What Should You Know to Deliver Value to Customers?
How do you deliver value to customers? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others, and better understand the world.
Knock Customer Service Expectations Out of the Park
Lucky you. Customers have very low expectations when it comes to being served through your customer service department. Chalk it up to long hold times for phone service and incompetent service reps.
Go beyond expectations to provide fast and effective service. Wean your customer service reps off that canned script and empower them to solve customers’ problems. Consider adding social media or chat to your channels so customers can contact you in the ways they’re most comfortable.
Delight Them with Gifts
If you’ve ever received an unexpected token of appreciation from a company you do business with, you know the pleasure you experienced. Don’t you want that for your customers? The item doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be anything from a handwritten birthday card to a box of cookies at Christmas. Even an anniversary discount email can work.
Give Them the Content They Want
Everyone’s looking for content online, and it’s exhausting trying to find it sometimes. But as a brand, you have the opportunity to provide additional value to your customers by offering free white papers, blog posts, ebooks, and more. HubSpot is well-known for free white papers and research, and you don’t even have to be a customer to access them!
Send Emails They Want to Open
Think about the hundreds of branded emails that flood your inbox each day. Which ones do you actually open, and why do you open them? I’m willing to bet they deliver some sort of valuable content that you care about. The rest is just noise. Knowing who your customers are and the types of content they want can help you deliver more value…and keep them coming back for more.
Leverage CRM in a Meaningful Way
There’s so much rich data in small business CRM, and it’s there for the taking. You can use this information to track customer data as well as their behaviors online so that you can respond and take action. If you see a customer recently acquired another company, you can be first in line with your congratulations. If you see a customer talking to your competitors on social, you can step in and see why they’re considering switching providers and potentially nip it in the bud.
It’s easy to just lump a company into…well, a company. But your company is made up of lots of interesting people. Customers are people, not companies. Make sure all your messaging, from social media updates to emails, is personal. It’s perfectly acceptable for Sally in customer service to talk about her shared interest in Hunger Games with a customer. When Sally relates to the customer on a personal level, she leaves a far more positive impression of your business.
Ask What They Want
What better way to find out how you can effectively market to existing customers than to ask what they want? Send out a survey asking what features they’d like added to your products, or what they would improve about your company if they could. You’ll get valuable feedback you can use to improve your brand.
If you know a customer buys the same product every month, consider sending her a special offer where she can get that product plus an additional one for a slight increase in cost. This is a fantastic way to sell some of those items that aren’t moving out of your inventory and get customers to try other products.
Help Your Customers Succeed
This is especially valid in the B2B world, where sometimes customers come to us for one product but don’t realize what else we offer. When you have conversations with customers about their big-picture needs, you often find other ways you can help them. If you can’t help directly, you can bet they’ll appreciate a recommendation to someone who can.
Perceived value goes far beyond just price. People are willing to pay more for your products or services when they see they get more benefits and superior customer service from you.
Contributed by Sal Leto, Experienced & Certified ICT/Business Professional