Think about the prominent characteristics of today's shopping experience:
- More "self-service" for the customers (that is, less staff on the floor.)
- Self check-out by the customer.
- Reduced in-store merchandise selection; "Just check our website."
- Limited in-store signage or knowledgeable staff.
- Presumptions that customers will search online for product information, reviews, etc.
- Automated, "menu-driven" phone systems replacing "real people."
- Are these providing more "convenience" for shoppers?
- Improving their shopping experience?
- Or – just shifting the work to them?!
Reflect for a moment on the definition of "value:"
VALUE: Benefits received, for the burdens endured.
It is important to ask: What benefit does your customer receive for the increased "burdens" they now endure?
Where is the "value" for the customer in that?! If you don't have a good answer, you are at risk of losing those customers.
Want to have a true competitive edge?
Start by understanding what your best customers consider the burdens of shopping with you.
Then, "unburden" your customers the best way you can, while increasing the benefits of their shopping experience with you.
- Provide service to your customers that they are experiencing nowhere else.
- Make it easy and delightful for them to shop with you.
Fewer burdens, more benefit = more value.
Or, as one of our clients likes to say, "It's not hard. Just show 'em that you love 'em!"