Customer value can best be defined as the satisfaction a customer experiences because of taking a given action relative to the cost of that action. So, if a customer makes a purchase, satisfaction comes from perceiving the product to be worth the money forfeited in order to gain the benefit the product delivers, whether that benefit is knowledge, data, or time. Basically, a customer needs to perceive these benefits to be greater than the money that was spent.
In today’s hypercompetitive world, brands must try harder than ever before to create and communicate value to their customers. Moreover, this isn’t just about offering a valuable product or service. It’s about delivering value to your customers in a variety of different forms before they even make a purchase from you in order to win their trust, respect, and loyalty. So, how can you deliver value to your customers? Take a look at the following tips.
Invest in great customer service. This is arguably one of the most powerful ways to deliver value to your customers before they make a purchase from you. When it comes to investing in great customer service, it all boils down to investing in great people. Your customers want to feel like they have access to real people who are willing and able to help them — not online FAQs and automated bots. Make sure your staff members are trained in customer service and are committed to helping your customers in a manner that is relevant, friendly, and timely. As part of this, you should constantly be working to improve customer satisfaction with the service you provide. Soliciting honest feedback via intermittent customer satisfaction surveys is an excellent way to get people’s opinions and keep your brand accountable. Free tools like Survey Monkey and Survey Planet are an easy and economical way to get these surveys out to your customers.
Keep track of your communications with your customers. You should absolutely keep track of every single phone call a customer makes to you, every single email he or she sends, and every single contact form he or she fills out. In sum, you need a comprehensive record of every instance of communication you’ve had with every customer. If you aren’t keeping good track of the conversations that you’ve had with customers, you are likely missing opportunities to deliver value. If a customer calls with a question about a particular product and has already called about that product twice, it’s advantageous to know that when you’re interacting with the customer. The better your records of communications, the more insight you will have.
Provide useful and relevant information. You deliver value to your customers by providing them with useful and relevant information so that they can make an informed decision. Taking the time to provide your customers with informational materials to educate them is one of the best ways to build trust and win loyalty. You can easily develop and disseminate this information by developing high-quality content, like blog posts, white papers, and even email briefings.
Research your target customer. The more information you have about your target customers, the more effectively you will be able to anticipate their wants and needs and the more value you will be able to deliver. As part of this research process, you will want to dig into your target customers’ demographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, income, education level, and ethnicity), geographic location, psychographic information (e.g., social class, lifestyle, personality, values, and life stage), and behavioral characteristics (e.g., purchasing habits and brand attitudes). Remember, a key component of delivering customer value is actually delivering on customers’ wants and needs. The more information you have, the better you will be able to do so. You can feed this information back into your content creation, your customer service strategy, and your communications.
By delivering value to your customers even before they make a purchase from you, you will earn respect, trust, and loyalty in the long run. Ultimately, a brand that customers perceive as offering an excellent value proposition across the purchasing cycle is a brand that will succeed.