How to Create Real Customer Value
Just back from London, this week, I’m in Colorado Springs teaching inside sales skills and in Reno developing an investor presentation for a start up that I’ll tell you about as soon as I can.
Today’s topic: Creating more value. The more value you create, the more customers you’ll attract, the more you can charge, and the more you get paid.
There’s a reason why Apple products command such a premium over other options, often by a factor of 5 to 10 times more. While they don’t have the bulk of the market share, they do have the lion’s share of the profits. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather work less and make more.
Value is a moving target. What’s highly valuable today may have little value tomorrow, like flip phones in a smartphone world. This means we must always be on the hunt for value.
Read on to learn how you can create more value for your customers.
Ask Your Customers
Amazingly, while customers often know what creates added value for them, many companies don’t ask. They’re afraid that the customer will complain, not knowing that a complaint is an opportunity to create new value.
Ask all of your customers, “What can we do to become more valuable to you?” Write down their answers. You’ll probably find one request comes up often and that’s the one to look at first.
Share these insights with your team and brainstorm ways to provide that value. I bet that you’ll find something to instantly increase customer satisfaction that costs you next to nothing.
Then test it with customers. “You told me that this is valuable. What’s your impression?” You’ll know quickly how you’re doing.
While some pundits recommend using a survey, I find that it only let’s people answer the questions I can think of. I don’t know what I don’t know.
Customer conversations almost always reveal new insights that surprise me and delight them.
Create Something New
Most disruptive products and services don’t come from customer requests, but from challenging what’s popular. For example, eight years ago, smart phones (since we’re on the topic) didn’t exist and we sent text messages by pushing phone dial buttons lots of times. The smart phone disrupted the mobile phone market, tanking Nokia and Motorola in the process, and shifting how we communicate from phone calls to texting messages.
While you don’t have to invent something quite as radical, you can come up with minor changes to how you do business that revolutionizes how your customers think about you. For example, create a simple YouTube training video sharing shortcuts, tips, and tricks. You don’t need fancy production,just valuable ideas that make life better. You can outline, shoot, edit, and post video from your smartphone in less than an hour. You just created new value.
For example: if you want to go deeper into this topic of creating unique value, watch my YouTube video. You can see it here. Just that easy.
Frictionless Generates Real Value
Creating frictionless (no hassle) experiences generates disruptive value. Three examples: NetFlix delivers frictionless entertainment, Uber delivers frictionless transportation, AirBnB delivers frictionless accommodations. In each case, they remove the hassle of doing what customers want to do, dooming Blockbuster Video, replacing taxi services, and impacting hotel chains.
Look at every customer contact point. What could you do to reduce the friction your customers experience?
For example: let customers contact you they way they want, whether by phone, email, chat, WhatsApp, or SnapChat. I use Calendly to let customers find time to chat that works for both of us. Further, I have a customer-friendly web link to quickly get them there (MarksSchedule.com). This means we don’t have to email back and forth to find time to chat. And if Calendly annoys me, I can change to another vendor with no impact on customer service.
This week, identify and implement one way to create more value. And please, tell me what you did and how it worked.
Mark S A Smith
P.S. I’ve created an on-line training session that goes much deeper into creating value by automating the customer acquisition process. Sign up here to take the class as my guest.
If you’d like 15 minutes to talk about how to build your customer acquisition system, contact me at MarksSchedule.com to set up time to meet.
And you’re encouraged to publish and share this with others. Just include: “Get more business-boosting ideas like this — sign up at MarksEzine.com.”