There are only a few ways to gain market share, which is always a good strategy, in a slow growth or flat market.
1. New product development or product line extension. Think apple computers; new product category (I pod); product line extension, Mac Book Air (the new thin one!)
2. Great customer service to differentiate your product from others in your category. Think Southwest airlines.
3. Price reductions; in the short term because long term, you become Montgomery Wards. Think Lexus when they introduced their flagship vehicle UNDER their cost to steal share from Mercedes.
Of these strategies, the one that you can control the most is #2, customer service.
But let’s break it down a little more. Lets call it “touch point” strategy. A touch point is any place in your business where the customer has a memorable experience; an experience that you have diligently created.
Some people make the memorable experience at the front desk/customer area. Others make a memorable experience in the restaurant. Others make a great experience in the entry way. And still others focus on the bathrooms.
In the entry way, have you put a “welcome to our fun place” sign or a voice activation system that’s says hello every time someone comes in?
At the front counter, is your staff dressed in bright fun costumes or are they still wearing a ‘ hasn’t-been-cleaned-recently- golf shirt with your logo?
Is your restaurant a fun place where kids can get crayons, adults can get engaging waiters and waitresses and where the food is presented in an eye catching and mouth watering way? Do you have a mascot greeting the customers and kids?
Is the bathroom a different experience? Check out what the Las Vegas Hilton did. Ina city known for “over the top experiences” the Las Vegas Hilton actually has people coming to their casino to see the bathrooms. More importantly, it is driving sales in a very flat market.
Kind of gives new meaning to a “ touch point strategy.”