How To Add More Value To Your Products and Services
- Enhance the product or service with technical improvements. As noted above, this strategy has limitations because competitors will often counter with their own improvements.
- Offer add-on services with your products. For instance, an automobile dealer can offer lifetime oil changes with the purchase of a new car, or a software supplier can offer free upgrades or a 24-hour assistance hotline.
- Provide your customers with up-to-date or pre-packaged information about their industries and job functions. Everyone appreciates information that will make his or her job easier and more productive.
- Provide a quick-start guide that helps your customers get started rapidly. If you do this, make sure the quick-start program works as advertised. A quick-start program that takes forever is not a good thing!
- Offer expanded satisfaction guarantees and extended warranties. In fact, do anything you can to reduce the anxiety and fear the prospect has of making a bad decision.
- Provide your customers with access to a unique or special part of the website that contains information that is not available to others.
- Offer new delivery methods and/or shorten delivery times for your products. Waiting six to eight weeks for delivery is no longer acceptable since Federal Express and UPS have trained customers to expect delivery within days.
- Provide multimedia (audio, video, or web) training that helps customers become proficient with your product or service.
- Change the packaging or appearance of your product. Anything you can do to make it appear more exclusive or upscale will help support higher price points.
- Find new uses for your product or service. Many technology companies have done this successfully by repackaging horizontal offerings as domain-specific or vertical offerings.
- Deliver alliances with your product or service. This could come in the form of a strategic partnership or free membership in an industry association.
Be very careful to select a value-add that truly supports your unique selling proposition. It can be an expensive or even fatal mistake to focus on product enhancements that are of little interest to your prospects and customers.