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Finding the Value in 'Value Add'

(August 2007) posted on Mon Aug 06, 2007

Offer unique services that will benefit clients.

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By Marty McGhie

Often we hear the phrase "value-added service" batted around the business world and we strive to adopt some level of excellence along these lines to give ourselves an edge in the competitive environment. But what exactly is "value-added service?" And are you providing it to your customers?

Simply put, the key to this concept is offering something to your clients that your competitors do not. This concept can be a little tricky. For example, you may believe that you are providing a value-added service with low pricing combined with quick turnarounds. The problem is, in today’s business climate, many of your competitors are consistently willing to do the same thing. Therefore, you aren’t really offering your customer anything special, you are just trying to compete. So let’s examine a couple of ideas that may help you create some unique services your business can give to your customers.

Unique spins for your clients

Here’s a simple example of one such service. For several years now, our company has provided pick-up and delivery services to customers within about a 40-mile radius of our business. Of course this is hardly unique, except that when we originally decided to offer this service, we decided to do it for free. Most of our competitors offer this service to their customers, but in our marketplace no one else does it for free. Now, offering this same service for free may not be feasible for your business, but the point here is that you can take a basic service that everyone may offer and put your own spin on it-making it unique to your customers.

Another idea to consider is to provide your customers with specialized education that's relevant to the production processes you run. Many of us share the same struggle of constantly receiving files that are nowhere close to being ready for production. Most of us just complain and go to work fixing the files so they can eventually get to production, perhaps taking hours of precious digital time to complete. In fact, these types of clients may be so well known among our production teams that you hear an audible groan when one of their jobs comes in the door.