Monday, January 23, 2012

Competitve Shopping

       There are many people and businesses out there that call around to their competition and see what kind of price scale they are offering for their products or services. Now, some people get paid to do this job and some people are doing it for their job. What is this job? Mystery secret shoppers call around or go to places and see what other business have to offer in the way of service and prices.
It is important to keep up with the competition as far as pricing goes. If you offer about the same product or service as the business across the street, you had better have about the same price or people will flock to the other place. One difference is if your product or service is way better or offers more features or benefits then you can charge more than the other guy. In some businesses the managers know each other and have built a professional rapport. They will actually look out for each other and recommend the other if they cannot help the customer in the first place. Helping each other is a great way to make sure that the customer is getting exactly what they needed.
There is only so much consumer dollar to go around and your business must be able to somehow capture that customers attention so they spend it with you. Instead of being at war with your competition, try being friendly and see where that gets you.
Mystery secret shoppers are out there, whether it be a paid position or something that your business is doing to keep up with your competition.
If you have never shopped your competition you should try it. Have someone call them and pretend to want whatever service or product they offer. Make sure the person is taking good notes so that when the call is done, you can make the comparison. Now do not forget to make sure you are comparing like items. If you offer your service for 50 dollars and the business down the street offers theirs at 45 dollars make sure you are offering the same exact service before lowering your price. Does the other place offer door-to-door service? Does the other place offer a guarantee with their product? Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges.
Does it pay to have price wars with your competition? It might draw business to both of your locations if some publicity is involved. If you are friendly with your competition you might be able to think of something that will make you both some money. Put your heads together and see what you can come up with. Money is money and every business is out to get their share.
Mystery secret shoppers can help your business in other ways too. They can make sure that a business is keeping up corporate standards. Mystery secret shoppers can go to a location and make sure that certain things are being maintained and presented exactly the way the corporate headquarters wants them. Even though some corporate franchises are independently owned, they still must adhere to strict company policy in order to keep their franchises license. Now you can see what mystery secret shoppers can do for your business.

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