Why Is It Important To Understand Your Clients’ Values?
As we run business sometimes we lose the genuine perspective of our clients, we tend to forget what really matters to them, what is the true nature of the problems they try to solve with our products or services. One of the fastest and most effective ways of getting back on track is simply observe and listen to the clients. This process has two parts – part one is an interview and part two is an observation.
For the first part you need to interview 3 clients of your own business, 3 clients of your direct competition and 3 people who are not using the service at all and. To make this process efficient and the results comparable as well and highly usable for you later, your interview needs to be structured. Keep the interview topics and questions same for all participants. Make sure your interview is short, as people will get tired and lose focus after 5-7 minutes. So do not overload them with questions.
For part two you take your RIVALS LIST and observe their social media activity together with type and content of the comments under the posts. You might see some longer conversations, opinions, exchange of thoughts that will show you what matters most for the clients and how engaged they are in your competitive content. At this point, it would make sense to review your own social media channels with the same exact approach. You should finish this part with a list of 3-5 key things clients value most. Obviously one of them will be price, but the other will tell you an interesting story. These 3-5 key things will become your CLIENT VALUES. See if you can prioritize them from the most to the least important one.
Now Design Clients Values Mapping
The final product of this analysis will be CLIENT VALUES MAPPING. There are several ways you can reach such mapping. For solo entrepreneurs, I recommend taking the fastest and the least complex way. By some people, it may be seen as “quick and dirty” resulting in not a super precise and numeric presentation but I have witnessed really good results coming from this concept. You do not have to always take a scientific approach to be right. You will be preparing a simple table with 8 columns and 5 rows. It does not matter if the table will be done with pen and paper or with excel spreadsheet, as long as you have rows and columns ready to be filled in. In the columns, you will put all your competitors. Simply take them from your RIVAL LIST – three direct and three indirect ones. In the last column, you should put your own business. In the rows, you will put all Client Values that you have identified executing interviews and observing social media channels during Step 3, remember? You already have 3-5 of those.
Now take each client value and evaluate it for each of the competitors, as well as for your own company. Use your individual judgment, keeping the cool, objective approach and give a relevant mark. You can use stars (1-5), percentages (1-100%), colors (green, yellow, red) or you can even simply draw a line (the longer line, the stronger performance). It really depends on what works for you. Before you summarize it would be smart to set up all values from the most to the least important if you did not do it before. The last thing will be summing up the results per each competitor and for your own company. There you have it, Clients Value Mapping – something to reflect on.