The Marketing Guru – Overcoming the threat of local competition

The Marketing Guru – Overcoming the threat of local competition

Dee Blick is the U.K.’s number 1 bestselling small business marketing author and the retained Chartered Marketer for K-Seal distributors Kalimex. She offers her extensive marketing expertise to help garages tackle scenarios that may be relevant to their business.

Masterclass #1 focuses on overcoming the threat of local competition:

Q. A competitor has opened near me. How do I defend my market share?

First things first, there is no need for any kind of knee-jerk reaction, such as slashing prices or getting into a slanging match. Ask a friend to visit and appraise your competitor’s business.

What’s their price strategy? Do they have offers but prices are generally high on most products? How friendly and helpful is their team? 

Armed with this information, take a fresh look at your business with a view to making swift improvements.

Would your team benefit from some refresher customer service training? Are your premises in need of a spring clean, a lick of paint; new posters and leaflets?

Now, get marketing. Write to all customers, reminding them of what you offer and introduce a simple loyalty programme. Consider how you can improve their customer experience. Can you make it easier for them to book? Remind them of the good things you’re doing for them now. Don’t assume they know. Talk to your current suppliers. Will they help you with a special offer, some natty promotional gifts or a discount you can pass on? Pick one day every week when you roll out a new offer.

If you’re communicating regularly with new and existing customers your brand – not your competitor’s – will be top of their mind. Use the WOW model of customer service. Every time you and a member of your team are in contact with a customer, do something extra that will elicit the “WOW, I didn’t expect that,” response.

Don’t underestimate the importance of retaining customers through making them feel happy.

Part 2 in the series investigates whether traditional or social media channels are best for your business.

If you have any marketing questions that you want answered, you can contact Dee via email or follow her on Twitter @deeblick.

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