Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: How Your Competitors can Improve Your Customer Service

This week we feature an article by Gemma Baker that shares three areas that your organization should examine during your regular competitor analysis. One key is to always deliver value to your customers to keep them coming back. – Shep Hyken

Does it seem like your competitors have an advantage over you when it comes to attracting new customers? Or that too many customers are dissatisfied with your service?

Taking a look at your closest competitors and analyzing not just what they do well but what customers also dislike can help your organization to take a step in the right direction to improving your customer’s experience.

Here are three areas that your organization should review during your regular competitor analysis:

Mystery Shopping

Regularly take the opportunity to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and explore your competitor’s website. What do you like about it or dislike? Are they doing something that particularly catches your eye, use of photos or videos?

Start to go through their purchasing process, note if they make contacting the company easy and come across as an approachable company. If they offer live chat try it out, what are their responses like, do they:

  • Take too long
  • Overuse predefined replies (canned responses)
  • Don’t address the visitor by their name enough

By seeing how your competitors treat their customers you can start to compare with your own service. If there was something you liked, you can implement it in a similar manner to fit appropriately for your business.

For example, if after your purchase your competitor sent you a thank you email with a giveaway, handy tips for the product or 10% off your next purchase with a long expiry date, it can make the customer feel valued and is a positive way to strengthen the relationship, it’s definitely worth considering for your company.

Reviews

Organizations will place only the testimonials that reflect them in the best light on their website to attract customers. To get a more accurate representation, review sites including Trustpilot, have been set up. You will be able to gauge exactly the aspects that contribute to consumers positive or negative opinions and start to replicate or ensure your organization avoid it altogether.

For example, customers may complain that your competitor ties them into a lengthy cancellation process. Ensure your company makes the termination procedure as easy as possible and short enough to give the consumer enough time to action any bits they need to do, e.g. take a script off their website but still comply with data protection.

Social Media

Similar to review sites, customers will give their honest feedback about organizations on social media platforms. Your competitors’ profiles should be viewed to see what customers are saying directly to the company and how they are responding.

Other consumers will not direct their post to your competitor; therefore monitoring sites including Brand24, allows you to track your competitors and provides any mention of their organization within the selected social media platform. If someone is unhappy with their service it gives you an opportunity to approach them with your superior service.

Conclusion

Your competitors’ customers are your potential consumers if they are dissatisfied they are more likely to look for a new supplier. Ensure you are listening to their needs, by learning what your competitors are doing and what the customer actually likes and dislikes, your customer service will improve.

Reviewing the three areas doesn’t just have to be for your competitors.  Take a step back from your organization, experience the customer journey your website provides and explore what consumers are saying about your brand to help improve your customer service.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates

And soon, it will be your competitors wondering why their customers are leaving for a different supplier!

Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK chat box for website provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Personalized Customer Experience Increases Revenue And Loyalty

 

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