5 Steps to Improving your Added Value Offering for your Customer

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Customer retention is becoming harder and harder due to an increasingly competitive market place and a change in consumer wants and needs. Often businesses can get carried away with attracting new customers and take their eye off the customers they already have, leaving them frustrated and going elsewhere, after all you aren’t the be all and end all, there are plenty of companies that do want your customers custom.
With this in mind it is important to add value to a product or service in order to engage and retain those valuable customers.
1. Have a clear value proposition & offer
Before commencing any value added activity, you must firstly, determine your value proposition and offer. Forbes suggests a four step approach to build a compelling value proposition. This involves defining the value proposition, evaluating it and measuring the potential adoption by your customers. Finally the fourth stage is building your value proposition.
2. Take the time to build relationships with your customers
First thing is first, do not assume your customers will stay with you forever. This may have been the case 30 years ago, however times have now changed so think of the customer life cycle like you would a product life cycle. Understand that relationships do not happen overnight and that they take time. A customer needs to be able to trust you and this is done through relationship building with your existing customers and new.
3. Add a personal touch
How well do you really know your customer? Tracking software such as Google Analytics has given us a greater insight into our customers than ever before, so how can you use this? Collect data to shape your value proposition and use them to send directed communications. This could be secret sale emails only sent to your most loyal customers or early sale viewing opportunities.
You have the tools, use them! Consumers are receiving more communications than ever via multiple channels. You can imagine how difficult it is for your message to get through. Add a personal touch to your communications, this could be adding there first name to emails or even sending them a birthday message. Personalisation shows you have put in time and effort and that you care. This will build a rapport with your customers and most importantly it will build trust.
4. Go the extra mile
Going the extra mile for a customer can turn them from a one stop shopper to a loyal customer. Ensure your customer service team are fully trained and I mean they don’t just know the basic product knowledge, go that extra step. Inform them on what you could wear a turquoise jumper with and where you could wear it. Nothing should ever be too much when it comes to helping a customer. This will leave a great brand image of your company in the customers mind and will encourage loyalty.
5. Be responsive
Being responsive to customers is absolutely vital to maintain brand strength and customer relationships. React to customers as quickly as possible. Most have a reply within 24 hours policy others may be longer, but let them know.
This applies to negative feedback and comments as well. Social media has made it easier for customers to air their views than ever before. It is not uncommon for a customer to ring a store to complain, not have it dealt with in the appropriate manner and tweet there disappointment. This can be so damaging to your brand if it is not dealt with quickly and correctly.
These five steps will get you on your way to providing added value to your customers. Remember relationships are not built over night, they take time. However they can be broken in a matter of seconds if they are not treated the right way.

Katherine Johnson
Katherine writes advice articles for small businesses and start ups. She advises on branding within the textile industry as well as contributing to GB Labels blog.

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