?In today's challenging market environment, it is imperative to provide the customer with superior value. Providing more for less is what today's customers expect, if not demand. Companies are aware of the importance of delivering customer value, but come unstuck when deciding what value is and whether it is being delivered to the customer. A Customer Value Proposition is a statement of the end benefits customers can expect from a product or service at a given cost of obtaining those benefits. Customer value can be defined in many ways, but ultimately it is what the customer perceives it to be. When developing a Customer Value Proposition, keep in mind the following: 1. Identify and understand the customer 2. Focus on customer needs 3. How different are you from competitors? 4. Tell customers what's in it for them 5. Turn features into customer benefits 6. Avoid developing single value propositions across markets 7. Keep value propositions up to date 8. Concentrate on the intangibles 9. Communicate your value proposition 10. Ensure you know if you are getting it right Just creating a great value proposition will not win and retain business. You must deliver real value! Failing to deliver on the value the customer thought they were purchasing will destroy a relationship over time. Your value proposition must be reflected in product and service definition and development. Getting marketing, sales, manufacturing, research and development, and customer service departments to align their activities to the customer value proposition can be challenging. Internal communications play an important part in building company-wide commitment. Measuring and reporting customer value is essential. We all know that a company's sale force has a tendency to ‘inflate' customer feedback, and therefore, an objective measure is needed. Conducting a periodic Voice of the Customer Survey is one such approach. This involves the following: 1. Establish which customers to survey and individuals within the customer organisation to participate (noting the distinction between key decision makers and influencers / users) 2. Establish the best survey approach - face to face, self completion, telephone, web based 3. Establish to what to measure - purchasing criteria, performance, share of wallet, loyalty and advocacy, competitive positioning. Identifying performance gaps highlighting positive or negative variances between intended versus actual customer value is imperative to establish 4. Agree on survey timing - that is to conduct the initial survey and subsequent surveys 5. Internally report customer feedback - ensure company wide take-up of the findings A word of caution. Be prepared to act on customer feedback. Surveying a customer who clearly is not satisfied is likened to waving a red flag in front of a bull. And, research for the sake of research is an utter waste of time, money and effort. At The Right Group, we are fortunate to work with many leading Australian companies who understand what their customers want and deliver on this promise. As part of our firm's strategic branding services, we work with customers to develop an optimal Customer Value Proposition. Our research team provides clients with a fact-based understanding of the drivers of customer value and delivery measurement. The Right Group's core areas of expertise are brand strategy, research and people & culture. Our research services are often engaged as part of our work in brand strategy or can be commissioned separately. For more information, visit Brand Management.