Business Type :

Running a small business in the digital age means you aren’t just competing with your geographic neighbors. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also find yourself in competition with companies like yours from across the country—or the world.

With all that competition, how do you make your business stand out?

There are several strategies that can differentiate you from your competitors and help customers find you amidst the noise.

1. Make your customer service top priority. 

Customer service is one of the biggest factors in setting your business apart from the competition. In fact, New Voice Media estimates that $41 billion is lost each year as a result of poor customer service.

Customers want great service: a company that they can trust to provide them not only with genuine value, but with products that they’ll stand behind. 90% of customers prefer an online customer service option that will allow them to take care of their customer service needs on their own time, rather than being required to call in to a customer service line.

2. Offer something different.

In a world where many products are little more than carbon copies of each other, offering a unique new product or service is the key to attracting customers straight to your business.

Think about your product from your customers’ perspective. What can it do to alleviate a pain point for them in some way? How can you do something different from your competitors? The more different your product is—especially if it goes further toward solving problems for your customers—the greater the likelihood that you’ll make your business stand out.

3. Do more for potential customers. 

Maybe it’s that you hand out free samples with every order. Perhaps your services go above and beyond your competitors’. It might just be the information you provide on your website: detailed descriptions, in-depth blog posts, and infographics and other data that provide potential customers with exactly what they need to know before making a purchase.

Whatever the case, when you’re committed to doing more for your prospects, you’ll find that they’re more likely to come to you for all their needs within your industry.

4. Personalize your offerings.

Today’s customers are looking for personalized connections. From marketing emails that are specifically targeted to your customers’ needs to tracking all of their encounters with your company so you can be sure you’re providing consistent information with each communication, today’s customers want you to be more personal. Personalization helps your company stand out from the crowd of competitors.

5. Be honest.

Whether you offer a guarantee and stand by it or you’re providing a detailed account of exactly what goes into your products, make sure that you’re honest with people. They aren’t interested in false promises or hidden truths. Instead, be open about your business practices and share exactly what ingredients went into your products.

If you support a charity or other organization (and you should—many people are more interested in companies that support causes they believe in), be honest about the percentage of your profits or the actual numbers that are being donated.

And stand behind your products! When something doesn’t go according to plan, make sure you take the necessary steps to make it right. When you’re honest about what customers can expect from your company, customer satisfaction ratings will increase.

There may be plenty of competitors in your market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your business stand out. By utilizing these five key tips, you can make your business shine brighter than your competitors, attracting more customers to your doors and retaining their loyalty.