If you’re not making life easier for your customers, someone else will
Exceptional companies are changing our lives. Disruption is such a daily occurrence that it’s expected. And its reach is indiscriminate. As consumers, we may be impatiently awaiting some upstart company to finally bring the conveniences of technology to the more frustrating transactions in our lives. But as business owners, it may be our biggest fear.
Today’s technological advances are impacting your business more than you think, even if you are a B2B company. We traditionally think of our competition as companies that provide the same type of product or service as us. Most frequently, we compare ourselves to their price, on-time shipping rates, location and other things we’ve traditionally been able to quantify. Today things are different.
Currency of time
Our buyers are consumers also, and the ease with which they can navigate their day-to-day life is impacting the way they expect to make purchases for their business. Buyers expect our websites to be easy to navigate, on any and every device, and to be full of information that helps them make a buying decision. And when they want more specific information, they want to reach out to a representative through a chat feature or press a button and talk to a sales representative that instant to get customized solutions. We now compete on saving time and creating a frictionless buying experience. Our ability to connect potential buyers with our product is nearly as important as the product itself.
Build the business you fear
If you think your business is well-positioned to compete with companies that have adopted cutting-edge technology and streamlined processes that improve the customer experience, ask yourself these questions:
- When someone comes to your website, can they place an order without speaking to someone?
- Can your customers send questions to you via text? How quickly do they get a response?
- Do you have free shipping on deliveries and returns?
- Are you collecting reviews of your products or services so customers can get a genuine read of the experience someone has when they purchase from you?
- Are you actively managing your Indeed.com and Glassdoor company profiles and responding to each comment to treat current and future employees as customers?
A ‘no’ to any of these responses may give your competitor the differentiation it needs to win over a prospective customer that you otherwise might have landed.
Your competition is convenience and the most convenient companies are winning at a rate we’ve never seen before. To evaluate your current business, think about a company operating in your industry that is strong where your company could improve. How would you address those shortcomings to get ahead of them? Start executing that plan today, otherwise someone else just might.
Sam Falletta is CEO of Incept Corp. He has developed successful customer acquisition and retention strategies for some of the largest brands in the world, including Microsoft, Ford, Honda and the American Red Cross.