Competition is ubiquitous with business and for customers this means if we’re determined we’ll shop around. Instead of losing people to the act of shopping around, aim to make them a happier customer in the process, so next time they’ll come back to you.
This Monday I spent my time in Victoria looking at rental units. What I found was a landlord who knows her customers. The prospective landlord knew I was walking, knew that I had six other places to look at and drove me to my next destination 4 km away. Elaine sensed I was determined to look at all of the rental units, and instead of letting me walk away she embraced the competition and aimed to put me first (an important relationship for tenant – landlord).
Elaine and Jeff Bezos the founder of amazon share an uncanny similarity - by embracing their competition they are putting their customers first. One facet of Jeff’s monumental success is his ability to embrace competition. When he allowed 3rd parties to sell on Amazon many Wall Street analysts criticised the short term, but Jeff stuck to his guns and continued to put customers first. Word spread that amazon cares about you and today amazon is worth 95 billion dollars and holds the title as the most reputable company of 2011 in the world.
No matter your business – you need to understand consumers shop around, so think of ways to make an impression. If they do choose someone cheaper they’ll soon realise that they’re sacrificing too much of something else ie… customer service. They’ll immediately think of the way you put them first and do business with you.
Jeff and Elaine have found the secret sauce for success – learn from them.