We’re in a ‘new era’ of intense business competition, with more new businesses than ever before. This means that the competition has never been so fierce. If you’re noticing that your competitors seem to be catching all the biggest and best fish, then it may be time to look at why they’re out-performing you.
Here are 3 ways that your competitors are taking the edge:
1. They Know Who You Are… And What You’re Doing
If your competitors are out-performing you, then there’s a good chance they’ve performed a competitor analysis; identifying their top 5 or top 10 business rivals, and analysing their processes to determine what works, and, most importantly, what doesn’t. Your competitors are watching and learning from your actions; they know who you are, what you sell, how you sell, and who you sell to. Some businesses may even go a step further, monitoring supplier stock levels to predict future trends. It can be quite an unsettling thought, knowing that your every move is being tracked, but this is how competitors succeed.
2. They Know Your Customers
If you thought it was a little creepy that your competitors know all about you, then this is an even scarier thought: they know your customers, too. As well as performing competitor analysis, they’re also performing customer analysis, giving them an insight into exactly what it is customers are looking for. This, of course, covers products and services as a whole, but it also goes a little deeper: your competitors know what your customers are willing to pay, what level of customer support they want, and what sort of experiences and brand interactions they’re looking for, tailoring their methods to meet these needs.
3. They’re Not Pushing Mistakes Under the Rug
Mistakes happen, and they happen in every single business. The difference between a successful and an unsuccessful business isn’t always the amount of mistakes that are made; it’s how these mistakes are handled. While it’s simple to brush a mistake under the rug, your competitors aren’t doing this. Instead, they’re acknowledging their mistakes and learning from their errors. If your competitor loses a customer, they don’t just forget about them. Instead, they’re busy conducting exit interviews — either on the telephone, through email, or through mobile apps — to understand more about what went wrong.
Regardless of what you think about your competitors, many businesses could learn from observing competitor behaviour, and understanding how certain actions can impact the way the brand is viewed by their customers. However, it’s important to remember that competitor analysis goes well beyond a simple Google search. Successful competitor analysis will often include a combination of the following:
– Content analysis
– SEO structure analysis
– Social media use and integration
– Sales method analysis
– Customer care analysis
During competitor analysis, what should you do if you notice that a certain technique that’s being used isn’t having the desired effect? In the words of Napoleon, ‘never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake’! Watch your competitors through their ups and downs, and learn from their actions.