A Sustainable Competitive Advantage-it’s Not a Dream……..

In today’s highly competitive environment businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to come up with sustainable competitive advantages. Everybody is closely watching each other and copying their every move.

Many companies are sourcing products from the same suppliers or
offering similar services. The difference in price from one business to
another is often minimal. As this world of sameness engulfs the
commercial world, it becomes more important for your business to stand
out from the crowd.

But how can you achieve this?
There is a secret all truly successful businesses have known. They have known it instinctively. It is the secret of providing your customers with a truly memorable experience.
As a result, people will not only keep coming back
but, more importantly, they will tell others. It’s the
power of word of mouth marketing.
And it all starts with the experience your customer has while doing
business with you.

Customer experience is the new commercial battlefield
Only businesses with unique and sustainable point of difference will
survive and prosper in future.
For example, in the retail sector, a customer’s initial impression before
visiting a store, the store layout, the interaction with staff and the after sales
service all make up the experience the customer takes away from
the business. This experience will decide whether they visit again.
Whatever business you are in, the same principle applies. You need to
consider every detail of the experience your customers are having when
they deal with you.

First, you must get inside the mind of your customer
In a market bombarded by advertising and marketing, people are acutely
aware of the tricks companies use to entice us into spending money.

No amount of advertising can compete with recommendations from friends
and colleagues
Research both in New Zealand and overseas, and backed up by business
leaders internationally in both bricks and mortar and web-based
companies, shows businesses that concentrate their energy on building
unique and memorable customer experiences, and who engage
emotionally with their clients – rather than just their wallets – are the ones
that will build powerful customer loyalty and word of mouth.
They will have a genuine competitive edge. Their profits will grow and
their future will be secure.

Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences, a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. – chris@customerexperiences.co.nz; mb 027 2792360 www.customerexperiences.co.nz