Embracing and Beating Competitors

I have found when talking to other entrepreneurs, they easily get caught up and bogged down by focusing too much energy worrying about competitors, such as their funding, pricing, marketing spin, and sheer existence. At QGenda we embrace competition and try to objectively learn as much about our “frenemies” product limitations or other weaknesses so we may casually exploit them during our product demo.

Here are some of the ways at QGenda that we have consistently beat our competition without lowering prices:

  • Strive to be the best place to be a customer by retaining existing customers through offering the greatest support they have ever seen before.
  • Constantly engage with prospects and customers about their pain points and continually invest in evolving the product to better suit their needs.
  • Admit to prospects that your solution is not the cheapest, and prove to them that reducing pain points, top-notch support, and saving time is far more valuable than just saving money.
  • Keep track of existing customers that switched to your product from a competitor and provide prospects a reference list of customers who switched from other products. If you provide amazing support and retain customers, then your competitors will not be able to use this one against you and it clearly gives you the upper hand when a prospect realizes that zero customers switch to your competitor.
  • Go beyond the usual name dropping of existing customers, and without breaking any confidentiality clauses, provide the prospect as many real world scenarios about your product solving existing customer needs because the prospect can most likely relate to the same issues.

Despite our competition constantly trying to beat us solely based on having much lower prices, we rarely lose deals to competitors for many of the reasons above. Competition is good for every business because it validates the existence of a market, and remember it’s always a good idea to remain friendly with competitors because it’s nice to be first on the list of people they call when they are looking for an exit.

What are some of the ways you beat competitors in a sale?

Maintaining Customer Retention During High Growth

When a fast growing company finds the best way to create a repeatable sales process for their product, it’s important for the customer success team to find the right balance between keeping existing customers 100% satisfied while also following through on new client implementations.

In our case at QGenda, we provide automated on-call physician scheduling software with unique complex business rules for each customer and below are some of the customer retention methods that work well for us:

  •  We are always ready to help an existing customer and everyone in the company (management, sales, engineers, and developers) make existing customers the highest priority.
  • Hire personable engineers (we look for industrial engineers with a strong academic record) from top schools like Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Purdue, and many other excellent Universities.
  • Each customer has a minimum of one dedicated engineer and one backup engineer who remain with that customer from implementation to go-live through their first year renewal as the main point of contact. Customers prefer this type of personal continuity and enjoy working with the same dedicated engineers each time they call with questions.
  • Quarterly customer check-ins by sales and engineering (have them switch off and rotate quarters) because sometimes the customer feels more comfortable telling a sales person their issues.
  • We are big believers in the saying “…teach a person to fish and they will eat for a lifetime”, but sometimes customers (despite having the ability themselves) would rather us do the fishing for them. So essentially that means we always go the extra distance to wow the customer by not only providing them great software (the “fishing rod”), but also offer to do their part and run the software for them at no additional cost (aka we fish for them).

These are just some of the many ways we strive to exceed customer expectations and be the best place to be a customer.

What are some additional thoughts and ideas on customer retention?

Twitter: @Benoit_Greg