How do we define value? It’s a tricky question: ask 10 different people and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. “Value” is a broad term, used often to describe many things. It’s difficult to measure and define consistently – a continual, elusive challenge for companies of all sizes. Against this backdrop, and in an era when customer experience (CX) is becoming increasingly vital to brands’ success, how are CX leaders to determine what will bring value to customers? Value can be a key differentiator in helping companies stand out from their competitors, but only if they know what it is.
What IS value anyway?
Value can be many things to many people.
In the book “Pricing and Profitability Management: A Practical Guide for Business Leaders,” the authors cite three examples of value theory concepts: value defined by production and labor inputs, value determined by lack of resource availability, and value defined by benefits received.
Organizations can use these concepts to gain clarity on how they define and deliver value. That’s more important than ever, because consumers are examining and considering value much differently these days – and it is significantly impacting their purchasing and ongoing consumption decisions.
Customers who don’t see the value in a brand will quickly move on to another; and brands have increasingly less time to make that all-important first impression. Three quarters of Americans changed their shopping behavior since the pandemic began, and 40% of those say they have changed brands, according to a recent McKinsey study. In fact, the level of brand switching doubled in 2020, compared with 2019, the study found.
So, there’s no time to waste when it comes to delivering value to customers.
The pandemic has had other far-reaching effects on consumer habits as well. It’s triggered new digital behaviors, and the demand for digital experiences will continue to grow. Also, more consumers want to do business with socially conscious companies: 1 in 3 say they consider whether a company is purpose-driven when they make purchasing decisions, and 42% of millennials cite that as a primary influence.
Striking the right balance is key
We at TTEC believe it’s time to radically rethink and redefine value in the CX and contact center worlds. To date, value has been largely focused on lowest price for services at all costs, with those services being primarily human-enabled (i.e., contact center agents).
Quite simply, this just won’t cut it going forward. This very narrow view fails to align with evolving and more sophisticated consumer demands and the buying behaviors noted above. Consumers’ view of “value” is expanding, and brands needs to evolve to keep pace. We see value as a balancing act across four key stakeholders that are key to unlocking it: customers, employees, internal stakeholders, and partners.
These four stakeholder groups have very distinct and important perspectives to carefully consider, without over-rotating on any specific one – lest they risk their CX value proposition steering violently sideways. But that’s just part of the challenge. Even as they embrace this evolved and balanced view of our CX design and value story, brands still need to figure out how to execute. Execution always comes down to success in three areas:
1. Humanity (labor)
3. Orchestration (services)
And they require the right balance and coordination in order to be successful.
It’s time to rethink CX value
Most companies are not delivering on this evolved view of CX value – not even close. If they were, we wouldn’t be seeing some of the troubling trends noted in the data above.
Here are a few things to think about as you begin to reimagine your CX value:
The channels you offer to your customers to reach you are far from optimized or ideal
Your ‘last-mile’ CX ambassadors/agents are working way too hard – and that can be improved meaningfully in less than 30 days· The technology that you bought, and/or are in the process of buying, will not work as you expect out of the box – don’t let the slick demo fool you
It can seem daunting to really assess where your CX stands, pinpoint what can be improved, and implement the tools and strategies needed to take it to the next level. But investing the time now into reimagining CX value will pay strong dividends far into the future.