Last week we posted about the idea of building customer loyalty by adding value. In that post we talked about how the traditional customer/business relationship is primed for disruption by value. We offered a few basic concepts to consider, but...
Adding value is sort of a nebulous topic to post about. “Value” means 100 different things to 100 different people.
Most businesses aren’t geared toward value; they’re geared toward selling a product or service, and the best ones make sure those products/services are exceptional.
We can’t offer a sure-fire way to add value universally. It’s what we focus on with our clients - adding everyday usage to a company’s benefits through employee discount programs, or member benefits that offset professional association dues, for example. But every company, and every customer base has different expectations.
We could post ten ideas that would help you create value for your customers. We started down that road last week, with ideas around making your customers experts and operating with their end goals in mind. Those are nice, broad concepts that everyone would be wise to consider.
But every customer base is different. It’s up to each brand to deliver value to customers, and there is no bulletproof template that will work for everyone.
No Easy Answers
So, we want to help you find your own path to relevant value. Answer these ten questions honestly and openly.
By the end of them, you’ll have some ideas about ways you can add value.
What are your customer’s ultimate goals with your products/service?
How are you different (not just better) than your competition?
What do you promise customers?
What do you currently do to ensure your brand keeps those promises?
What resources do you make available to make sure customers get the most out of your product/service?
Does your value proposition make customers feel like they’re unquestionably getting the better end of the deal?
If, for some reason, your customers walked away from you tomorrow, would it change their ability to succeed? Or would business proceed as usual for them?
What can you add tomorrow to make the customer an expert at using your product?
How often do your customers hear from you in a non-sales environment?
Do you have leading customers who are clearly maximizing your product/service in a way that other customers could benefit by observing?
The goal is to add the kind of value that makes your brand invaluable to customers because they’re maximizing what they’re receiving from it.
Do any of your answers lend themselves to content (videos, blog posts, white papers) you can create? Is there a need to add a loyalty program? Should you increase your customer service presence, or even add a personal consultant dedicated to certain customers? Is there another brand you can partner with to enhance the customer experience?
Warren Buffett said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Too often brands are focused on maximizing what they’re paid while ignoring the ROI for customers. That’s a great way to make a short term profit, but completely ignores the bigger potential with the lifetime value of a customer.
Start by giving some honest answers to the tough questions and you’ll be on your way to a customer base that feels loved and confident with your brand behind them, adding a bit of extra value every step of the way.
(Grafitti image courtesy of Duncan Hull)