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5 tips to increase customer value.

Adding value is more than just a marketing buzzword. As consumers are rapidly becoming more critical and well-informed, they are looking for more than just a product. They want a brand they can identify with. An experience. But how do you manage to provide a good experience? Your product might be seen as a commodity, but that doesn’t mean you cannot add value to keep your customers close. Here are a few tips that you can use to add value, regardless of your product.

ADDED VALUE IS CONVENIENCE

We cannot stress its importance enough. The consumer is looking for something and doesn’t have time to sit down and figure out how your ordering system works. Aside from your ordering system, take a look at your product as well. Is there something that you can change to make usage more convenient?

Let’s use something we all know as an example: sliced bread. It was slightly more expensive than non-sliced bread, but how often do you still buy non-sliced bread or even see it in the stores? Probably not too often. Sliced bread has become a new standard. Why would you go through the hassle of slicing it yourself if you can get it sliced for a few cents?  Try to find your product’s equivalent of sliced bread.

 

ADDED VALUE IS CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer service is one of your main retention tools. Keeping your existing customers happy will not only result in them staying loyal to your brand, but they might just start promoting it to their friends as well. Going the extra mile when it comes to customer service will help you stand out from the crowd.

Let’s stick with bread for our example, or bakeries in this case. Even a bakery can have varying degrees of customer service. Some are self-serving, others will help you with a smile and then there are those bakeries that go above and beyond. Customer service can be found in small things. Are you tired of kids crying while their parents wait in line? Then why not hand out free fresh bread crusts for them to munch on? Every other customer can now relax and the parents are happy that you think about their child.

ADDED VALUE IS BRAND IMAGE

Brand image is as old as brands itself, but that doesn’t mean that it no longer has a place in today’s businesses. Your brand image is the way your consumers perceive you. Do not mistake brand image for brand identity, which is what you want to be. In the best-case scenario, this is one and the same. Image can be built in many ways. How do you communicate and advertise? What imagery do you use? What is your packaging like? The list goes on.

One of the leading examples of brand image is Apple. Their image and identity have been perfectly aligned since the start. Apple laptops might not be the strongest devices out there, but their image of creativity, luxury and design help them sell their laptops for a much higher price than other brands could even dream of. This doesn’t mean that going for design and luxury is the only way to go. There are plenty of positionings that are possible, you just have to find the one that works for you and for your customers.

ADDED VALUE IS BEING UNIQUE

Is there something that sets you apart from the competition? If so, this differentiating factor can be used to provide more value to your customers. Some simple creativity can go a long way. Set up a few campaigns or activities about what makes you so different. Focus on providing an experience that they can get nowhere else. If you’re having trouble finding your unique proposition, have a look at these for some inspiration.

One type of store that has been going through a revival thanks to their uniqueness, are bookstores. Bookstores were under an enormous pressure from online retailers. Now, they are combating the fierce competition by using their unique atmosphere. Sure, you might have to wait a bit longer if you order it with them, but the reader that is looking for something extra will gladly go to a physical bookstore. Bookstores are slowly becoming central hubs of reading enthusiasts, with little in-store events popping up.

ADDED VALUE IS BEING FAST

This item is something that is less important than the previous four. You should focus on getting those right first and then slowly optimize your processes. Your service can be perfectly catered to every need of your customer, but if they need it within three days and it takes you a week to deliver the product, then they still won’t buy from you. But it’s not just delivery, it’s in the conversation as well. The faster you can reply to comments online, the better. It helps keep the conversation about your business alive, which is exactly what you want. 

Let’s go back to those bookstores for a moment. Being slower than the competition is one of the main reasons why bookstores were struggling in the first place. If you wanted a book that was harder to find, you could order it online and get it in less than half the time than it would take for the bookstore to order it for you. People started ordering online since it was faster and more convenient. However, just being the fastest is no longer enough. That’s why this element is the last thing you should focus on when you want to add value for your customer.

THE ESSENCE OF ADDED VALUE

No matter which tip you are going to apply, the content will play a huge role in your journey to add value for your customers. If you want to be convenient, having the right information and the right blogs will help you out. If you want to focus on customer service, then you need to have your social media in check. Brand image is built by being consistent with your content and finally, being unique will provide you with original content.

But what about being fast? When it comes to content, being fast is only important when you have a top topical on your hands. In these cases, you need to be able to post something before the end of the day. But with the help of your CMS, that shouldn’t be a problem for you. With Magento Readiness Assessment you will be able to check as well how your code and product information is relevant when you are fast. 

As long as you keep these five things in mind as you make business decisions, you will always add value to your customer. That means that you will be well on your way towards a more loyal customer base.