There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition, but you still want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to stay ahead of your competitors. Here are a few of the best ways to keep an eye on your competition and ensure that you are staying one step ahead.

Follow them on social media

Researching your competition is always sensible, and one of the simplest things that you can do to keep up to date with what your competition is doing is to follow their social media accounts.

You could do this in disguise by posing as a customer, and that way you can get access to everything that they are publishing in public so you can find out about their latest blog posts, competitions, product updates, and more.

You could even go one step further and use a tool like Chatmeter to keep track of their mentions all over the web. Such tools are great for your own reputation management, but there is no reason why you can’t keep track of your competitors’ brands at the same time to find out if you are missing a trick.

Sign up to their email list

You can also sign up to their email list to get even more insight into what they are up to. You will then get access to all the latest information that they are posting to their list.

You could get some tips from this by deciding what you like and dislike about their content, their tone, and how they speak to their customers. Sometimes it is easier to see this when you are posing as a customer for someone else than when you are trying to improve the service provided by your own business.

Buy their products and services

You could go one step further and actually buy the product or service that your competitor is providing.

By doing this, you can go all the way through the purchase process experienced by a customer, and this can help you to spot things that your competition is doing both right and wrong.

You may notice similar mistakes you are making, or you may get tips on how to improve your own service this way.

Focus on providing the best possible service

As well as keeping an eye on your competition, you should simply be making the effort to provide the best possible service you can.

The best way to truly get ahead of your competition—and stay ahead—is to offer a superior service that customers prefer.

By doing everything you can to provide that high level of service, you will be constantly working towards cementing your reputation as the industry leader.

Encourage customers to leave reviews

Another great way to get more customers and build your reputation as an industry leader is to encourage your customers to leave reviews.

There are many third-party review sites online where customers can review your service, so suggest a few and remind your customers how much you appreciate their feedback.

If you get a large number of positive reviews, this is great social proof that will reflect well on your business and encourage more people to try out your service.

And even if you get some negative reviews, you can still use these to highlight your excellent customer service by addressing the issues directly.

Build up your brand ambassadors

As well as sharing content on social media and joining in with the conversation to increase brand awareness, you should also encourage brand ambassadors to do the work for you.

These are the people who love what you do and help to promote your business to their own networks. It always sounds better when someone else is singing your praises rather than your own staff, so this can be highly effective in boosting your reputation.

Of course, you can’t make people brand ambassadors, and the way you will get people on your side is to consistently provide an incredible service.

Put together the best team you can

You are only as strong as the team you have, so make an effort to put together the best possible team you can. A great team that works well together will make you stronger, and there is nothing you cannot achieve when you have the right team in place.

Keep ahead of the competition

These are some of the best ways to find out what your competition is up to and ensure you are keeping ahead of them.

Don’t let your competition get ahead of you through your own failure to match and exceed the service they provide. So constantly keep an eye on what they are doing, and then go one better to ensure you are always at the top.

This post was written by Collin Holmes. He founded Chatmeter, Inc in 2009 and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Holmes is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside and graduated with an MBA from San Diego State University.

Prior to Chatmeter, Mr. Holmes served as Vice President of Product Management and Director of Product Marketing for xAD, Inc. (LocalAdXchange) (also known as V-enable). Mr. Holmes comes with a couple decades of overseeing and developing product roadmaps, business development and managing the process of driving applications to market.

Contributor
This post was submitted by a contributor. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on starting a business, productivity or life hacks with our audience.