With so much competition for the same set of customers, savvy business people have to figure out how to cut through the noise to get customers’ attention.
Customers today are able to do a quick search on products and services to access consumer reports, ratings and opinions. In fact, seventy-five percent of B2B customers rely on word-of-mouth to make purchasing decisions. You’ll want to take steps to ensure the right message is getting out about your business.
One of the best ways to get customers’ attention and hopefully earn their loyalty over the long-term is to demonstrate that what you have to offer is of superior quality to what “those other guys” offer. It’s not easy, but it’s well worth your time and effort.
- Get Specific About Your Product or Service
If your company uses the best materials in the world to build its product, say that. If all your customer service representatives go though an extensive one-year training program, say that too. If your product is more durable and lasts longer that the competition’s explain how it manages this and what it means for your customers.
Whatever sets your product or service apart from what your competitors are offering in the same category should be a part of your message to your customers. Yours isn’t “just another” product, right? No — it’s the best product of its kind.
Assess the quality of your product or service against others and back up your claim. Drill down on the specific elements of quality your business offers, and make sure they’re front-and-center on your website, blog and social media presence.
- Measure Your Performance Against Goals
Having systems and frameworks in place to measure your business according to its various goals, such as customer service quality, logistics process efficiency and more gives you real credibility.
When a customer sees that your business is operating under thoughtful and established protocols to reach its goals, it will give them confidence that you’re trying to run the business in the best and most conscientious way you can.
There are resources and methods available to help you demonstrate that value, including certain certifications from the International Organization for Standardization, which helps companies create benchmarks for success. Get your certification to enhance your business performance in ways that will make a difference for your customers.
- Pay Attention to Packaging
Everything from the box your product arrives in to how your website is designed reflects your brand and its values. Because quality is a perception, make sure your brand conveys quality. Customers make an emotional connection to what speaks to them individually. People want to be associated with things that are high-caliber.
When you’re choosing photography or stock images for your website or marketing materials, make sure they are crisp and reflect your business’ image well. Have well-written copy in a voice and tone that tells a good story about what your business offers. Make sure the business cards you leave behind are printed on premium stock paper.
Even something you literally throw away, such as the box your product comes in, makes a statement about your company and your attention to detail (or your lack of it). Consider the impression Amazon’s “frustration-free packaging” makes, or the obvious time and attention Apple invests in the cardboard boxes their iPhones are shipped in. All of these things scream “quality” and “convenience.”
Customers pay attention to the seemingly unimportant details to help them decide whether they believe the product or service being represented is a quality one.
- Focus on the Overall Experience
Studies have shown a strong correlation between the customer service experience and customer loyalty. While quality is important, customers today are evaluating what they purchase and who they do business with based on every touch point. Every interaction matters.
After you’ve successfully demonstrated that your business offers a quality product or service, you’ll want to focus on building and maintain a quality relationship with that customer, which results in loyalty.
- Consider Social Impact
The quality of your product is sometimes not the only type of quality you need to focus on. Another thing to consider is the quality of your company itself — specifically, its civic engagement.
All of the best companies have a strong culture of “giving back” to the communities that helped make them what they are. With that in mind, if you really want to portray your products and services as high-quality and socially conscious, look for charities to sponsor, outreach events to coordinate and generally any other opportunity to become a true citizen of the world.
If a customer is on the fence between your products and a competitors’, the thing that very well might convince them to side with you is your commitment to strong social values.
It’s a Labor of Love
If you’ve gone into business to offer a product or service, you probably love what you do — and you love your product. Your customers need to love your product too, and that’s where quality comes in.
You don’t get to demand your product is well-regarded or taken seriously — that’s a status you have to earn.