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4 ways to stand out from the competition

From the Resene Trade blog

Standing out in the painting and decorating industry is crucial for success, but how can it be done?

In an industry where every other business claims to be the best at what they do, it can seem difficult to set yourself apart from the competition. While a lot of small businesses understand that standing out is key to success, many fail to put this theory into practice – however, it’s easier to do than you think.

Here are some ways to help you stand out:

1. Find your niche and nail it

The phrase ‘target everyone, reach no one’ is an important rule to remember when marketing your small business. While casting your marketing net as wide as possible may seem like the most fruitful way to reach a broader audience, if you’re only focused on a specific regional area and type of work, a lot of your marketing may be going to waste.

Your audience want to feel that you’re speaking to them and answering their needs, but if your appeal is too broad, the message may feel generalised, diluted and impersonal.

A great way to stand out is to shorten your net and target a smaller, more defined group of people. When you find your niche (i.e. your desired clients), you can begin tailoring and targeting your marketing based on the group’s problems, needs andoutcomes. This is an easier and more effective way to make an impact, ensure your time and money is used more efficiently and increase your chances of converting prospects into paying and satisfied customers.

Rather than try and meet all the needs of a broader audience – focus on meeting and exceeding the desires of a smaller, more targeted group instead.

2. Offer unbeatable customer service

While plenty of businesses promise excellent customer service and satisfaction, it turns out that saying it isn’t good enough, as demonstrated by a study by Lee Resources. The research found that around 80 per cent of companies believed they delivered superior customer service. However, just eight per cent of people said these same companies delivered the level of customer service they promised.

In this instance, actions speak significantly louder than words, so be sure to give clients a solid reason to choose you, and to come back.

A great way to determine whether you’re pleasing current customers is through client experience surveys. Whether through social media, email or physical forms, ask your clients to rate you and your service out of 10 in the following factors:

  • Service quality
  • Reliability
  • Communication
  • Price
  • Convenience

These are just five options – you can add more to target specific areas you’d like to get feedback on. It’s good to check the feedback before and after you make changes to make sure the changes have been for the better.

Client experience surveys can help identify which aspects of your business need a little work or changing altogether so you can improve your chances of attracting new clients and keeping existing ones.

3. Devise a USP

(unique selling proposition) rom your client experience survey results

It’s no good spending time and effort conducting client experience surveys if you don’t do anything with the results provided. Not only is this a great opportunity to address customer pain points and fix any underlying issues, it can also help you to discover a unique way to set yourself apart from the competition.

For example, if your customers didn’t rate you highly in the sustainability department, you could turn this concern into an advantage by joining the ReseneEco.Decorator programme. After passing assessments in sustainable and waste management practices, alongside project plans and project sign off processes, contractors can become – and promote themselves as – an authentic ReseneEco.Decorator.

Clients will be able to see that you’re associated with an industry leader and you’re passionate about practising only environmentally friendlymethods – qualities that aren’t easy to come by.

4. Offer small extras instead of reducing prices

Cutting your costs may seem like an easy fix when trying to stand out from the competition, but often it’s not the best answer:

  • Lowered prices may attract lower-quality clients who don’t matchyour desired target audience and who may not require a similarstyle of work you normally provide. This can decreasethe standardof your future portfolio.

  • No matter how low you go, there will always be someone elseoffering a cheaper alternative.

  • Charging reduced prices can result in lower commitment levels,meaning that lower-touch clients may not use your service again.

Instead of dropping prices, offer inexpensive extras that don’t take long to execute. Simple things like offering to vacuum after a job, changing lightbulbs while you have the ladder in the room or even scheduling the job after hours or in a weekend to show you’re willing go to the next level for your customers, which can really make a big difference to your client retention and the word of mouth referrals you get.

February 2020

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