Competitor Research for
Competitor Research initiatives tend to focus on assess industry rivals in terms of pricing strategies, marketing efforts, logistics, accessing resources, etc. Competitor Research as a Quality Control process can strengthen Sales and Marketing efforts and improve Customer Experience.
How a Company can Overlook Vulnerabilities
A good example or “poster child” is a world-class company for which I did some work. This project has been described in previous articles, but it is worth examining it again.
This company had a strong reputation because of its award-winning product. Despite this, it found itself in an increasingly vulnerable position. It found itself losing high-value clients to one specific rival.
The research revealed a specific policy as the culprit:
A customer paid $X to get a specific amount of product/service. Interestingly, this product/service had to be consumed within a fixed term (e.g. 12 months). Any unused product at the end of the term could not be transferred to the next term. In other words, “use it or lose it.”
A rival company had somehow found this vulnerability and was exploiting it.
Neither customer satisfaction studies nor industry experts identified this problem, which was costing the company millions of dollars in lost sales.
Competitor Research can uncover vulnerabilities that are missed by other research methodologies. The example given shows that Competitor Research initiatives can be directed inwardly to audit and improve Customer Experience and Quality Control.