How to Make Your Business Indispensable to Customers
The world of business revolves around the concept of value. How much you are asking for in exchange for what you can offer. On the customer’s side, it would be a question of how worthwhile your offer is, to begin with, and if it’s even worth their time. Your job is to make consumers feel like they can’t live without what you are offering.
Easier said than done.
The challenge to this proposition is to know what consumers want, in the first place. Figuring this out is one of the first steps to optimizing your business and what it offers.
This would also allow you to actually have something of value to offer. After that, it’s about creating an operation that will be based on reproducing the success you gain consistently.
Business and Value
The topic of value can be a tricky affair when it comes to business. When discussing this from a business-centric point of view, it helps to divide it into two categories. There’s perceived value, which is how valuable customers believe something is. And then there’s intrinsic value, which is how valuable a given product or service actually is.
The former is often dictated by marketing, social perceptions, culture, and brand reputation, among other things. The latter is influenced by functionality, design, material quality, convenience, and more.
Different enterprises often have a different approach in how they capitalize on their offer’s value. Some run sublime marketing campaigns to boost their sales like Apple. A few rely solely on the quality of their offers and simply letting word of mouth do the advertising for them like Tesla Motors.
Whatever their differences, however, those two examples have one thing in common; They give customers what they want.
They might be catering to slightly different demographics, but with the demographics that they ARE catering to, they are doing a spectacular job. A big part of this is due to the fact that they actually know what to offer their customers. This allows them to optimize their offers if not necessarily their operations in Tesla’s case.
Optimizing Your Business Offers for Maximum Success
A big part of running a successful business is knowing how to maximize your offer’s value to your consumers. There are several options available to you, but one that you absolutely must take advantage of is talking directly to customers.
Ask them what they want so you can give it to them.
This is a method that has been tried and tested over the decades and has produced reliable results. Even with that, however, a surprising number of businesses don’t do it nearly enough.
It’s a crucial part of a smart growth strategy and should be treated with greater significance.
For the most part, it also speaks to a more empathetic approach when dealing with consumers. Remember that they are not simple figures on a spreadsheet to be written off as mere statistics.
This isn’t to say that accurate record-keeping has no place in running a business. But neither does forgetting that your customers have thoughts, emotions, wants, and needs. To show that you actually care about those things is a natural part of being a service or product provider.
More importantly, actually asking your customers yields a significant number of benefits, including:
- Insights into consumer habits and preferences
- Opportunities to take advantage of shopping trends
- Building rapport with customers
- Gathering ideas from outside parties who are still involved in the business
- Receiving honest input and feedback regarding existing products and services
Suffice it to say, taking time to talk to your customers as part of your business practice is highly encouraged.
Creating An Optimized Business Operation
In many ways, running a business is all about optimization. You do this by creating a business operation that runs on a smartly designed system. The empathetic approach can be part of that system.
The whole thing starts by taking building an understanding between your business and your customers. From there, you can build products or services based on their input.
During the process, you can refine your approach so that you can begin to meet their needs on a more fundamental level. This process can revolve around the concept of value-led innovation.
This is where you are constantly evolving your offers based on what value they can give your customers. As a result, you stop focusing on only making things cheaper, shinier, or whatever other superfluous approaches for the sake of it.
What you do will be more specific and targeted, which will then result in more dependable outcomes and based on real value. It’s a collaborative process where you and your customers essentially co-create offers that actually sell.
Doing this builds a deeper level of trust, as well. More importantly, it unshackles you from more myopic and narrow views. As a result, you become more open to new possibilities and what the competition does or accomplishes will stop being your benchmark for success.
This is easier said than done, but it’s worth the effort of actually implementing. It can be challenging to adhere to value-led innovation since it involves having a certain kind of mindset. Much of this has to do with the prevalence of the opposite kind of attitude in the business industry: Make as much money as possible in whatever way possible.
What you are aiming for with value-led thinking is to direct your business’ overall strategy development away from that. The goal is to then create operational, resource and go-to-market dependencies based on that direction.
In summary, optimizing your business operations and growth model for maximum success requires a stronger relationship between you and your customers. To do that, we would recommend following the simple steps below:
- Talk to your customers on a regular basis and understand if your product is meeting their needs.
- Have an empathetic viewpoint when you talk to your clients, knowing they are trying to solve a problem or achieve something with the use of your product or service.
- Think in the context of value -ed innovation. For example, how far are you willing to extend your product or service, based on the value it provides to your customer? This could be new features, additional services, an on-boarding process, or just an increase or change in the way you communicate.
This is not a silver bullet approach, by any means. However, it can produce much more reliable results that provide more control for you.