This month we are breaking down the 4 consumer trends for 2018, as released recently by Mintel. There is no doubt these trends will affect small business owners and the way you do business, so we are going to help you stay at the forefront of business and planning by breaking it down.
Trend No 1 was Trust Funding, and you can read that article HERE.
Trend No. 2 – The Value Equation
Value means different things to different people, and it almost always depends on the transaction. The perception of value in an everyday consumer item is a much simpler monetary equation than the value in the purchase of say, a home, a holiday or ongoing service.
The value equation is explained in this visual - value equals a customers perceived benefit divided by the cost of the product or service. So whilst cost is always part of the equation, what is equally important is the "perceived benefit" that you are giving your customer in the product or service, such as quality, exclusivity, convenience, range, prestige and so on.
How do you improve your customer value to grow your business?
- Know your customer – what does value look like to them?
Consider what’s important to your customer and how your product or service will benefit them. What problem does it solve, how will it help them overcome obstacles or improve their life? Many businesses miss the boat by focusing on features instead of benefits. By shifting your focus to providing content and results that focus on your customers’ needs you can provide them real value.
- What is your value proposition compared to competitors?
Do you know what your USP (Unique selling point) is? These are your unique attribute/s that make you stand out from the competition and give customers a reason to come to you, and they are almost never monetary. It could be your service, your expertise, your staff, convenience, exclusivity, design, or any other unique attribute that adds value for your customer. Know what your value proposition is and focus on it, promote it and capitalise on it. (Learn more about USP's in this video with Brett Burden)
- Consistently work to improve customer satisfaction
This one seems obvious... but do you have a structure in place within your business to ensure that customer service is consistently being improved upon? Customer service and customer satisfaction are areas where if you are not actively moving forward then you're going backward. So whether it be through feedback forms, customer followup or other measures, it's important to track how you are performing for your customers and implement improvements where necessary.
- Focus your efforts on your most valuable customers.
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 principle? (you can learn more about it with Brett Burden HERE). It is often the case that a business can make 80% of it's turnover from the top 20% of its customers or clients. So if that could be the case, are you focussing your efforts in the right area? How many of your customers make your top 80% in sales? Is there anything you can do to provide extra value, or better value, to your top customers?
It's a good idea to do a regular 'health check' to ensure that you are providing your customers with the best value you possibly can, in line with their needs and expectations. Give them every reason to keep coming back to you instead of going to the competition!
If any of these points have resonated with you, you can contact us at Action Centre, and we’ll go through your current business structure with you to see how you're tracking with your numbers, your operations, and your customer value proposition, just for starters. We can show you on our system where your business needs focus and give you the tools to help you get there.
You’ll find having an Action Centre business coach is just like having a marketing manager, sales team leader, trainer and recruitment specialist - wrapped in one - all for one nominal investment. We are the business partner you need without sharing your profits - with over 60 years of collective coaching experience to keep you on track and accountable for your own success.
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