While no business wants to lose its customers to the competition, you may be surprised how the opposite can occur when you focus less on keeping your customers away from your competition and focus more instead on adding value and truly helping your customers find what they want.
Strange as it sounds, there may be times when referring a customer to your competition might be warranted. Here are four examples:
If you’re out of stock on an item that your customer wants immediately, suggest alternative places where they can find it. You may consider enticing customers to wait for your business by offering an exclusive discount when the item is back in stock, but allow them to make their own choices.
Refer customers to another business if you believe that company is better suited to serve the customer’s specific needs. It’s important to ask questions to ensure you understand customer expectations and decide if your business is the best fit for your customer.
For comparison shoppers, offer a chart that highlights the differences between your products and competing products. Be sure to include your strengths, as well as your competitor’s strengths. This is a great opportunity to promote higher-quality components or value-added services, such as a longer warranty, locally owned roots, lifetime tech support, or even bundled services at a discounted price. Informed customers make faster choices and are happier with their decisions.
Lastly, if you have a very difficult customer that proves to be more of a burden to your business than an asset, it may be time to let your competitor swoop them up.
By referring a customer in need to a competing business, you not only show confidence in your product and your business, but you also show honesty, integrity, and a willingness to put the customer’s needs ahead of your own. Customers will appreciate your effort and seek out your valued opinion on other issues as well.