What is Value?

What is value?

This is a great question no matter what business you are in. Our clients shared a lot of helpful insights with us as we worked through our rebranding effort.
And they reminded us of a few fundamental lessons.

1.       Value is what you get for what you pay, not what you spend.
2.       What you get has three components. 

a.       PRODUCT DELIVERY: This is the what. Here customers are concerned about the holy trinity of cost, quality and delivery. That’s the first component. Did the client appreciate the aesthetic representation of their project?  Did we follow brand standards? Was the paper selection appropriate? Was the right technology used for the job. Was it done on time. Was it a quality piece?

b.      QUALITY OF INTERACTION:  This is the how. How did we service the client. Were we responsive? Were we consultative? Were there any surprises? Did we work to get the customer their “look” for the lowest cost. Did we keep them informed all the through the process? Did they understand our process and the necessary interactions to ensure their delight – from design thru prepress, production and shipping? This is a measure of how much time and concern the customer had to “spend” to work with us through their project. Time is expensive. So is anxiety if we don’t communicate well.

c.       QUALITY OF THE RELATIONSHIP:  After a few jobs, and as the customer interaction builds with our employees – we get to a place of trust. When this happens, we have done our job. This is when customers have comfort that we are there to lighten their load – to make their deadlines our deadlines; to make their problems or concerns about a job our concerns. This is the point when we truly begin to move problems off a client’s plate to ours. It also reminded us that we are a relationship-powered company, not a firm that  is always lowest cost and just transactional. We are face-mail based, not web-based. When we establish trust, it can truly be a lowest total cost for our client and us.

All of these elements of value are weighted differently by each customer.  And then they are measured against the price of the job. That is when a customer decides whether we have delivered value or not.

What we learned as a team is that we want to work on all three elements of value – the product, each interaction, and our overall relationship.
If we get to trust, it’s the lowest system cost for us and the client.  

Again we thank our customers for their candor in helping us understand the meaning of value in their eyes.
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