In this article, we’ll explore the several different strategies you can adopt to help safeguard your clients from your competitors.
Unfortunately, one of the most common ways that businesses seek out new customers is by attempting to “snipe” them away from their competitors.
For example, let’s assume you run a plumbing business and that your company tends to do quite well in the downtown area of your city. All of a sudden, you start noticing a dip in your number of monthly jobs you get for that area right after a new shop opened up on the other side of town. The unfortunate truth is that this new company likely saw your customer base as an opportunity, and offered something to those customers that they weren’t getting from you. In other words, they sniped your customers right out from under you.
While the above situation is common, there are some things that you can do to help protect your customer base from businesses looking to pull them out from under you. Let’s explore those methods in detail.
Increase Communication with Your Customers
One of the best ways to help safeguard your clients from competitors is to increase communication with them. While yes, it’s true that doing so will likely suck time away from making new sales and gaining new customers, the short amount of time you spend communicating with your existing customers can go a long ways towards keeping them around. In other words, just talk to them. Ask them about how you can help them further. Make sure that the services you provided them with met or exceeded their expectations. It sounds cheesy, but just talking to your clients is, honestly, one of the best things you can do to help prevent other companies from stealing those customers out from under your nose.
Some helpful strategies to consider when trying to increase communication with your customers include:
- Phone calls
- Shott them a “how are you doing” email
- Send them a text message
- Interact with your clients on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
Do Something That Adds to the Value You Offer Your Customer Base
Another thing you can do to help maintain your client base is to add something of value for your customers each time you reach out to them. For example, you could provide them with insider information on some kind of recent plumbing development that affects them directly. Or, you could even suggest something that could help lead them to a more satisfying experience with your firm. Regardless, whenever you reach out to a client, make sure you’re offering something more than just a friendly “hello.” Even something as seemingly trivial as a coupon for a discount on their next service can go a long way towards preventing customers from jumping ship and hiring another business.
Simply Ask Lost Customers Why they Made the Switch
While this may seem obvious, simply asking your lost customers why they switched to another company can provide you with beneficial information. So many businesses fail just to ask their customers about their experiences with their business directly that it’s almost staggering. Think of asking your customers what’s up as a form of business-client relationship espionage. Gather the information you need, then make your counterattack (on the competing business, not your clients).
Make a Counterattack
So, you’ve lost customers to a competitor. While that is unfortunate, it doesn’t mean that all is now lost. Since they took some of your clients, why not return the favor?
To counterattack your competitors, gather information (as mentioned above) on why your customers made the swap, then find something that you can offer that supersedes it. For example, if your competitor provides better prices than you, then maybe consider either lowing your own. You can also consider offering something else of value that your clients don’t get from your competitor(s).
Once You’ve Made Your Counterattack, Prepare for a Price War
Once you’ve counterattacked your competitor, prepare yourself for an inevitable price war. Usually, once your competitor finds out that you’ve been sniping their customers (even if they did it to you first), then the most likely strategy they’d take to attack back is to lower their prices. Sometimes, they may even drop theirs below your profit point. However, don’t let that discourage you. Remember, sometimes offering more value than your competitors (even if it costs your customers more) can help prevent them from simply choosing the lowest price for service. Unfortunately, price wars are an almost inevitable part of taking action to safeguard your clients from your competitors.
Conclusions on How To Safeguard Your Clients from Competitors
It is possible to safeguard your clients from your competitors. If you’ve lost customers to a competitor, then all is not lost. There are several things you can do to help mitigate your losses and maybe even steal some of your clients back (as well as some of the clients of your competitor). You can increase communication, offer something of more value, ask your customers why they made the switch, and make counterattacks. So, if you’ve faced customer losses, don’t worry. It is entirely possible to take the loss and turn it into a win with a little hard work!