Creating a USP to maintain competitive advantage
Our client had enjoyed healthy growth and repeat business, fitting new flooring into retail outlets and other commercial businesses. However, he then started being undercut by competitors, but wanted to avoid getting into the downward spiral of a price war.
We were commissioned to help our client devise and implement a strategy that would:
- maintain existing turnover/profit ratios
- generate new business in the medium and long term.
What we did
First, we set up a customer survey positioned as a vehicle to generate feedback to improve customer service.
Next, we assessed and interpreted the results of the survey to identify what the client’s customers saw as being of value. For example, where a customer complimented the client for quality of work and completion on time, we worked with the client to understand the consequences of not completing on time or delivering that quality. Such consequences might include a need to do the work again, or a delay in the opening of an outlet hitting sales.
The positive feedback from the survey prompted us to recommend that the client increase his prices, and we developed material that he could use to support this move. This included the positive results and the risk involved in choosing a competitor who could not be guaranteed to have the same understanding of the customer’s needs or the same quality focus.
The client was initially hesitant to increase prices, so we arranged a test with a sample of four non-critical customers. Of these, three accepted without significant comment and the fourth, following negotiation, also accepted.
As a result, the new prices were rolled out to the entire customer base with only some minor losses.