Last week’s article was about respecting your customers. If you missed it, you can find it here.
Today, we’ll be talking about extreme value.
Your customer’s bottom line
All your customer cares about is one thing: What’s in it for me?
In most, if not all, cases, your customer is looking to fill a desire or need. Generally, he has a problem that needs solving, an itch that needs scratching or a longing that needs fulfilling.
The only way you’ll win his heart is to offer extreme value.
What does that mean? It means you’re more interested in solving his problems than in making money off of him.
Fortunately, perception is reality
You and I both know you’re in business to make money. But extreme value isn’t about giving away the farm. It’s about making your customer feel like he’s found a gold mine.
The truth is, you can put your customer first without sacrificing your own needs. After all, loyal, paying customers are your source for everything you need.
With that in mind, here are six principles for offering extreme value to your customers…
1. Don’t cut corners.
Too many vendors find ways to cut costs at the expense of the customer. It’s gotten to the point that your customers almost expect to be cheated. Don’t add to their frustration. Be the safe haven where they know they’ll be treated right.
As my father used to say, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
2. Deliver more than they expect.
There’s no glory in doing what you promised. If you want to stand out from the crowd and win your customer’s heart, give him more than he asked for.
It may be a simple gesture, like a discount on his next purchase or a gift card to his favorite coffee shop. It may be much more, like giving away a little something you’d usually charge for, just because he needs it.
Whatever it takes, make sure your customers walk away feeling like they got more than they paid for.
3. Give as much as you get.
Your customer doesn’t trust businesses and half-expects them to take advantage of him. Though he hopes for an equal transaction, he wouldn’t be surprised if you tried to sway it in your favor. Somehow.
Always take time to get inside the head of your customers. When they buy your product or service, what do they really want? Do your best to give it to them — even if it makes things unequal in their favor.
4. Look for ways to help them save money and still get results.
You know your industry better than your customers do. Don’t wait for them to ask the magic question before they get the information they need.
Be proactive. If you know how they can meet their needs in a more efficient or cost-effective way, be honest. Tell them. What you’ll earn in goodwill will more than offset your loss in profits.
5. Never have an agenda.
Your ONE agenda needs to be your customers’ complete satisfaction. If your advice comes off as self-serving, you’ll lose points. And very likely, their business.
6. Think about them even when you’re “off the clock.”
Let’s say you’re browsing the net and you see a blurb about a previous customer in the news. Send her the link. Or you know your customer loves a particularly hard-to-find candy, and you just happen to see it. Get it for him.
Don’t wait for tradition “gift giving” moments such as Christmas or the beginning or end of a project. Show your customers that you think about them even when they’re not paying you to think about them, and you’ll win their hearts.
photo credit: kenteegardin