The holiday season brings to us endless stories in the media about what is going on in various industries, parts of the country, online and in retail stores. Our minds are bombarded with statistics, pictures, and facts – some true, and some not so true. What is a manager to do to determine where his or her establishment fits in among the rest? What is really making people go to the bank down the street – CD rates or the customer service? Does Superdupermart really have that much more inventory of the latest, hot gadget or toy?
We all know there are commodity items in each of our marketplaces that can be bought, purchased, rented and leased at similar prices. What separates you from the rest? More importantly, what is your competition down the street or across town doing differently than you? When you learn what that is – you then have real information about your actual competitors that will allow you continue to train and develop your staff to stay ahead of the pack, or to notch it up and find ways to stand out from the “other guys”.
Mystery shopping your competitors is a great way to get current information about your competition from the customer’s perspective. After all, isn’t the customer the one you are truly trying to please? You will then be hearing straight from the customer what they hear at your place and your competitors – and what they want and expect from your business.
Our thanks this month to guest blogger, Diane Sweeney. Diane has been with Market Viewpoint for 10 years and is currently VP of Operations with our firm. Diane has worked in marketing and human resources for all of her career. She also runs a nutrition consulting firm, Healthy Solutions. Her life-long love of writing now has a venue as she blogs for Market Viewpoint, her own website, and those of friends. The service industries and the health of the human spirit are topics close to her heart.