Value for Money - are you sure?
Whilst it is clearly true that the last 12 months have brought a degree of economic hardship for many – for others there has, perhaps surprisingly, been an upside.
For the high street customer, every shop window advertises bargain prices, special offers and discounts. It seems every day there is another retailer launching a sale, or restaurants and pubs offering tempting ‘meal deals’ such as all you can eat for a fiver or two courses for a set price, often inclusive of a drink as well.
In the commercial sector too, suppliers have been left competing for less business, resulting in both service and product providers being forced to take a close look at their sales ‘package’ to ensure they remain competitive and offer the best value. The net result means a better all-round offering for the business client.
Value for Money
Value for money is often described as a process by which the ‘three Es’ – economy, efficiency and effectiveness – are optimised. In short, it’s about getting the most out of goods and services you buy.
From the provider’s point of view it’s also an extension of the customer service relationship. It’s about making clients feel special and leaving them with the conviction that, at the very least, they have received what they ordered. Whatever the product, there will always be some element of customer service, even if it’s only P&P. It is possible to add value to what you do without necessarily cutting your prices – something that companies facing stiff competition may be tempted to do, to their cost.
More importantly, in these precarious times, a reputation for delivering excellent value for money and exceeding service expectations may be the deciding factor when it comes to making the decision between suppliers.
As the economy recovers, companies may struggle to cope with increased sales, particularly if they are now operating with fewer staff. However, with buyer expectations having already been raised, it is those companies who continue to add value who will profit most from the eventual upturn and gain a competitive edge.
I would be very interested to hear how you’ve managed to add value for your clients, and any tips you may have for staying ahead in the customer service stakes.