport that the customer was flying out of page her so she could be notified about her purchases. Now that’s exceptional service.
The Nordstrom employee (and the training staff) knew that making the extra effort for that customer would become a story to tell, an account of the greatness of the company, and solidify the relationship with the customer. There is little doubt that the customer continues to shop at Nordstrom, and tell everyone she knows about the great experience.
These companies, and many like them, have made a habit (even a company policy) of making sure that every single customer receives outstanding service, and of developing lasting relationships at every turn.
2. Step Up the Experience
The customer experience goes hand in hand with service, but can also include much, much more. From music and ambience to activities and rewards, the customer experience encompasses the entire process of doing business with your company. A memorable and exciting experience all but guarantees repeat business.
Jordan’s Furniture is a New England business that has truly mastered the customer experience. Their storefronts include IMAX movie theaters, a free “Enchanted Village” attraction, laser light shows and more. They’ve figured out a way to make visiting a retail location exciting for people of all ages, and keep them coming back multiple times. Even for first-time customers, the novelty of the experience immediately sparks interest, draws them into the store, and keeps them there.
3. Offer the Best Guarantee
After you woo your prospects with an amazing experience, and forge relationships through superb customer service, you can put customers at ease with an awesome guarantee. L.L. Bean offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on every single one of their products, with an unlimited return policy. And customers are encouraged to return any item they are not completely satisfied with, for any reason.
This kind of guarantee speaks volumes about a company, and how firmly they stand behind their products or services. Offering a guarantee shows customers that you are assuming the risk because their satisfaction is your primary concern.
...So Why Not Compete on Price?
All of these are good ideas, of course, but why not compete on price too? Simply put, you won’t build relationships, you won’t inspire repeat business, and you’ll position yourself as a company that’s only good for a deal…instead of a company renowned for impeccable service and an amazing experience.
Brand loyalty based on price is fickle at best. When customers are making decisions based on price alone, there’s nothing to stop them from moving right along to the next company that offers a lower price.
However, when companies establish themselves with the best service, experience, or guarantee, however, price becomes a secondary consideration. Go above and beyond with each of these three factors, and your customers will be gladly pay any price for the pleasure of doing business with you.
Charles Gaudet's controversial marketing insight has earned him the title of "The Entrepreneur's Marketing Champion" by both his clients and Insiders' for his ability to help them out-compete, out-market and out-earn their competition. As the founder of PredictableProfits.com, he's an expert at helping entrepreneurs radically improve their profits through a series of effective marketing strategies.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.