As we move into an increasingly competitive and commodity driven 2013, business, especially in the service industry, is struggling for ideas and strategies that will bring about growth and increased profitability.
Here are three main options that will bring about these two outcomes.
The first option is to be the cheapest. Everyday, as consumers, we are bombarded with price as an organisation's only competitive advantage. As a result businesses are coming under increasing pressure on margins.
The fact is that there is always a competitor more desperate to make a sale and a consumer with expectations over and above just price. In today’s market where the novelty of price has long gone the question now is: what else can you offer as well as a sharp price?
The number two optionis exclusivity. An exclusive product or service in an economy that is largely made up of businesses that are copiers and followers is extremely difficult.
Business is more aware than ever that competitors are watching each other more closely. If they see you are gaining market share due to exclusivity you can guarantee they will be working on copying or developing a product or service that will quickly return everyone to what we call the “world of sameness” a business world that is lacking innovation and creativity.
The number three option is to develop a quality, consistently delivered employee and customer experience. A recent Bloomberg Businessweeksurvey revealed that delivering a great customer experience has become the new imperative: 80 percent of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective.
Research confirms that companies that provide exceptional service have a strong competitive advantage. Customers are prepared to pay higher prices, make additional purchases, are more loyal and recommend the business to others. All of this can have a significant impact on growth and profitability.
This third option is by far the most viable long-term.
Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences, a New Zealand-based organisation specialising in the development of high quality customer experiences