Product value refers to the benefits the product offers to the target customers. A product's overall value is based on how well it meets or exceeds customers' expectations. Product value directly affects pricing strategy and design. Prioritizing, improving targeting, and brand messaging are all dependent on the product value.
Value-added selling has been a popular concept for many years. Though a lot of people claim to have invented it or brands claim to have used it, most are not able to replicate success from the past. This is due to a complete focus on only driving down price, which has been the only way experts have handled adding value in the past.
Whether it be a product or a service, virtually anything can be made more affordable by removing value-added components. But here is the problem? You cannot sell high margin sales when you are only selling "price", and high margin sales are where profitability, long-term growth, and sales success come from. Further, thinking of customers in a purely monetary fashion is a thing of the past. In recent times, customers have shown that they are more than willing to pay a premium that reduces stress, provides great support, and can add substantial tangible and intangible benefits to their every day.
No matter what you sell, here are 9 ways you can add value to your product or service. People often argue by saying you don't understand, my product is different, or my services are different. The truth is that everything can have value added to it. Here are 9 specific ways you can do it.
01. Offering Expert Advice
Consultants, accounting firms, and medical professionals are often paid handsomely for their expertise. Sales professionals, however, must provide advice that is more sophisticated and valuable than that offered by their competitors in order for it to be regarded as valuable.
How do you make your advice better than the rest in the market? The simplest way is using analytics. Data doesn’t lie, but it can definitely give you a biased side of the story. Having an analytics solution or platform to give insights from data, will help you formulate actionable business advice that will help you stand out from what the competition has to offer.
This can be taken one step further with data storytelling. Where you use the same data to show your customers the big and small picture, by showcasing the different stories data creates, in an easy-to-understand manner.
02. Bundling and packaging
This isn't just about how your product appears. It's also about how you can create desirable packages, different purchasing levels, and a series of added benefits that will significantly enhance its value and make it a whole lot more valuable than it would otherwise have been.
An easy way to do this is to add analytics to your product itself. The need for analytics has grown exponentially over the past years, and one form of analytics is not enough. Customers expect to see data in every product at every step of the way so they can evaluate how best to spend their resources.
The only question that now remains is would you build your own analytics or buy it from a third party? That would entirely depend on your needs.
03. Customer Service
By providing different levels of service based on a company’s size, frequency, or amount of purchases, you will be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. You may wish to have gold, platinum, and silver levels of service that people can qualify for and are able to receive. But that is extremely simplistic and doesn’t always meet the needs of your customers.
The best way to go about differentiating your customer service is by starting with your customer. You have to segment your customers based on common characteristics that go beyond just common demographics. Look at usage, product loyalty, brand recognition, active feedback, and more. Having set customer management KPIs helps make this analysis easier and gets you to the customer insights you need quicker. This ensures that any customer service changes, segments or packages you make are based on data and not just monetary value.
04. High purchase or adoption
The more people purchase from you, the more valuable your service, pricing, benefits, and related items become to them. For example, credit card companies and airlines partner to offer consumers added value through frequent flyer miles on an airline.
Though this is a great strategy for B2C customers, it doesn't actively translate to the B2B market. This is because most B2B purchases are annual or bi-annual contracts. Shorter more frequent purchases can indicate higher churn which is not good.
So for the B2B market, we look at another metric, adoption rate. The more integrated your product is with the everyday functioning for a higher number of people in the organization, the more indispensable it gets. This increases your product value in the eye of the users and will ensure contracts are renewed for longer time periods.
05. Transition and deployment
Whenever new customers are brought on board with your organization, you must provide them with action or transition teams so that they can better utilize the products and services that you sell. The more knowledge they have about those products or services, the better able they will be to utilize them. Though having someone guide them through the product is good, a process to facilitate and reward self-learning is better.
The major upside of providing resources to new customers and encouraging them to learn on their own is improved autonomy. They become familiar with your product faster and thus start to see value quicker. Further, lack of help in the future will not be a bottleneck unless it is a major product issue. See how you can utilize various resources to achieve this.
06. Don’t discriminate
In the past, it was common to provide qualitative services. This means that based upon someone's level of purchase, involvement or interaction, you provide a higher quality of products, which gives them a greater opportunity to be treated better than the run-of-the-mill customer happens to be. But that is now an outdated practice.
You must aspire to provide the same level of service to every customer irrespective of the monetary gain attached to this, since focusing on only monetary limits insights and doesn't allow us to see the full picture. There are a lot of intangible assets related to customers and customer satisfaction, such as reviews, scalability of the company, customer loyalty and more. A deeper understanding of customer value will help gain a better understanding of why all customers must be treated equally.
07. Constant upgrades
You can have a great product that is flying off the shelves right now, but it cant be guaranteed that it will always be the case. If you let your products stagnant, there are bound to be competitors who come slang with a new and improved version. This is why you need to constantly upgrade and update your product.
The best way to do this is using customer feedback. Ask your users the following questions:
- What do you like about the product?
- What do you dislike about the product?
- What would you add to the product?
- How would you make the product better?
- Are you still satisfied with the product?
08. Quick delivery
You can differentiate yourself by guaranteeing on-time delivery or faster delivery. With the world changing rapidly and the need for change growing every minute, customers have come to expect more. With the coming of Amazon, the expectation of faster delivery is basically standard practice. It might be difficult to control the delivery time of physical products, but the deployment of SaaS solutions is completely in the hands of the company.
No matter how complex your SaaS product is, you need to be able to deploy the product and make sure users gain value from it in less than 2 months. This comes down to streamlining your product information, delivering it in the right order and showing users where and how they can find the most value. At Toucan we are able to deploy our analytics solution in 1-2 weeks, with users seeing value within a month.
09. Keep Customers in the Loop
Regular newsletters (electronic or printed) updating customers on key and important information is something you might want to consider. This is a great practice not just to upsell or introduce new products. You can use it as a platform to deliver industry news, making sure your customers view your company as a leader in the industry. Keeping up with its ever-changing landscape. Further, it keeps your brand in the front of their mind. So they will come to you as soon as they have needs related to your product or service.
Each of these 9 methods can be applied to add more value to your product. No doubt, it requires creativity, innovation, and a willingness to work harder than your competitors. But continually think about these 9 steps to ensure you always stay ahead of the curve. And the best way to keep track of your growth, your customers and the health of your business, in the long run, is with a great analytics platform.