Observer on Saturday - - Analysis & Opinion -

om­pe­ti­tion and busi­ness are two sides on one coin. While the com­pe­ti­tion must be high, the busi­ness must also keep on run­ning and vice versa.

How­ever, as busi­ness peo­ple might en­joy the re­wards of their busi­nesses, they usu­ally re­main not so happy with the com­pe­ti­tion as­pect of it and yet this should be the first and most trea­sured as­pect of the busi­ness. A good busi­ness per­son needs to be mo­ti­vated by the com­pe­ti­tion and not the other way round.

The fol­low­ing are some of the com­mon tricks that one should em­ploy in man­ag­ing com­pe­ti­tion namely: the pric­ing, cus­tomer care, so­cial me­dia in­cor­po­ra­tion, prod­uct de­sign­ing, and feed­back eval­u­a­tion.

CPric­ing is ev­ery­thing in busi­ness. It ben­e­fits both the cus­tomer and the owner of the busi­ness at the same time price has the ca­pac­ity to make any busi­ness less favourable in re­al­ity. There­fore, strate­gic pric­ing be­comes the key to a suc­cess­ful busi­ness in the sense that, the en­tire or­gan­i­sa­tion has the po­ten­tial to ei­ther grow or face chal­lenges. In other words, it is rel­e­vant to note that good pric­ing strat­egy helps you de­ter­mine the price point at which you can max­imise prof­its on sales of your prod­ucts or ser­vices.

When set­ting prices, a busi­ness owner needs to con­sider a wide range of fac­tors in­clud­ing pro­duc­tion and distribution costs, com­peti­tor of­fer­ings, po­si­tion­ing strate­gies and the busi­ness’ tar­get cus­tomer base.

The busi­ness world is made of se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion es­pe­cially in the world of tech­nol­ogy where the cus­tomers are al­ways be­ing bom­barded with mes­sages about the prod­ucts on mar­ket.There­fore, mak­ing your busi­ness stand­out in such de­mands of­fer­ing an ex­tra ef­fort of cus­tomer care of which it is para­mount to take note of the na­ture of cus­tomers one has and what best ap­proach to use that would en­hance a prof­itable re­la­tion­ship be­tween the busi­ness and the cus­tomer. There­fore, rais­ing your busi­ness pro­file is a vi­tal task to take into con­sid­er­a­tion. Though there is no one way of stand­ing out of the com­pe­ti­tion in re­la­tion to cus­tomer care, it is im­por­tant to en­sure that cus­tomers get the right in­for­ma­tion at the right time about the right prod­uct. This kind of ap­proach helps in build­ing con­fi­dence and sat­is­fac­tion for the cus­tomers in us­ing the prod­uct. Re­mem­ber that cus­tomers as con­sumers are look­ing for help, sup­port value about a given prod­uct. There­fore, by tak­ing ad­van­tage of this thought can to some de­gree com­plete your strat­egy for cus­tomer care.

Ac­cord­ing to Or­a­cle, 89 per cent of con­sumers would move to a com­peti­tor if they had a poor cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence. To­day thanks to so­cial me­dia, cus­tomer ser­vice has be­come an al­most real-time ex­er­cise. Twit­ter is now one of the most used chan­nels for con­sumers to con­tact the busi­nesses they buy from.

More­over, con­sumers are us­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence of a busi­ness’ cus­tomer ser­vice sup­port as a means to dif­fer­en­ti­ate busi­nesses in any given mar­ket, which they use to de­cide where to spend their money. Mak­ing a per­sonal con­nec­tion to them is crit­i­cal. SpotOn re­vealed that 41 per cent of con­sumers buy from busi­nesses that send per­son­alised emails.

It’s a sim­ple equa­tion: the bet­ter your cus­tomer ser­vice the more cus­tomers your busi­ness will at­tract – and more im­por­tantly – re­tain over the long-term with high lev­els of loy­alty.

More to that, ac­cord­ing to cus­tomer ser­vice spe­cial­ist Amy Clark, 53 per cent of cus­tomers de­fine bad ser­vice as feel­ing un­ap­pre­ci­ated when seek­ing help. Forty-two per cent de­scribe it as an en­counter with rude or un­help­ful staff. When look­ing at cus­tomer com­ments on­line, you'll likely run into sim­i­lar state­ments of­ten. Cus­tomers clearly value re­spect, so your agents should be trained to be pa­tient and pro­vide the nec­es­sary sup­port to the cus­tomer at any given point in time.

Prod­uct de­sign­ing is an­other fac­tor that has at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion in the as­pect of busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion. This is based on the no­tion that cus­tomers are al­ways look­ing for sat­is­fac­tion of which comes from hav­ing an ideal prod­uct de­sign which would meet the need of a given cus­tomer.

Though some­times one’s busi­ness can be caught in a sit­u­a­tion re­tail­ing where you do not need to de­sign the prod­uct as per say, but it is rel­e­vant to point out that when we talk of im­proved prod­uct de­sign­ing, we mean mak­ing your prod­uct dif­fer­ent from oth­ers de­spite of it be­ing sim­i­lar to some de­gree.

There­fore, this calls for cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion re­gard­ing im­prov­ing the na­ture of the prod­uct. Al­ways think of how your prod­uct can stand out from oth­ers. Seek ways of im­prov­ing the im­age, pack­ag­ing and to some de­gree han­dling of it by the con­sumers.

This art of mak­ing an im­proved im­age of a given prod­uct is what makes your brand and busi­ness dif­fer­ent from oth­ers. Re­mem­ber that any mo­nop­o­lis­tic busi­ness usu­ally be­came the key player in any in­dus­try, but these mo­nop­o­lis­tic fea­tures are made of cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion from the busi­ness owner. Never think that your busi­ness will al­ways be do­ing the right thing all the time. There­fore, con­stant eval­u­a­tion of per­for­mance be­comes key since this would bring about in­form­ing you the true na­ture of busi­ness. There­fore, de­velop a sys­tem that would en­able you have a bet­ter form of eval­u­at­ing per­for­mance from both the cus­tomers and em­ploy­ees. Re­mem­ber as a busi­ness owner, you are al­ways man­ag­ing re­sources from both the per­spec­tive of cus­tomers and the em­ployee; which is also the hu­man re­sources. There in­put about your busi­ness means ev­ery­thing to you as the owner. How­ever, most busi­ness own­ers are faced with chal­lenges of in­cor­po­rat­ing these two fac­tors in the en­tire strate­gic growth of their busi­nesses of which even­tu­ally brings about to­tal loss. It is al­ways a good prac­tice to lis­ten to your em­ploy­ees es­pe­cially when it is busi­ness re­lated, these peo­ple are al­ways on the ground and in con­tact with the cus­tomers who are the fi­nal de­ter­mi­nants of the busi­ness’s sur­vival.

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