Value – What It Is, Why It Is Different For Everyone

Providing value.  That sounds like something that you hear at a thrift store.  Or somewhere that sells used car parts.  The fact is that you should hear it anywhere you work, for any service you provide, and for any product you produce.  The customer should feel like they got a little more than the paid for, no matter if you are selling a used book or a luxury car.

At dictionary.com, value is defined as, “relative worth, merit, or importance.”  That determination can only be made by the customer.  There is no reference to price.  Things from socks to yachts get sold every day and people buy what they feel to be the best deal.  But what makes that best deal?  It could be:

  • The lowest-cost item they can find
  • The best customer service
  • The best support for the product after the purchase
  • The flashest, biggest, most impressive product
  • Something else or some combination of the above.

Stores provide service in many different ways.  They position themselves in one or more of those niches.  For instance, if you are a bank, you want to be able to draw customers with the best rates.  But there are a million banks out there and someone will always have a better rate.  You can provide a competitive rate and brilliant customer service and support.  That is the little bit extra that the customer feels they are getting for free, enough to outweigh some tiny bit of interest.  There is there the value is.

At a hospital, you provide the same services, to a large extent, as any other hospital your size.  How well do you do it all?  How do you treat your patients?  How do you follow up to determine outcomes and constantly work to improve them for every patient?  Answering those questions leads to value for the patient.  After all, the patient is a customer, too.

As an employee, no matter what your role, you need to provide value to both your employer and your customer.  That means using your talents to be the best at what you do.  It does not mean being better than everyone else at everything.  But you are better at something.  Find a way to use whatever your talents are to make a difference.  That can start with something as simple as a genuine smile.

We live in a world of instantaneous information sharing.  More than ever before, your reputation is what makes or breaks you.  Pick your value providing strategy and go.  Establish a reputation of excellence and you have also established a reputation of providing value.  Just remember, in the end, it is the customer that really determines that.

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