Everyone knows everything about everybody else.
Clients often ask: “Are we putting too much information on our website?” Their concern is not giving too much information to a potential customer, but that their competitors have access to all of their content.
I usually tell them not to worry about it, their competitors already know about them, and I hope they know all about their competitors.
Want to know the very best way to find out how your competitors are doing? Sure, you can Google them, visit their website, creep them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, but the solution is about as low-tech as ideas come: spy on them. It’s not illegal and you are not doing anything wrong. In a way, you’re helping your business.
Simply put, buy something from them. Walk into their business and place an order. Pick up the phone and ask a question. Go to their website and order an item. By doing this, you are seeing your competitor as their customers do. If you have time, wander around their place of business and see how they conduct themselves – that is of course, if they don’t know you. If they do know you, send a friend.
When you are there, think like a customer. Is buying from the competitor easy, convenient, and logical? Is their product or service what you expected? Are they doing a better job with their customers than you are? You might find that they really are not much different than you.
Keep a sharp eye and you will quickly find things that could be improved. Implement these improvements in your own operation. Actually, implement and make them better.
Pride aside, look for things they are doing better than you. Maybe it will be an eye-opening experience or it could be a very rewarding experience, depending how well you are looking after your customers.