Great businesses are not merely built on exceptional service, but on great customer experience as well – and an important element of their success is the value proposition they deliver to their customers, says Femi Adebanji, head of the Service Excellence Institute in South Africa
These businesses understand that, in order for them to thrive and survive, they need to constantly be focussing on delivering value to their customers.
They differentiate their offering on service, and not necessarily price alone, because research has proven again and again that consumers are willing to pay a premium, provided they get 'great service' and 'great value' for what they are paying for.
If organisations want to deliver the type of value that sets them apart, then they first need to be clear on two things:
Firstly, what their value proposition to their customers is, and secondly, how their customers define value. Otherwise, you might think you’re offering your customers value and be completely off the mark.
In the customer-centric economy where we find ourselves, the truth is that the power has shifted from businesses to consumers and, thanks to social media, consumers now have the ability to shift and shape their perception for or against brands.
Consequently, businesses must focus a lot more on asking themselves how to deliver tangible, exceptional value to customers while delivering a seamless and hassle-free customer experience.
If your value proposition is not compelling enough, the fact is that potential customers will end up buying from your competitors and not from you.
A simple way of coming up with a compelling value proposition is to ask yourself: Why should they buy from you and not your competitors, and secondly, what’s in it for me?
Getting the value proposition right requires a deep understanding of your customers and potential customers – how they think, their lifestyles, their purchasing patterns, what’s important to them, their wants and needs, what experiences trigger emotional responses and, ultimately, how they define value.
Once businesses understand this, they then need to design their value proposition from the outside in (based on what customers are telling them) and not only from the inside out (developing a value proposition they ‘think’ their customers want).
As a business, you must be able to answer with clarity the questions your customers are asking – what’s in it for me and why should I buy from you? Otherwise, potential customers will end up going to the competition.
When customers make a purchase decision, they are not merely looking to purchase just a product or service. They are constantly seeking value relative to the price they are paying.
They want brands that have proven their worth, and they want to deal with sales reps they can trust. They also want convenience relative to location and access and want to experience outstanding service in the process.
When a business can fulfill these requirements, they stand out from the competition and give themselves the best opportunity to build a loyal customer base with the highest potential for repeat sales.
For more information, visit www.se-institute.com.