Driving Value

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

So you are sitting in a company meeting and the decision has been made that the company needs to drive value for customers and for the company. At this point you should stop and ask yourself what is meant by Value, who defines it, how do we discover value and how do we measure it. So let me explain the way I approach this.

First and foremost things that you should remember:

  1. You do not get to define value, your customer does. If you find yourself saying in a meeting that a particular feature will add value and you are not the paying customer, stop yourself. Find the paying customer and let them define value. In most organizations this simple idea is lost in red tape and over complicated processes. You won’t drive value if you can’t deliver features defined by the customer as valuable.
  2. Remember you create value for customers. They define value and you deliver on them. If you do this then customer value will drive financial return, basically they will be willing to pay for your product and be satisfied with your performance.

So the obvious question is how to discover value

  1. This might seem simple but it is worth repeating: Understand your customers’ job, shadow them during what they do, Have them sit in during discussions involving product development.
  2. Once you understand what the customer is doing and how they do their job, find a better way to do the job in collaboration with the customer.
  3. Finally help your customers to be successful. Be a partner rather than just another company they deal with. Understand that a successful customer is what will define your success.

Once you have discovered value for your customer, the question becomes how to measure value. This list below is what should drive your behavior:

  1. Improved financial outcomes
  2. Improved customer outcomes
  3. Customer satisfaction/delight
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