What does customer value means?
According to business dictionary customer value is “The difference between what a customer gets from a product, and what he or she has to give in order to get it.” That is with least time and effort, I need to address customer needs. Your product isn’t just about filling a need but creating a new source of meaning in your customers’ lives. Consider an Indian brand ITC, which serves our daily lives with at least one product. They have a huge product line and each one serves a new meaning to our life whether it is classmate notebooks, vivel soaps, Aashirvaad aata, sunfeast biscuits, mangaldeep agarbathis, wills lifestyle, ITC hotels etc. That’s the value that they bring as a company. They are serving the Indian customers daily.
In his book, Design-Driven Innovation, Roberto Verganti writes, “people do not buy products but meanings.”
You can build products that are not just unique but game changers. Google is one of the finest example of being a game changer. We all know the reason behind it – The Search. There is not a single day in our lives where we don’t use Google or its associated products.
A customer values a product for its:
1. Function: the job it performs for you.
2. Experience: usage of the product as well as the interactions happening between you and the customer.
3. Price: based on the function and the experience.
How do you deliver this value? It should be simple and easy to understand. It should not be time consuming. Customers time is precious and its our duty to give them the best possible in less time.
This can be achieved through the art of simplicity. The art of simplicity is not easily attainable. It takes immense time and handwork to reach that stage. Google has achieved it in 15 years. How? Lets see the example below.
I was attending a conference few weeks back where Mr. Venkat Subramaniam gave this beautiful example of Google and the customer value. I would love to share with you the same.
I want to know about the top Indian blogs. Let us search the top Indian blogs on Google, Bing and Yahoo Search. The value that I am looking is with least time and effort which search engine gives me the best result. Time is precious for every customer!
Google gave me the result on the home page with several suggestions as well. Their home page is clean and elegant. I came and search for the keyword, get my search results and get back to work.
The next I search the same keyword top Indian blogs in Microsoft Bing.
I get to see some nice images over there. I spent time on searching the next image and so on.
The third search was on Yahoo!
Yahoo! search. Oops i forgot why i came here. How can i miss the cricketing action on the top of the page. First of all I am an Indian and a great fan of cricket. How can i miss Minissha Lamba and Lindsay Lohan over there!! Yahoo! I forgot why I came to this site and my valuable time.
So this example clears shows the value of simplicity and keeping it simple. You cannot afford to miss a customer. Give him the best in the shortest time possible.
Google homepage defines the purity, simplicity and neutrality. In Google’s first user study, Stanford University students asked to search on Google would sit for 45 seconds staring at their screen, unsure what to click or how to search. That was way back in 1999. Because they were hoping that the screen is not loaded fully.
What ever, I like the simplicity of Google and how it delivers beautifully the function of Search. Technology evolves and new designs comes up every day, but some things are meant to stay for ever as is simplicity.