What makes your customers choose you differently over all other options out there? This is what’s your value proposition.
When you’re thinking about your market, get in the mind-set of your customer. People can’t trust you if they don’t know you. Would you trust someone you had just met? Probably not. So it’s worth looking for ways to build trust in the eyes of your customer. Start by thinking about the tale-tell signs you would you look for in a product or service before buying it.
If you have a tough time identifying what your value proposition is, you won’t get or keep customers. Every small business offers slightly different, tailored and personalised value over the others. Here are 12 ways to increase yours.
1. Social proof
Social proof can include customer ratings, reviews from leading industry bloggers, and even industry awards. If a potential customer can see that other customers, trusted bloggers or award organisations have used, liked and recommended your product or service, your offer becomes more desirable and less risky.
2. Endorsements and high profile clients
Positive testimonials are a great way to build your brand credibility. If there are any famous, respected or well established people among your clients their endorsement will be worth its weight in gold to make your offer even more desirable and to boost your credibility. Make the most of opportunities like this and showcase your high profile clients (with their permission).
It’s not easy competing with big household brands when you’re starting out, but using everyday consumers who have a good social media following is a great way to get people to promote and engage with your brand. It’s a very cost effective way to add credibility to your product.
4. Credibility and qualification
Any evidence that prove your credibility and qualifications should be shared. Many customers will want to see the team behind the product (especially in business to business markets). Showing yourself as a credible figure will increase your brands credibility, trust and prestige.
5. Use logic and benefits
We are all very sceptical about things that are too good to be true. So if someone feels that way about your offer it’s important to put them at ease and show them why it is logical and beneficial for both you and your customer, and that there is no reason to be suspicious.
6. Awards and recognition
Recognise and promote your achievements in your business, don’t hide them. Even if it’s an award that’s only partly related to your product, it’s a great reason for customers to trust you more.
7. Technical and factual proof
Showing technical data or facts can be a very simple and effective way to prove that you can deliver results. This can be as a simple list, infographic, explainer video or even interactive online content, like we did for Teknomek.
8. Customer reviews
Most of us trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Offering your customers the opportunity to review your product or service is crucial. Ignoring this could alienate a huge percentage of your online audience, because you will be depriving them of information they want to help them make their buying decision. Also remember, that as a start-up third party reviews on sites such as Trust Pilot can seem much more legitimate than reviews directly on your website. Incentivising reviews with a reared such as a freebie or discount is a great way to quickly build high quality reviews.
9. Right and relevant information with customers
All to often we see start-ups provide customers excessive information, especially on social media, with messages about their product. Marketing isn’t just about telling people how great your product is, it’s about satisfying your customers needs and engaging your audience. Your products and services might be great, but try and mix things up a bit with interesting and relevant content related to your customers interests. It will much better attract your audience and better engage them with your brand.
10. Respond quickly
Make your customers feel heard and let them know you’ve read their comment. Try and do this as quickly as you can. Even if you don’t have an answer or solution straight away, make sure they know you’re looking into it. Your customers are the key to your brands reputation. Some brands, such as BT, Amazon and Samsung, take this further and have specific Twitter accounts for their customer service teams to make it quick and easy for their customers to get help.
11. Be honest
You can’t be right all the time, and there’s going to be the odd occasion when you make a mistake. Always acknowledge your mistakes and embrace the human side of your brand. Your customers will respect you for it, and it will help you win their loyalty.
12. Utilise strategic partners
If you have a great network of partner organisations and established brands that you collaborate with, list them on your website. If these guys work with you, or recommend you to their customers, then that says a lot about your offering.