Do your Customers see Value?

“Unique Value Proposition: A single, clear, compelling message that states why you are different and worth buying.” – Steve Blank

It’s no secret that customers are getting a lot more attention than before and companies are continually seeking to accommodate fresh expectations and demands from them. There really is no other choice since customers now have an almost unlimited number of choices and easy accessibility to hordes of information and are now empowered to make informed decisions. The truth is that only when customers see value in doing business with a company will they remain – else, the options are boundless and widespread. Unless companies know and provide what customers see value in, they are unlikely to succeed. As the quote above suggests – unless your offerings and customer service are sending out a persuasive and convincing message about why they are distinctive, it will be tough to get customers see value in them.

You may pride yourself on being a customer-centric company with a culture that revolves around customers, campaigns that are focused on what ‘customers want’ and other such activities. Despite wanting to provide the best for customers, companies that don’t truly understand what customers want and constantly check back with them to ascertain what they perceive as being of ‘value’, all the efforts would be in vain. The resources spent and the efforts made must translate to value for your company and the customer and therefore they must be measured and managed. When customers see value, it will translate to benefits for the company but can only be known through adequate monitoring. Companies are steadily moving towards using software to manage data they receive from customers in order to be able to closely align their efforts with what customers see value in. The result is more personalized service and offerings, better and more appropriate promotional campaigns and better use of the multi-channel communication.

For companies to have long term and sustained success, they should know whether they are doing enough to understand and satisfy the customer’s needs and expectations. Well, if you are not constantly monitoring this, there are other companies who are and soon your customers will be walking over to them. So what are companies grappling with and why?

– With customer demands and expectations changing so rapidly, getting a grip on these changing needs is an uphill task. Without an understanding on what customers see value in, moving forward is tough and futile

– For any company to succeed, they should be have processes and strategies that are not just beneficial for customers but must also be conducive to the work environment for their employees and other people associated with the company. Happy employees make happy customers.

– In their zeal to do what’s best for customers, companies sometimes are unable to sustain profitability and gain on market share. The reality is that without gaining profits, companies would not be able to provide a sustained quality of service to customers and soon go out of business.

These are issues that must be overcome and can be through constant communication and engagement with customers, an understanding of what their competition is offering and smart use of technology available to tie all this information together. For a competitive edge it is vital that customers see value and it is the company’s job to ensure this.

Ensuring that customers see value in what you do for them and in the business environment as a whole must become a habit and a discipline. This is as important as knowing and having a grip on your daily operations and financial health. When your company is able to consistently do things that customers consider to be of value, it will increase your chances of gaining more customers, attracting and retaining the best working talent and also keeping other stakeholders and investors keenly interested in your company. It’s an all-round win!

The good news is that creating and managing this value is easily controlled by the company y maintaining a fine balance between their offerings, customer relationships, employee ties and the overall cost of running a successful business. The process and techniques used to create value for customers must be easy to implement and everyone in the company must be familiarized with them. A thorough understanding and concerted effort from everyone will ensure that you leave competition behind and gain manifold by way of profits, market share, enhanced reputation and increased business. Simple things like implementing changes based on customer feedback and letting customers know how you used the feedback go a long in ensuring that customers see value in continuing business with you.

Customers see value based on their perceptions and needs. Companies must therefore align their processes, employees and initiatives around creating that value rather than expecting customers to see value in what they offer. Customer value is an outside in process and a clear understanding of this will ensure success for companies. It cannot be emphasized and pointed out too often that for delivering value, companies must know how to approach this vital aspect. It starts with asking the ‘audience’ what they value, whether they are receiving this value from your company and how well you fare with respect to competition. Equipped with this information it will be easier to decide how to deliver that value and how to position it in the market. Once there is a fix on what customers perceive as a value proposition, companies must focus on how to deliver it through changes in policies, strategies and ramping up the knowledge base of their frontline employees. An important part of delivering value is letting the target audience know that you are doing it. In fact with so much visibility and platforms, it would be prudent to let a wider audience know about the value added services.

Customers see value when not only are the initiatives satisfying their needs but also serving to enhance their success. Companies must look at the endeavours first from the customer’s point of view and also from their line of business and clearly grasp what the customer is trying to achieve for their company. Ascertaining the needs of the customers of your customer is a great way to create offerings and services that will immediately find favour. Customers see value when the company they are doing business with moves from being a service provider to a partner who views their success and fame as equally important to their own. It is unlikely that they would want to do business with anyone but you – a sure way to build customer loyalty.

Customers see value when they get the best possible in the most competitive price. However, price is not the only thing that is valued. The company must also be able to reduce the amount of time customers spend on each transaction, reduce the effort and resources the customer expends in doing business with you and alleviate any stress, doubt or anxiety a customer may have while doing business. Research shows that when these three needs are met, customers are amenable to paying more even if another company’s products are priced lower. A company should be able to provide for the customer’s needs with speed, integrity and ease of operation and also always deliver on promises made.

It’s a highly competitive world and so businesses that can offer more in less are the ones that are more likely to succeed. Always strive to give the customer something more, something extra – these unexpected but pleasant surprises will ensure that your customer is hooked to you. Customers see value only when they want to – give them so many reasons that they just HAVE to when doing business with you.

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