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EnerBank Blog

Your Competition Can Be Your Best Teacher

Posted May 19, 2020 by EnerBank USA

market research

It’s wise during turbulent times to refocus your efforts to compete successfully and maintain, or improve, key dealer
relationships in the marketplace. That’s not news. But how exactly should you go about it? Consider taking some time to
get to know—or re-familiarize yourself with—your competition.

The fact is that no business exists in a vacuum. Competitors are plentiful and can be a great source of learning. Even
better, you’ll find that basic information about them is readily available, and with some quick research, you’ll gain
insights that will help you determine if and how to shift your strategy to win new business and differentiate yourself.

Here are some simple tasks you can do right now to glean key competitive info:

Revisit your competitors’ websites 

  • See how they’ve positioned themselves during the COVID-19 crisis. Are they offering to do anything different for
    customers, like adding attractive new payment options to spur higher close rates?
  • Note how they address key details like pricing and policy. Do they offer volume-based pricing or similar to
    boost sales?
  • Is the content freshly updated — not stale — and is the site intuitive and well-organized so customers can
    quickly locate what they are interested in?
  • See how they present customer testimonials. Are they prominently featured? Compelling and with quantifiable
    benefits?
  • After perusing a number of websites, look at your own, asking these same critical questions. How does your
    site/company stack up?

Investigate your competitors’ current reputation

  • Check out the Better Business Bureau — one of the oldest and most respected resources in the nation — for
    company profiles, including complaints, ratings, years in business, reviews, and more
  • Study well-trafficked review sites like Yelp, Google reviews, Houzz, and HomeAdvisor
  • Scrutinize a handful of reviews, looking for patterns (e.g., have they had repeated quality issues? Is their
    customer service consistently highly or poorly rated?). You’ll not only learn what they’re doing right — and
    wrong — you’ll also likely discover what you want to focus on in your own business

Now leverage your insights to stand out among the competition

Once you’ve assessed your competition, here are two next steps to consider:

  1. Find out why people prefer your company over the competition. Knowing your business is
    receiving positive (or negative) reactions is helpful, but the bigger question to consider is why is your
    business getting those reactions?  Is it pricing? Customer service? Financing? Turnaround times? Discovering and
    capitalizing on this information can boost your revenue — and your reputation.
  2. Give dealers what they want. Even a modest amount of research will reveal what potential and
    current dealers care about. Is it deep industry expertise? More product training? Attractive consumer financing
    options? Zero in on the top two or three customer “wants” and make sure you deliver on them — every time. You’ll
    set yourself apart and reinforce your commitment to excellent customer service.

Your market research can be accomplished in little more than an afternoon — time well spent when you consider the fresh
business intelligence it will yield. These insights will help you evaluate and direct your next strategic move, whether
it’s a simple tone shift on your website, a new marketing campaign, or expanding payment options. So block off your
calendar and start researching. You’ll be glad you did.