By Chuck Thomas / in VALCORT DNA / August 26, 2014
Can you think of the last time you were amazed by your experience as a customer? If it involved a product, its performance probably exceeded your expectations, time and time again. If it was a service, the personal contact most likely left you feeling like someone who matters, or amazed by the speed of service or the value you received for your money.
Are your customers amazed by their experiences with your company?
At The Valcort Group, we hear a lot of different answers from companies to this question, and through our Voice of the Customer research projects we know that there are very few customers who rave about the value they receive in goods and service.
We make it our job to help fill these gaps.
A great customer relationship is built on shared values and shared vision and it is supported by customers receiving tremendous value. But what we have found is this value is swamped by expectations if it is not delivered broadly by the company. By broadly, we mean what we call at Valcort “value delivered at every point of contact” #@EPOC.
The breadth is more important than you may think. Recently, we worked with a manufacturing company that is known for the quality of its products. In fact, they’ve done a good job nurturing their brands by focusing on the high quality, premium products. However, they didn’t spend much time or money on developing and feeding relationships with distributors and other customers. As a result of focusing so heavily on product quality and performance, the company left itself vulnerable to commoditization. Price became a primary point of discussion. Trust was determined solely by the company’s ability to deliver on a transaction—a specific product, on time, at a specific price.
There is so much more opportunity to grow when trust is built on a broader framework, a framework that includes value @EPOC, in which the nature and essence of customer relationships change from the traditional “buy it, make it, sell it” model to the forging of a mutually beneficial, growth-focused partnership with distributors and end users. Stronger, deeper relationships fuel organic growth.
To make this happen, an organization needs to rethink how it engages its customers. It will require that every employee will be actively participating in high trust, high engagement relationships both internally and externally. This begins with commitments by the organization’s leaders. As we did with the company mentioned above, we recommend that every member of the leadership team clarify the value that he or she will deliver in partnership relationships, and make a list of the specifics in that commitment. It’s not easy! But it is the crucial step in assuring that every department and every employee follow suit and begin defining the company as one that delivers value @EPOC.
As a result, you’ll have customers raving.