Should you answer a customers question about the competition?

I saw this come up in a Travel blog (Disney vs. Universal). Sould employees of one be allowed or banned from answering a question asked about the other? And thought it can easily relate to our business as well since it comes up for us at least a couple of times a week.

Now obviously you are not going to know your competitions actual prices, even if you do, you do not need to answer that one but simple questions should be answered as just good form and quality customer service.

Also you should try very hard not to bad mouth the competition nor give info you do not know as fact, just an easy I do not know would be fine.

For instance I am asked all the time if some other companies specific chemical is as good or better than one of ours or vice versa.

Question I usually answer by finding out and going over the products ingredients, their strengths, weaknesses, and how they work for the job the customer is wanting to get done. If they already have a product on hand that should do the job whether it is ours or not I will tell them. That is just good customer service and normally that caller will appreciate that and think of us again the next time they need a product we have that they need and will make a purchase.

It would do us no good to tell the caller they need our specific product to do the job right, then once they get it find out by the label, MSDS or other ways that they already had an item just as good, so they just wasted time and money waiting for ours. That contractor would most likely never want to buy from us again and would bad mouth us all over the place.

Same with your customer and the competition. If a customer asks if so and so also soft washes? or some one told them that using bleach is bad, or why are you more than so and so? Just honestly answer the question with what you know, educated them on the pro’s and con’s of a certain method or why your price also comes with added benefits and be ready to list them.

That customer will be much more likely to go ahead and use you and feel good about hiring you, your company and about passing along a great review to their friends and family.

Just like what the writer of the travel blog said. “Guests won’t think less of Disney if its cast members answer questions about Universal. Quite the opposite: it reflects well on Disney when its cast members answer questions even when Disney doesn’t stand to make buck from the response. Great customer service is work that creates value for a guest. If you’re working only to create value for your company, you’re not providing great customer service. But smart business managers know that if they and their employees provide great customer service, their business often ends up making more money in the long run than companies that put themselves ahead of their customers.”

Be the bigger, better company and answer any question your customer asks, even if it is about the competition.