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(Last Updated On: April 17, 2018)

On a business’s journey to becoming successful, there are many ‘battles’ and challenges to be faced and overcame. Mistakes will be made and you may find yourself with days where nothing is going the way it’s supposed too. However, one day it’ll all come together and things will begin to fall into place. There is so much to learn about operating a business and generated from many sources such as the internet, business classes, school, friends and family, and even your competitors. Although it might sound bizarre to learn from your competitors, it can actually be beneficial towards you and your business. The following are five things your competitors can teach you about your business.

1. Customer Service Optimization

Imagine if you have a question or complaint about a company’s product or services, and call the company where you are put on hold, for what seems like forever. Or send an email to the company and don’t get a response within the next couple of days. This can be extremely frustrating for customers that have to wait. On average, customers expect a response from a company within an hour, sometimes less if they have a complaint or question. In order to keep customers and maintain a successful business, effective communication between your customers and your team is extremely important. Try going through your competitors’ customer service experience. Highlight what they do better than your company, and find areas in which the experience can be improved. With this information, you can help organize a perfect customer experience that makes your business stand out amongst the rest.

2. Marketing Strategies

When it comes to advertising and promoting your products, your competitors may be the perfect place to get ideas from. You can take a look at their websites in order to get a sense of how they’re presenting themselves, the words they’re using to intrigue customers, how they engage with their customers, and so on. If the business is local, you can stop in at one of their locations in order to get a feel for how they do their on-site marketing. Getting ideas from competitors is great if you’re looking for a guideline, however, make sure to steer clear of directly copying their strategies; be original!

3. Learn From Their Mistakes

Making mistakes can be one of the best ways to learn. According to a 2011 study from Michigan State University, it has been concluded that the brain sees the mistakes we make as a wake-up call. Our brains treat a mistake as a problem that needs to be solved. After a mistake, decisions are thought out more carefully in order to avoid another one. Using this strategy, figure out how to learn from the mistakes of your competitors. Always note what they’ve done wrong in the past, and find ways to prevent it from happening to your company. This allows you to minimize risk and maintain a perfect brand image to your customers.

4. Social Media

When you visit a competitors social media page, compare theirs to yours. Do they have more followers? How many likes do their posts get? Are they interacting with customers? If they do, ask yourself what they’re doing to gain followers or additional reach that you’re not. Try and pay attention to areas of social media where your competitors are lacking. For example, if your competitors are not posting as often, try and post more often on in order to increase your customer engagement. Lastly, pay attention to the types of content your competitors are posting. Are they posting thought-provoking content, photos or updates about their business? Take notes on what their customers respond well to and see what engages them the most.

5. Reputation

Your business’ reputation can be the main deciding factor when customers decide whether they want to use your product or service. Do some searching and see how your customers review your competitors. If your competitors have higher ratings than you, you may want to pay attention to what they’re doing and try to apply some of the things their customers like to your business.

In the end, your competitors can teach you a lot about how to operate your business, promote your products and engage with customers.

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