I first became a customer when I bought myself a ride on the merry-go-round. It was such a big deal I can still remember it today.
I had to make the decision to break my piggy-bank. I had to engage with an adult I did not know, and ask for a ticket. But it was worth the effort.
Riding a pink unicorn is priceless when you’re 5 years old.
More than 30 years later, I am the one selling services and products. And I know that my clients’ journey is not very different from my own, when I let go of my Mom’s hand to go ride a flying horse.
They are driven by a possible benefit, expect a smooth experience, and want to be taken care of.
If you want to achieve customer satisfaction, you need to deliver on 3 promises:
- outstanding value
- unforgettable experience
- rock-solid service
For the first post in this series, let’s focus on boosting customer value.
Customer value is not the best price you can find
Kids don’t understand much about money. They have a short attention span and focus on the immediate benefits.
Your current clients are no different. The quicker you can resolve a problem oralleviate a pain, the more your product or service will be appealing. The more you drive attention to the possible benefits, the more you move your clients beyond price.
Let’s say you go to the supermarket, where products are on special offer every single day. Do you pick up whatever is in front of you, just because there is a discount tag attached?
You consider your needs first, and then search for what addresses them best.
When your focus moves away from money (for you) and price (for your client), you create benefits awareness. And this is by far the most powerful way to connect your customers to you, and your brand.
Customer value impacts at a personal level
Do you know why 2 nights in a 5 star hotel are unforgettable? Sure, the bed is comfy and the room has a designer’s unique touch. But is that what you’ll tell your friends about?
You’ll tell them that the staff address you personally, they remember if you take black coffee or white tea for breakfast, and know if you sleep on the right or left hand side of the bed. You’ll say that, in this hotel, they know what you need better than you know yourself. This personal touch is almost priceless.
Your customers need to feel the same when they engage with you, or your brand.
Make it feel personal. Make a positive impression that will have a real impact in their lives. Envision what small thing you could add that would make them say “Everything I need has been taken care of”.
‘Adding value’ is paying attention to all the details that will improve your connection with your customers, setting the foundation for their loyalty.
Find one simple thing people need (and haven’t found anywhere else yet). Envision how it would complement your product and what people would say about it. And then, include everything, or part of it, in your offer.
Customer value is making a unique difference
So far, we know that creating value requires you to focus on benefits rather than price, and make a personal impact. But how can we achieve this in reality? Do you need to improve your product design or features?
Shooting for absolute perfection is to focus on achieving your own level of expectations, which will inevitably be different from your clients’.
An efficient shortcut is to hunt for the little tiny details that will spice up 1 or 2 of your standard outcomes. What is the unique difference that your clients would remember and talk about?
You can get cues by looking at competitor’s reviews and reading between the lines. When people say “It’s good, but I think [xxx] would make it better”, you have something to start with.
Then, add it to your own product and focus on quality. Be proud of the work you do (it helps with self-motivation) and inject the best of your experience and knowledge into it.
You sell a book of recipes? Add a calorie or gluten-free variations guide, list your favourite kitchen tools and how best to use them.
You sell copywriting services and noticed there’s no transparency on number of words, revisions, timelines and price variations? Offer a free 15 mins discovery call to directly answer those questions.
You sell baby clothes? Add a matching laundry bag for Mum, or a nice personalised card with your best tips to remove difficult stains.
You sell a course? Drop regular content upgrades without any price increase.
You see the point; find the ‘quick wins’ that will become your unique difference. Imagine you’re selling your product to a child who will only see simple, and attractive features.
Increasing customer value is a lifetime job for your business. People often bounce from creating one product to another, seeing results as a black and white, “it works or it doesn’t” thing. Listening to your audience and responding with targeted, real-life benefits is a simple way to make a long term impact.
Customer loyalty is built on a strong relationship. How do you maintain your unique difference with your clients?