Value-added services can give your product or service an edge over the competition, and while they are no longer a secret weapon, they can help cement your relationship with your customers.
Value-added services are generally marketed as premium features and add-ons to basic core functions. Although they can operate on a stand-alone basis, they are used by companies in order to stimulate demand for core services.
Value-added brainstorming springboards
Sometimes basic information sparks more creativity than specific examples. With that in mind, here are three helpful springboards for generating value-added product or service ideas:
1). Assess your customers’ experience. Think about what happens in peripheral of the product or service. Was the ordering process practical? Were any flaws addressed and corrected? How was the customer service? Boosting your customer experience efforts can add value with little, to no cost.
2). Know your customers. It used to be that value-added was beyond what was expected, but the real lesson is simply to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. The more you truly understand how your clients use your product, the more productive you will be in developing value-based add-ons.
3). Harvest and process feedback. It’s unlikely that you’ll know enough to fuel the previous two springboards without quality feedback from your customers. Sometimes your staff will be able to tell you what’s causing the most customer frustration, or satisfaction. Simple online customer surveys can also be helpful. The very act of reviewing your customers’ critique is likely to manifest a lengthy list of added value ideas. nexVortex undertakes an annual survey of our base each year specifically first this purpose – to understand what is working and where we need to improve.
5 areas to focus your thinking for value-add
Here are five areas to consider when determining how to add value to your products or services.
1). Packaging. There are two completely different prongs to this one: the box, and the bundle. The box is simply how the item is delivered – is the packaging aesthetically pleasing or potentially useful for storage or other purposes? The bundle prong involves offering a discount for buying more than one item at a time – typically products that work together. Amazon is a master at this by showing the buyer their product along with a list of items which others purchased along with the main product.
2). Expediency. If you can deliver your product or service faster than your competitor, and if that is important to the customer — guess what: you’ve added some value. Having written that, there’s a fine line between efficient and inferior. Being more focused on fast than good is how airlines end up stranding their customers on the tarmac.
3). Being a partner. Being a partner means being authentic, showing interest in their business, advocating for them, and doing the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing. This builds trust which is extremely important in any relationship.
4). Customer rewards programs. This tried and true approach has been in service to airlines and hotels for decades. The psychology behind it is simply: it makes patronizing a company feel like putting money in a savings account.
5). Personalized service. For the average consumer, it’s nice not having to provide their entire backstory with a company each time they call in. Familiarity breeds comfort – comfortable clients tend to be loyal. A company which has made its hallmark in the insurance business with this approach is USAA which was recently named as one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune Magazine.
Value-added often drives innovation
At nexVortex we have been delivering cloud communication services for over 12 years. We began with SIP Trunking, followed closely with Hosted Voice service. As we served our customers, we heard them and the market asking for a better quality voice experience than what most vendors were offering over the public internet. That drove us to develop and deliver Managed SIP Trunking (mSIP) and Managed Hosted Voice (mHV), both of which deliver quality, availability, and visibility for cloud communications. While initially looking to add-value, our offerings grew into core products which now represent key growth areas for our business.
Contact nexVortex today and let’s discuss how our services can help you add-value and improve your customer’s communications experience.