As described by Investopedia, value is the monetary, material, or assessed worth of an asset, good, or service. In the business-to-business (B2B) world, it’s what everyone desires. Think about it… let’s assume that your software-as-a-service (SaaS) business provides companies with customer relationship management (CRM) software. To gain and keep a competitive edge, you need a way for your software and services to stand out in a crowded market. And to do that you need to provide your customers with more value than your competitors. But this is where it can get tricky.
As your customers evolve, what and how much value they place on your products and services will fluctuate. This means that your business needs to evolve to meet the customer’s changing needs. One way to provide extra value is by improving your solutions, as well as developing new products and services. And for most B2B companies, this provides an added benefit by enabling them to build more solid customer relationships.
It’s true, businesses that nurture their customer relationships often turn fickle customers into loyal brand ambassadors. This creates a domino effect, where those customers recommend your business, enabling you to gain new customers, boost sales and increase revenue. But like anything else, building trust and creating a sense of value with your customers takes time. To help build the type of value that will pay for itself in dividends, we’ve provided five surefire practices and strategies.
- Learn About Your Customers
Like any relationship, the best way to create a connection is to take an interest. And that’s typically accomplished by asking questions and really listening to the responses. It’s up to you to make the first move and ask your customers about their business, industry challenges, and other pain points.
Here’s few topics you can use to start the conversation and find out about:
• Their main competitors and how they compare
• Their long- and short-term financial goals
• Any issues or disconnects that they are trying to resolve
• Their infrastructure and plans to improve efficiency
• The business’ culture
• How they measure performance and what incentives they provide
By learning more about your customers and the issues they are trying to resolve, you’ll be in a better position to develop solutions that will ease their pain points.
- Create Transparency
Providing value that delivers results is a top priority for virtually all companies. But remember failure does and will happen, and when it does it’s important for you to be transparent. Be sure to inform your customers of any failures or mishaps, but always get ahead of the problem first. This means that you first need a solid plan to ensure this type of problem will never happen again. Remember, where there’s a problem there’s always a solution that you can offer.
- Ask for Feedback
If you’re working on a project or already provided a solution to a known problem, be sure to ask your customers for feedback. By asking for feedback you’ll be able to gain insight on additional improvements that will help make your products or services even more appealing. Of course, asking for feedback and always thanking them for it will help nurture open communication. And the more your client sees your efforts in listening to their feedback, the more trust you’ll build.
- Be an Industry Leader
The last thing you want is for your customers to learn about new technologies and strategies before you do. Regardless of your industry, it’s your job to stay a step ahead. In as much as you’re trying to provide exceptional value, you won’t be able to if your knowledge of industry trends and changes lags behind that of your customers.
Staying ahead also means observing and becoming acquainted with your customers’ businesses. The more you watch, the more you’ll know which will help you to identify problems and anticipate issues. This will help put you ahead of your competition by creating the solutions that will curb problems even before they happen.
- Build Open Relationships
A direct way to learn how your customers feel about your business and your solutions is to ask them. More often than not, they’ll provide honest answers. However, even if the answer is negative, it’s something you can take on board to create a solution for.
Be sure to ask why they feel the way they do about your business and offerings and give them the chance to provide you with areas of improvement. With this information in hand, it’s up to you to make relevant changes. When your customers witness a change in the way you offer your products and services, you’ll see an increase in the value you’re providing and it will go a long way in building trust and strengthening customer relationships.
Whether you’re a professional service firm, small business owner, or mid-sized company, you can increase customer value at very little cost. All it takes is a bit of time and high-quality content that provides your customers with the value they are seeking. Want to take your small business to the next level? We have the five top tips that were developed with you in mind.
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