As companies like Amazon and Google expand their footprint in the security industry, many of you may feel like you’re entering a David vs. Goliath scenario. How are smaller companies in the security industry supposed to compete, especially when it comes to marketing against corporate giants. Well, you have more advantages than you might think.
Small businesses have a huge advantage against bigger corporations when it comes to service. Your team can personalize service for your customers and make them feel valued. How often do you call into a big corporation looking for an answer about something only to go through a maze of IVR menus before you reach an actual person (if you ever reach an actual person)? Large corporations are not equipped to deliver personalized service. But you are.
Never take your customers for granted, and always empathize with your customers. When they have a bad experience, apologize and let them know you are working to resolve the issue. It might seem like a no-brainer, but these subtle understandings help them get through unfavorable experiences.
Be willing to spend a little more time with a customer to help them with their question. If you are unsure about an answer, be willing to ask someone else for help or spend extra minutes looking for a resolution online. Even if you don’t end up coming up with an answer on the spot, your customers notice and will appreciate your time and effort.
According to SuperOffice, 86% of people will actually pay more for better customer service. And when you personalize your customer’s experience, almost 50% of them will be more willing to make an “impulse” purchase.
Engagement and a personalized customer service experience go hand-in-hand. A tried-and-true way to show that there is an actual person behind your brand is engagement through social media. It’s more typical of a large corporation to ignore questions and comments about good and bad experiences with their product or services on social media, and this makes the customer feel insignificant. If you dedicate time to answer and respond to questions and comments, you validate your customers.
Don’t be afraid to respond to both positive and negative feedback. As we discuss in our interacting with your customers article, even bad social media reviews or comments give you a great opportunity to make things right with your customers and display to the rest of the world that your company is willing to go above and beyond for buyers.
You can take this engagement offline and make small efforts that have huge impacts such as sending your customers a hand-written thank you letter for being a customer or for their continued subscription. Also, you could consider having all communications that go out to your customers signed (even digitally) by your leadership. These small touches personalize your customer’s experience and separate you from the corporate giants (in a good way).
You can use promotions to draw interest away from bigger security companies. It may seem a bit costly in the beginning, but it can be worth it to potentially increase your customer base in the long run. You can offer something like a month of free service for purchasing a product, or BOGO for free. Once you encourage customers to try your product or service with a promotion, you can flex your amazing customer service muscles and show them they made a great choice.
Once they are part of your customer base, you can provide extra incentive with a loyalty program. Maybe for every year of service you provide a free month of service. Or every time they upgrade they get a gift card. Regardless of the way you implement your loyalty program, it shows you value your customers and appreciate their willingness to purchase your products and services.
If you’d like to learn more about providing excellent service or how to market your small business, we have plenty of valuable information on those topics in our resource center and article database. More specifically, be sure to check out our deep dive white paper on making service a priority and our eGuide on how to market your security alarm business.
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AvantGuard Monitoring Centers, LLC. | P.O. Box 15022 | Ogden, UT 84415 | Office: (877) 206-9141 | Fax: (801) 781-6133