Running a business is serious business. While most thrive under the pressure of growth and competition, others take their focus off their own business to mastermind ways to sabotage yours.
Some competitors can bad mouth you on social media, on blogs, create negative website content, send negative newsletters, or worse – talk to your customers – any opportunity to slander your product, service, or reputation. Others can leave scathing reviews for products and services they haven’t even purchased. They may even create fake social media accounts to pester you through posts or subtly (or not so subtly) criticize your business online. All in an attempt to distract and damage you.
Employsure like any other business has had to manage deliberate competitor marketing strategies that are designed to undermine the Employsure brand. For a small business, the impact has a disproportionate effect especially when they don’t know how to manage the negativity whilst protecting their brand with a positive response.
While it can be distressing, infuriating and downright unethical, the truth is you can’t control how your competitors act. You can however, control how you respond. So, before you declare competitor war, here are some tips from Miriam Hilland, a Client Experience Manager at Employsure, to help you deal with complaints, negative reviews and a competitor bad mouthing you.
1. Confidence matters.
To cause such a stir and have your competitors paying close attention, have confidence you must be doing something right.
People don’t imitate or get concerned about competitors with bad businesses or ideas. They become concerned about competitors with great ones. You are doing your job too well in their eyes, and they don’t like it. See their scrutiny as admiration.
In fact, the only time you really need to worry is when they stop paying you attention or looking at your ideas.
2. Mind your own business.
While it is necessary to keep track of what your competitors are doing, the minute they consume your thoughts and energy or alter your actions, they win. Minding your own business is a full-time job. Keep providing a great service, keep innovating, and keep making your competitors uncomfortable.
3. Build your fan base.
I’m not talking about more social media followers; I’m talking about genuine raving fans. You want to create customers that have a great experience with your business or love what you do so much, they become your extended sales team, and in this case, your advocates and defenders.
Customers who have a strong relationship and emotional connection with you will notice (as will others) that your competitors are copying you or playing dirty tricks. What’s more, they won’t buy into the competitor’s opinion. Loyalty is everything.
One way you can do this, is to showcase your fan base, like the Employsure’s Reviews Page, which exhibits the vast amount of happy Employsure clients and their positive feedback.
4. Kill them with kindness.
Use negative reviews and publicised criticisms as a way to showcase your values. There are numerous examples on social media of how a complaint turned into a massive PR opportunity for a business.
Respond with kindness, show your customers why they love you and how positively you act under pressure. You will often build more rapport with your customers, suppliers, and followers when they see you handle a negative situation positively and authentically; it will give them even more of a reason to respect you. If your kindness in turn disarms your competitors, then even better.
5. Let them get tired.
People who act in animosity always slip up eventually and those who copy you will always be one step behind. So as tempting as it can be to lower yourself to their level and play their games - don’t.
It catches up with them. The business world is too small for it not to. So, remain focused on building your business and serving your customers.
Succeeding will always be the best revenge.
6. Be open to feedback.
Ultimately, we all want our customers to be happy and we work hard to earn their trust in the first place, so it makes sense to do all you can to maintain their happiness.
At Employsure, we make it a priority to listen to feedback, understand customer concerns, and have flexible solutions to rectify them. Meaning, if a customer has something to tell us, we are able to resolve it as quickly and as efficiently as possible to ensure we have done all we can to keep them satisfied. Some of the resources available include feedback forms via email, an Employsure Complaints Page, and a dedicated Client Experience team that manages positive and negative feedback to make Employsure better.
Remember, time with customers is precious. Every minute you spend distracted by competitors is a minute you didn’t spend communicating your own solutions and value to the customer. You are better served building your business and giving customers a reason to buy from you versus the competition.
Employsure is Australia's largest workplace relations specialists firm, with over 24,000 small business clients. Each year, Employsure takes more than 267,000 calls from employers seeking assistance. For more information visit www.employsure.com.au