In today’s competitive landscape, businesses increasingly need to find new ways to stand out and retain their customers. One way to do this is to provide added value. How? By offering your customers something extra that they wouldn’t expect or get from your competitors. Why? Because it’s useful to them and inspires brand loyalty. This can take many forms including other free or discounted products, personalised customer service or useful resources related to your product or service. In providing this added value you can drive brand loyalty and even increase your revenue.
I encountered added value in the wild, which is to say ‘in real life’ recently when I was buying houseplants at a local independent shop. At the till, the owner of the business handed me printouts of care instructions for the plants I had purchased. I thought this was a great idea – by helping me take the best care of my new purchases, the owner was not only enhancing my buying experience but also inspiring brand loyalty in me too. Why would I go anywhere else when I was getting such a personalised and helpful service from this plant shop?
I actually then replicated this experience online for one of my ecommerce clients who sells houseplants. Now when someone buys a plant on my client’s website – they’ll also have the opportunity to download a free PDF of care instructions too.
Here are 4 reasons why giving your customers added value drives brand loyalty and revenue:
1. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Added value, especially when it’s instantly provided leads to increased customer satisfaction. It’s why lots of insurance advertising has the term ‘as standard’ repeated within it. It demonstrates to the prospect that the added value is baked in. Happy customers are often loyal ones, loyal customers come back and spend with you so consider what added value your customers would appreciate best and start offering it!
2. Gain the Competitive Advantage
Offering added value can be key in differentiating yourself from your competitors and therefore gaining the competitive edge over them. Ikea differentiates itself from it’s competitors by offering everything someone needs to furnish their home under one roof at an affordable price point. It does this by making most of it’s furniture flat-pack, with buyer assembly required. They have a number of added value schemes in their business model that keeps people coming back – such as their circular hub where customers can sell their second-hand IKEA furniture back to them and get money off their next purchase in-store. By adding value to your target audience’s life, you can become the go-to business for a particular product or service.
Lots of businesses are already offering added value in order to position themselves as a credible authority within their field – particularly in the form of podcasts and email newsletters.
3. The Power of Positive Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations
As consumers, we are always seeking social proof when it comes to our purchases. We trawl through testimonials or we ask our friends and family for the best companies they’ve purchased from- especially when it comes to parting with large sums of our hard-earned cash. Consider each of these reviews:
“Tony’s Cabs are always on time,”
“Tony’s Cabs are always on time and they even help me carry my shopping from the car to my front door.”
The ‘and’ is what might convince us to choose this taxi provider over another – because they’ve demonstrated added value by going the extra mile for their clients. What do you want your customers to say about you to their family and friends?
4. Better Customer Retention
By adding value, you can retain more customers who will help you to grow your revenue. This is essential for the long-term success of your company. It doesn’t always have to be something separate or on the side to add value either – it can be built into your product or service. It may just be your unique selling point – something you have over or do better than your competitors. The value of added value is nowhere more evident than in a product or a service that we all need in our everyday lives.
Take toilet paper for example. The added value lies in the comfort, the ply amount, whether it’s sustainably sourced and even if it smells nice. Once we find a brand that offers our preferences in these areas, we are loyal to it – because we don’t want to risk below-par toilet paper.
How You Can Add Value to Your Customers
Whether you’re in the business of selling products or services, there are lots of ways you can give your customers and prospects added value. Here are a few ideas:
- Write regular blogs on topics your target audience cares about – help them solve problems, and understand your field, products or services better
- Produce informative or helpful content – guides, how-tos, resource signposting or crib sheets
- Host your own or appear on podcasts related to your field
- Meaningfully align with their values through action
- Offer exclusive or discounted access to your other products or services
- Build it into your product – how does it differ from your competitors?
- Have excellent customer service
- Never stop learning – attend courses and conferences, read around your subject, and seek out industry news!
- Offer convenience – how fast can you post something or be available to supply a service?
- Offer a loyalty and/or referral scheme to reward custom and word-of-mouth recommendations
As my experience in the plant shop and our attitude when it comes to buying toilet paper shows, giving your customers added value is an effective way to drive brand loyalty and revenue. It can increase customer satisfaction, give you a competitive edge and increase loyalty and retention.
I hope this has prompted some ideas on how you can add further value to your customers’ lives – do get in touch if you need any help in making them a reality!
Let me know your thoughts or questions on added value below!