Providing value to customers is tough in any industry. Companies, in whatever business they may be, must constantly aim to be better at understanding what their customers want and need to achieve customers’ value. They must keep engaging and communicating with their customers to satiate the promises they fostered to them.
For companies, targeting the customers is just the beginning which means effort should not stop there. In order to expand profitability, companies need to continuously embrace these customers so they can serve as loyal advocates who, in the future, can act as references to fill the top of the funnel. This shows how relevant it is to keep your customers’ value, especially in these challenging situations. For some, providing value is plainly giving everything you got as a business to your customers; however for Dr. Deva Rangarajan, Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the Center for Professional Selling at Ball State University, value should be balanced.
Providing value to customers surely holds awesome possibilities, and companies that give amazing value to every customer have visible advantages over the others. Without customers, there is no business, no company, and no job. If a company knows how to put value to its customers, we can confidently say these customers will have a good reason to come back.
Defining the Value
Questions we can discuss can be, how do we define the value? And how do we create it?
Others may think that creating value is just a simple task to do. It may look easy but creating value, even in a day-to-day scenario of every individual, is an on-going process. Value, or perceived value, can change from time to time. It is part of the overall customers’ journey and experience. Say, you had your product launching this month, they may have some idea about the value you offer but this would change when they are introduced to your brand, which can be positive or negative depending on their experience and satisfaction.
You may think you have successfully made your partner feel his/her value, but one day you would realize all your efforts are not enough when you committed only ONE mistake. Communication plays a stellar role in this part of keeping up with your customer’s value because the results of your efforts to create value are measured in the customers’ perception of that value. Therefore, value is created through the improvement of processes, much like other things in your business. It is connected to your company’s culture and vision. That’s why almost, if not all companies, always include their “customers” at the very heart of their core values.
Now that we have a good point of view on what customers’ value is, it is significant to discuss why it is necessary to preserve the balance between the value OF your customer and the value you give FOR your customer. As confusing as it can be, balance is important in everything that you do and the same thinking goes for business.
Customer success organizations are essential to maintaining this balance. By concentrating on the needs of your customers rather than desperately pushing the product of your company, this shows that you understand, or are trying to understand your customers the best way you can which gives them the idea that you value them.
Here are three strategies to better grasp how to preserve the balance of your customers’ value:
Strategies for Preserving the Balance
1. Choose your target customers carefully to achieve mutual success
There are some who think that it is good to target the general audience without any specification as it would drive to more traffic and sales, but this is totally a red flag if you really want to achieve success. As per Dr. Deva Rangarajan (2018), “mutual success (Value OF and Value FOR) depends in large part on proper segmentation and targeting of customers.” With the right customers who are aligned with your product and services can lead to excellent value. Put in mind that wrong customers can be your worst nightmare. That is why research is one of the primary steps to do before finalizing who your customers are. This is one of the responsibilities of the marketing team to choose its target customers, with the help of the sales team and the customer success team in terms of gauging, communicating, and engaging with the right customers.
2. Know the value you provide
The value you provide can be different from the perception in the head of the customer. Focus on what you really offer. Keep in mind that customers’ value is created when your promise matches the customer’s expectation. Set the expectation right.
Do not frustratingly try to be a “jack of all trades.” The truth to this phrase is that you are “master of none”. This would deprive your business of your own expertise. Therefore, you need to know exactly the reason why you are in the industry. Know exactly what you offer to whom. Spend time to study your existing customers and contemplate who you are to them and why they bought your products or services.
3. Always deliver real value
“Continuous engagement (and loyalty) of customers come from the ongoing delivery of value” (Rangarajan, 2018). Remember that “no customer wants a quarter-inch drill. What they want is a quarter-inch hole.” Using effective customer success strategies is the best way to stay on top of knowing what your customer considers real value, and making it a consistent practice. This way, it would lead to customer retention which results in long term profitability. For you to find out your customer success strategies’ effectiveness, having a monthly assessment will help. On the other side, bad customer experience means no value was delivered. Also, note that each customer is an investment, and making a mistake should not be an option. Always put in mind that one wrong move can place your company in a risky state if the consumer has made negative (or serious) reviews on your product and services online. Hence, putting customers’ value is like dating; there must be a balance.
To wrap it up, crucial to preserving this balance is segmenting your customer, clarifying your value proposition, and communicating and engaging (in a consistent manner) to deliver that VALUE to your customers – so you can get value in return from them.
Do not be afraid to communicate with your customer, make it constant so you can be remembered.
You can reach out to us at CSM Practice if you need help understanding your customers’ value with the integration of our customer success strategies. The success of your business is inherently intertwined with the success of your customer, in which this success is connected to the value you provide. If customers succeed using your product/service, you can expect their loyalty, thus, your business will succeed. At its core, that is what CSM Practice is all about: we ensure your customers achieve their desired outcome while using your product/service.