The Value of the ‘Value-Add’

Companies often talk about the importance of ensuring a positive customer experience – many believe this is the key to business success. Without loyalty, credibility and client acquisition, organizations quickly buckle at the knees.

Though it’s easy to talk about the importance of a positive customer experience, how can organizations actually deliver this? Well, it’s all in the value add.

When meeting a client for the first time, and every time thereafter, show genuine interest in them, their business, their goals and pain points. Learn about their company and understand their culture. Be invested and honest – don’t promise something you can’t deliver just to get the sale.

Displaying interest, dedicating time and being upfront all show a client that you are trustworthy – this is key. A potential client must feel confident in you before they even begin revealing their business issues.

Along with establishing trust, display your expertise and credibility proudly. Once you’ve heard the client situation, discuss your success stories, experience in the industry and challenges you have overcome – it’s vital to show clients that they can depend on you as a person and as a business partner.

Before suggesting or creating any kind of training program or learning solution, request and ensure that you speak with all stakeholders impacted. You are only able to create relevance and context in a learning solution if you truly understand the entire client situation. Too often, a learning request can come in and the main decision-makers aren’t involved – this can stall the sales process and possibly lead to creating the wrong solution. Talking to stakeholders who have a vested interest in the outcome of the learning will enable you to understand what exactly is happening and what isn’t working. This will also allow you to figure out what the company goals are and what employee behaviours need to be improved. Gather all the information, have upfront conversations and be motivated to deliver the best results.

Throughout your interaction with the client, treat them as an equal. Be intuitive about their feelings and reactions; set aside time for follow-up and accommodate their requests as best as possible. Sometimes clients don’t know what exactly they do or don’t want until they see it put into practice. This is normal – don’t panic, just adapt. Show your client patience, understanding and support. This ensures that their involvement with you ends on a positive note and builds loyalty which in turn leads to customer acquisition and a positive customer experience.

* This article first appeared in the October issue of Training Journal.