Are you creating superior value for your customers?
Updated: Feb 21
“Second to None – 6 Strategies for Creating Superior Customer Value” by Dr Ian Brooks is a game-changing book first published more than 20 years ago. From what I've observed, these six strategies are just as relevant today:
FOCUS ON VALUE Business is the art of creating value and everyone in your business must understand the concept of value and everything you do must be directed towards creating value in the eyes of your customers. As long as your customers consider the benefits they receive from your products and services to be greater than the costs they pay, they will believe they have received value. And when it comes to costs, the time, effort and emotional costs are often considered more than the price. That’s why it pays to be fast, easy and reliable.
COMPETE ON VALUE NOT PRICE Resist the temptation to compete on the basis of price alone. It is an inadequate strategy at best and could be suicidal for both you and your competitors.
LOOK THROUGH YOUR CUSTOMER'S EYES Since value exists only in the eyes of your customer, you must learn to see the world through your customer’s eyes. Most companies do not.
MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS SUCCESSFUL In this tough marketplace servicing or even satisfying your customers is not enough. Studies show even happy customers switch to another supplier at a very high rate.
REDUCE THE COSTS To win in this crowded market, you need to be a low-cost supplier, but instead of reducing your price, try to reduce the other four main costs that customers pay. Be fast, convenient and reliable.
GIVE THEM SOMETHING EXTRA In addition to lowering the costs, increase the benefits you offer. Give them something extra – at no extra charge – and delight them.
Keep in mind that your customer's problem is your opportunity to create value. No opportunity in business is ever lost. If you fumble the ball, your competitor will pick it up!
An enduring partnership
Second to None spawned several more books including “10 Steps to Becoming Customer Driven” and “Persuade Your Customers to Pay More”, thousands of articles, local and international keynote addresses and consulting assignments for Ian Brooks and an enduring partnership with Peak Performance International to help organisations implement these ideas and practices.
More than 50,000 people from these organisations have participated in a customer culture program that incorporates the clever value equation V=B-C (Value=Benefits–Costs):
Telecom NZ (Spark) – Creating Superior Value
Air NZ – Together We Made It Happen
BNZ – Own the Experience
NAB – The National Way
Bendigo Bank – Being the Bendigo
AAS/Link Group – Customer First
Rabobank – The Rabo Way
Vodafone NZ – Customer Obsessed
Sensis, UBS, AIA, Fisher & Paykel Finance, Airways, IRD, Electrix, DHL, Babcock, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, Fidelity Life and more…
Built by Peak Performance to reflect each organisation’s business environment and the challenges and opportunities they faced, these practical programs combine the relevant customer value strategies and focus on developing the right mindset and the skills to conduct more valuable conversations with customers.
Here's what one customer in the telecommunications sector had to say:
“At the time we ran the program we were really struggling with customer service. We completed organisational and process change. The GM Customer Services understood that this wouldn't do it alone. We needed sustainable behavioural change and also a way of connecting people together using a common vision, purpose, strategies, language etc. We had been working with Ian Brooks and wanted to reach our wider audience. As a result Peak Performance was engaged to run a culture change programme based on the 6 strategies. This included personal as well as business dimensions.
We had HUGE success - increases in customer sat (significant), sales, employee engagement, decrease in costs. Also lots of positive anecdotal feedback. I still use the strategies a lot today with MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER SUCCESSFUL being a very powerful differentiator for me!
We had a wonderful time working with Peak Performance. One of the really impressive things was they really did live the strategies culminating in making Customer Services very successful! So very relevant today where I still so often see a transactional rather than truly customer-centric approach!”
Two decades later, Second to None is still relevant and Peak Performance is still delivering results by continuing to put our customers’ success at the heart of all we do. We thank everyone who has been on this important journey to develop more customer-centric cultures with us.
Please send me an email if you want to know more about how to create superior value for your customers.