Customer value correlates directly to the satisfaction your customers get during interactions with your business. That’s the simple part. Figuring out what they value and what you can do to drive value is where business owners and managers tend to struggle.
So, what steps can you take to figure the second part out? It might seem like a daunting task at first, but there are a few simple ways to discover what drives value for your customers if you want to become a pro at customer value management. Here is everything you need to know.
Understanding Value on the Customer Side
Fully grasping the concept of value from a business angle is vital, but the first step to discovering what drives value for your customer base is to put yourself in their shoes. While it might be impossible to get inside each and every customer’s head, there are a few basics aspects you can rely on.
The main element will always be cost in relation to benefit, but it’s the benefits that are worth examining. While each customer may value one benefit over another, here are the main categories they’ll choose from:
- Product quality
- Product image
- Value of ownership/what the product provides
- Brand affiliation
- Solution to a problem
- The buying experience
Product Quality, Image, and Brand Affiliation
These are the simplest aspects to value. In relation to cost, how much quality is the customer getting for every dollar or even cent spent? At the same time, the product needs to look like it fits the price tag. Pair your prices relative to these two value elements and you’ll find your sales increasing.
Brand affiliation fits into this aspect of value since quality and branding often go hand in hand. Top brands like Nike or Apple, for example, come with the idea of top-quality products built in. Their images also create value for the customer. So, make sure the affiliation your consumers have with your brand is a positive one.
Ownership, Provided Value, and Solutions
After the fun of buying a neat, new product wears off, the real value resides in what the product has to offer. Keep in mind that some customers will look straight past quality and image, caring more about long-term value. Prices can increase when value lasts for years to come. Electronics are an excellent example of this, providing customers with 5-10 years of high long-term value for a high cost.
It’s worth mentioning solutions to a problem here, too. There’s a lot of value in something as simple as drain de-clogger because it eliminates an issue the customer has. Prices decrease here as solutions are often a one-time fix, but larger problems and tougher solutions come with increased prices and therefore increased value.
The Buying Experience
This is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of driving value. In the physical realm, this begins with a customer driving to your location and ends when they walk back out the door. In the online realm, it starts the moment they land on your website.
Each and every tiny aspect of their experience can build or diminish value. Making sure the totality of the customer experience is pleasant ensures their perceived value of shopping with your brand continues to grow. While each business is different, here are a few aspects to consider:
- Is it easy to find the products a customer is looking for?
- Do you provide aid in-store through employees or online via a chat box?
- When problems arise, is your customer service able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently?
- Is your store clean, including the parking lot, or your website user-friendly?
- Can customers easily find your in-store or online locations?