What is value?


Hierarchy-of-Customer-Value

What is value?

Discussing why customers choose cheaper products and services with other plumbing professionals I discovered there is a huge discourse with the description of value. There are a surprisingly high number of professionals in the trades that do not understand what is perceived value, what an expectation is, and what is valuable to a customer. Many professionals have a difficult time understanding these things belong to the customer and we have very little to do with deciding what is important to a customer. You can suggest to the customer other things that they may consider value however if it is not value to them it is irrelevant.

At times it is confusing to decipher between value and what is an expectation. For some strange reason professionals will place an expectation as value and try to force a customer to believe that it is a value. Some examples of customer expectations; the customer expects the business to send out someone that is experienced. The customer expects the business to send a professional and have the ability to take care of the problem. The customer expects you to send a representative that is not an alcoholic, thief, drug user, or a felon. During the 1990s a gimmick was taught as a value, and that was wearing booties in a customer’s home. The professional wears the booties to protect the customer’s floors a superlative idea and concept. However, the customer expects you to protect their floors. They do not expect you to wear your muddy shoes and walk all over the carpet. The customer does not expect you to track and tar from the road all over their floors. The customer expects you to be a professional and not damage anything in their home. Another expectation that many professionals consider as value; is warranty and when a warranty is industry standard it is no longer value but may be valuable. An extended warranty could be considered a value to people who find a warranty valuable.

These are expectations they are not the value. However they may be valuable to the customer. These items should not be thought of as it value and presented in a different way than value. An expectation is something that a customer expects from any and all service providers. Expectation could be defined as value added. Adding expectations to the customer’s perceived value is very valuable, and adds to what the customer receives from you.

Value is perceived and the customer holds the key and determines what their value is. Each customer may and most likely will have a different idea or concept of what value is to them. The problem is service providers will guess what they believe the customer’s perceived value is and try to drive that as a reason to purchase products and services. When that value does not match or is aligned with the customer’s idea of value you limit your chances to help influence a decision to purchase your products and service. What happens is the customer and you are not Seeing Eye to eye or on the same level.

This increases the percentages that the customer will not understand your solution as being a best choice for him or her. The customer does not believe you’re on the same page and therefore you cannot possibly understand their wants, needs and desires. This leaves the responsibility of purchasing a product on the customer versus taking your recommendation.

The value of the customer determines the price he or she will pay. As the customer’s value perceived is met the concern about the dollar amount drops. This does not mean the physical amount drops what it means is the appearance of a high price equals out and value places more on what the customer believes they are receiving. To expect the customer to pay more because you didn’t damage the floor or countertop is counterproductive to what you provide. I do not’s know any service provider who was thanked or given more money because they did not damage a floor or countertop. Conversely I do know many service providers who have received large tips for doing a job well done and doing more than expected. As an example, at a restaurant I expect my drink to be delivered and refilled at some point. However if the waitress is at my table the minute I set my empty class down she has surpassed my expectations and has surpassed my perceived value of receiving a refill sometime.

What is value? How do you discover the customer’s perceived value? Frequently this is very difficult task for service providers to discover. The exact reason for its difficulty is the lack of understanding the difference between an expectation and perceived value. A fantastic way to discover the customer’s perceived value is to discover their motivation to get whatever they want completed. Judy could you tell me why you called me today? Joe what is driving you to get this completed today? Jody I understand that you have had a few service providers out here what prevented you from moving forward with them? Once you discover motive, you now can align your solution with the customer’s motivation to get it done. However if I as a service provider waltz into a customer’s home and just assume the customer wants to get it fixed because it’s broken or I can save them money on utilities. I would be wrong and pushing my version of value onto the customer.

Many times there are different circumstances that are forcing the customer to act and to take care of the problem today. Our job is to discover why. What if the reason to get it fixed is due to guests staying at their home. What if the wife finally put her foot down and told her husband to get it fixed today. What if they are getting ready to sell the house and it needs to get fixed in order to sell. What if they just won the lottery and now have the money to get it fixed. And none of these have anything to do with saving money, getting something that is broken fixed, and has nothing to do with my reasons. Design your solution with your customer’s reasons/motivation to get it taken care of today.

This leads us to what is valuable to a customer. When you have a customer that does not believe or have faith in warranties whether industry standard warranty or extended warranty it holds no value and is not valuable. Communication that is precise and concise is extremely valuable to the customer. When a customer understands the solutions presented to them he or she can now make a good choice. Information concerning the problem and solution is valuable. Valuable items may be considered the features of the product.

Learn the difference between value, expectations, and what is valuable to a customer and enjoy a more meaningful relationship with your customers. This will allow you to help your customer achieve and be more than just satisfied with your service, work, and products. Discover your customers perceived value and stop pushing what you believe is value to them. You will have a more enjoyable time with your customers and amazingly the customer will have a very enjoyable time with you.

http://www.practicebetterbusiness.com

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About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on June 29, 2013, in electrical sales, How to sell HVAC, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, practicebetterbusiness.com, Selling HVAC, Selling Plumbing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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