You’ll build stronger bonds and increase customer loyalty when you focus on creating value
Your customers don’t owe you anything.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but right now it’s truer than ever.
At a time when people may have less money than usual, they’re paying much closer attention to what they’re spending. They’re reassessing their shopping habits, subscription services, monthly memberships, and more.
The problem with pivoting
Many companies have spent a large part of 2020 reevaluating how they do business. Pivoting to online services has been successful for most, but poses new challenges.
Take a small furniture store as an example. Over several years, they’ve worked hard to build up a loyal customer base of local homeowners. As a “non-essential business” forced to temporarily close their doors, they quickly scrambled to set up an e-commerce website so they could sell their products online.
Great! Now their local customers can view and buy new furniture from the comfort of their own home. But in doing so, the furniture store has dramatically increased its competition to include every other online furniture retailer. The danger? Now their once-loyal customers have many, many more shopping options available to them—and they’re all only a few clicks away.
The same is true for gyms, yoga studios, and personal trainers. By pivoting to online fitness sessions, they can continue to serve their customers—but they’re now competing with every other similar business that’s done the same, as well as all the other online fitness platforms that existed long before the pandemic.
Instead of expecting that people will remain loyal to your business, brands must work harder than ever to create value for customers. You must keep them coming back by offering them something amazing they won’t be able to find anywhere else.
What is customer value?
Simply put, customer value is “the perception of what a product or service is worth to a customer versus the possible alternatives.” 
Value doesn’t just come down to the quality of your service vs. how much you charge for it. For your customers, it’s also about non-price factors, such as:
- The time and energy you save them
- The convenience you provide them with
- How your brand’s reputation makes them feel, and
- How they can benefit from your expertise.
When you work to create value for customers that’s beyond the norm, you build stronger ties that will be harder for them to break in the future.
The result? You’ll give your customers such a great experience that they’ll want to continue doing business with you, even when times are tough.
How to do it
Here are our top recommendations on how to create value for customers.
- Listen to them
As customers, we love to feel like we’re being heard! Statistics back this up: 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they proactively invite and accept customer feedback. 
To help your customers feel listened to, send out an email survey or ask them to hop on a quick 5-minute phone call with you. Invite them to tell you what they need right now, any new pain points they have, and how you can serve them better.
Not only will this help your customers feel appreciated, you’ll also gain great insight into any areas you may need to improve.
- Give, give, give (without asking anything in return)
Offering relevant content with no strings attached is key to creating value. Companies that stand out are the ones that regularly create and share useful resources—how-to guides, e-books, checklists, videos, and so on—with their customers without asking for anything in return.
You could also invite your customers to free educational events that you organize or participate in, such as webinars, seminars, and forums.
- Make them feel special
Hands up who loves a perk! To create value, think about offering something exclusive to your customers. Loyalty programs, insider discounts, and “first looks” at new products all work well to make your customers feel special and more connected to your brand.
- Put them in the spotlight
Another great way to create value for customers is to invite and reward their participation. With a little nurturing, they’ll quickly become your best advocates!
Some simple ideas to get your customers talking about you:
- Put on a giveaway
- Host a naming contest for a new product
- Share user-generated content
- Feature customer reviews.
By putting your customers in the spotlight, you’ll both foster goodwill towards your business and also build excitement about your brand that can attract new customers.
When you focus on creating ongoing value for your customers, you’ll build stronger bonds, increase loyalty, and forge relationships that can withstand even troubling times like these.
As a leading Orlando branding and digital marketing agency, we have over 16 years of experience helping businesses communicate effectively and demonstrate their value to both new and existing customers.
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