Evaluate your industry
When you are looking to improve your business and increase market share, one of the very best things you can do is run an evaluation on your industry. Someone trying to use a product or service in your industry is going to run into inherent frustrations. What can you do to solve those problems, so that you become a more attractive option? Identify the problem areas, and become a solution to them. Here are some of the top issues in industries, and how you can avoid them.
1. Customer service- Most people despise talking to a machine or automated system. Getting a live person is almost non-existent these days, or the wait time is ridiculous and requires you to up the minutes in your cell phone plan. Don't be part of this, it may cost more, but your customers will be far happier, and more loyal if they get to talk to a real person when they call in.
2. Simplify the complicated- If people are trying to accomplish something and it is too much work, too time consuming, too complicated or confusing, this is an opportunity for you to claim more market share. Simplify the complicated. If you know how to handle the complicated part, do it, and make the user end of it user friendly.
3. Provide answers. Most people complain about not getting real help. A lot of industries have "customer service"reps that are unfamiliar with the products offered or how to help customers find solutions. They rely on a slow database to give them an answer, and the answers are typically generic which means that after being on hold, being transferred around, and spending hours on the phone, a customer can hang up without a solution. Making sure your staff knows the product or service inside out so that the customer's life is simplified, and they do not feel frustration, rather gratitude when they end a call with your company.
4. Attention- Most companies forget that their customers are who keep them in business, and often neglect to make those customers feel appreciated or valuable. Give your customers a big "thank you" and some real attention and you will gain loyalty, and improve customer engagement.
5. Tie pay to customer service- One of the best ways to improve your position in your industry is to help engage your employees in the cause of offering the best customer service, and the best products and services as possible. The fastest way to do this is to tie their pay to it. In other words, offer incentive for reducing complaints, fixing problems, and creating happier customers.
6. Stand out- In a large industry, if you do not do something to stand out you might find that you are simply lost in the crowd. While traditional advertising might stipulate that you want your ads to be something that pleases the general masses, but it might be more beneficial to risk alienating a portion of the potential market in order to be really memorable to the rest of the market.
7. Keep expansion focused- Many companies in every industry are trying to expand and often in doing so they move away from their core product or service, often to the degree that it is damaging to the company, rather than helpful. Determine your core product or service, and make sure that every new project or proposal involves or improves that product or service.