Gaining a Competitive Edge

Jun 08, 2015

What sets one home technology business apart from another?

While you and your colleagues know the answer to this, there are probably many potential customers out there who assume one is just as good as the next. Sure, different home technology companies offer a variety of specialties, but at the end of the day, it's the customer who decides the future of the business.

In this day and age, customers no longer call a business to voice their concerns, but post about them on a Yelp page or the company's feedback site. And if a company were to try and evade this by not having these digital options available to customers, then consumers wouldn't trust it for that reason alone. Building clients' trust is the key to future business and beating out the competition. While this is easier said than done, it is not difficult to form a healthy working relationship with a customer. Much of it has to do with communication, but here are a few other ways you can do this as well:

Quality Service

While this might sound obvious, it is worth noting. Customers take the projects they hire you for seriously. They have a specific idea in mind and want it completed in a timely and professional manner.

Failing to meet the expectations of the customer can cause problems down the road. Maybe that particular customer won't hire you for another project, or he or she will share negative feedback that deters others from using your services.

According to Forbes, you are not going to meet every expectation of all customers. Different customers have their own opinions about how something should be. What is important is how you and your team address the problem. Even if a customer is being difficult, he or she can recognize when you are putting in the effort to resolve the issue. At the end of the day, this effort is what matters.

Open Communication

Customers like to feel included in what's going on, especially when a project is taking place in their home. Though you are the professional, they have an idea in mind and hired you to see it through. For this reason, it is important to not only keep a customer up-to-date on the progress of the project, but also allow them to voice concerns over the process.

Additionally, when you listen to what customers say, they feel more confident about the work you are doing. Even if the work is the same as that of another company, it's the listening and interaction that will draw the client in. When someone then asks for recommendations on who they can use for their custom home technology installation, you can rest assured the customer will recommend you.

More than Just External Awareness

When it comes to being supportive of customers and having a competitive advantage over other companies, you need to start internally. Customers will certainly be impressed with quality work and considerate interaction. But to get to that point, your entire team needs to function as a cohesive unit. 

Eliminate Office Politics

Your colleagues don't want to play games or popularity contests in the office or out on a project – they want to work. Additionally, they want to be rewarded for hard work and doing a good job, not because of internal political pressures. Letting politics linger in the office is a sure way to lose the respect of your employees and create sects within the team.

According to Fast Company, having politics in the office or onsite can keep workers from being enthused about the job they are doing. When people are worried about politicking in the office, they are thinking more about raises, promotions, and watching their own back. This is not how a company should function. A business should ensure that all employees are on the same page and are working toward a common goal.

If employees are on a job and there is obvious politicking going on, a customer could notice and feel the disconnect. You don't want to ever put customers in a position where they have to choose who to voice their concerns to or make them feel uncomfortable about how a particular worker is being treated.

Take care of your office politics so that your employees can function as a unit. Only when you are working together to keep customers satisfied can you gain future business, and beat out your competitors.

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CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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