If customers, prospects, suppliers, and competitors see you as small, you are. Technology offers the opportunity to change perception and position your company as a professional organization, geared to providing consistently high performance.
At some point, almost every business goes through a “fake it ‘til you make it” phase, where you position your business as professionally as possible, regardless of your staff size or office location, (i.e., the kitchen or the garage). As your business grows, it’s essential that you don’t appear small to customers and prospects. Yet, having the wrong or outdated technology in place can cause you to look less than professional, and even lose business.
“Perhaps you’re trying to send large files and it’s taking forever to transmit. Or maybe you’re videoconferencing with a prospect and, due to a slow Internet speed, you’re experiencing all the classic video quality issues,” says John Gasowski, Comcast’s senior director and product manager for Business Internet.” The result, he adds, is that you look small to the customer, prospect, or vendor with whom you work. Based on those experiences, they might well question your ability to deliver products and/or services. Perception is reality.
So how can you shift those perceptions? Two immediate keys are competitive analysis and getting and utilizing customer and prospect feedback.
- Evaluate competitors that own a greater share of the market than you do, and identify the areas in which they excel. If they’re doing something better than you are, figure out what that is (customer outreach, content marketing, ease of ordering, product/service features, streamlined ecommerce, etc.), and you’ll know what you need to improve in your own business to grab some of that market share.
- Customer input provides additional critical competitive information, so be sure to document interactions and categorize them for easy retrieval of metrics where it’s appropriate. Think about creating a workflow that moves customer and prospect feedback to the appropriate party so that problems and suggestions can be addressed promptly and, as appropriate, reflected in new product development, product enhancements, process improvements, or website support.
Given today’s customer expectations, it’s imperative that you position your business as prepared to deliver consistently high performance. And technology has the power to help you level the perception playing field.
Learn more about Technology as a Competitive Edge.