We had a discussion among the Love Scott staff the other day about how businesses create value. When it comes time to pay a bill, you automatically measure the perceived value of that item against the price before handing over your money. If the value is considered less than the price tag, there are bound to be complications. But creating value is so much more than a product or service – it’s really about the entire experience.
When was the last time you walked away from a business transaction thinking, “WOW! That was worth every penny AND my time!” What was it that made you feel that way? Was it a unique product? Was it outstanding service? Most likely, you were “wowed” through the entire experience – from invitation to invoice. Or in this digital age, from log-on to log-off, because your website is certainly an extension of your brand’s perceived value.
Customer service/relations has changed a lot in the last decade with the emersion of social media in business. I still see ambiguity from business leaders to the idea of getting involved in social media marketing. While there’s definitely been a shift from the idea of social media being a “phase” to a general acceptance of it as a tool that will be around for awhile, many businesses are still not completely understanding the magnitude it can have in terms of hearing the customer, communicating with the customer, and improving customer service.
I faced it head-on a couple weeks ago when I innocently tweeted about trouble I was having with our postage machine. This is what I said:
I didn’t expect anyone to really care or even pay attention. Not five minutes later, I got this response from @PBCares:
It was, in fact, a Pitney Bowes machine, and long story short, there was a repairman in our office within 24 hours. Voila! Without even a phone call, Pitney Bowes made it clear that they noticed, appreciated our business, and valued us as customers. They created very real value. And my response was – WOW. Their Twitter handle is “@PBCares”, and they proved to me that they do.
As a necessary brand-building exercise, we are focusing on how we create value for our customers. From invite to invoice, do we go the extra step to help them understand the way we do things? Can we help them to feel more comfortable, even if it takes us a little out of our own comfort zones? When they get our invoice, do they scratch their heads or do they accept it knowing we created real value equal to the price on the paper?
So, how do you define value? How do you make sure your clients/customers are feeling valued? Put some thought into it and let us know what perceived value your customers should expect. Because at the end of the day, without value, what are you providing to your customers?
Andrea James, President / Public Relations Director
Tags: account management, ad agency, add value, advertising agency, Andrea James, communication, customer servive, Des Moines, Iowa, marketing, Pitney Bowes, Public Relations, response, Service, social media, Successful branding, Twitter, Value, value added, West Des Moines