Shy products are losing products. Your product must SHOUT! its value to customers on an ongoing basis. Whether your product is an app, an insurance policy, an energy-saving service or providing IT support, it is essential that you develop a strategy to communicate the value your product is providing customers on a recurring basis, particularly as part of a customer's bill. This is especially true for products that’s value is often “invisible”, easily “taken for granted”, or simply “forgotten over time” by customers. And there are many, many products that fall under these categories... many.
Case Study: the Clean Master Android smartphone app
While I would only give the Clean Master app a B+ on the “Value Shout-Out” scale, it serves as a solid example. Clean Master is one of the many apps that cleans out your phone’s junk files and boosts your phone’s memory - it’s actually one of the best such apps available.
Best Practice #1: communicate the value your service is providing to your customer on an ongoing basis.
Clean Master’s junk-file cleaning feature does a pretty good job here. It clearly indicates before pressing the green “clean” button how much space will be freed up by deleting the junk files from my phone - 284MB. (See figure 1 below)
After pressing the green button, I receive confirmation that the cleaning was successful. Importantly, I'm told not only how much junk it hauled away - 284MB - but also how much TOTAL junk it has cleaned for me since I started using the app - 1.62GB (see figure 2 below). For many "invisible" products this TOTAL lifetime value provided by the product to the customer can be an essential communication touch point.
Best Practice #2: make the value provided tangible, easy to understand, and motivating.
This practice is one of the reasons I give Clean Master a B+ vs. an A when it comes to the “Value Shout-Out”. It’s critical, critical, critical! that the value you communicate to users is expressed in terms they can relate to and that they will find motivating.
One method for uncovering this is by looking at the value you've ascribed, putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, and asking, “So what? What does this mean? Why should I care? How does this benefit me?”
Now if Clean Master communicated what the freed-up space enabled for the user, then we’d be talking. How about a faster phone? How about longer battery life? Translating MBs into more tangible things like more space to hold songs, videos, or apps would also help bring to life why “Mr. User” should care about the 150MBs that were just freed up… the more specific, relevant, and motivating to the user the better.
Best Practice #3: be sure your billing statements are choc-full of value communications.
This practice speaks to the most important "When?" for communicating the value your product has provided to customers. When people are asked to part with their money in return for using your product or service, it's crucial this "painful" experience is counterbalanced by clear communication that shows & reminds them of the value they are receiving in return for the money they are paying. This is one of those "moments of truth" in which your customers will implicitly or explicitly weigh the benefits they're receiving from your product with the money they're paying, and you want to help them close the door on this internal dialogue as swiftly as possible.
Best Practice #4: take advantage of cross-selling opportunities.
This final practice is one that the Clean Master app tends to do a good job with, and that is cross-selling other relevant partner products or features of the product itself after communicating the value it has provided.
In the example provided below, after hauling away my phone’s junk and providing me with the “CLEAN” check-mark, Clean Master “cross-sold” its App-Manager feature. App Manager is a terrific feature and is also highly relevant to its junk-cleaning feature. The feature allows me to further free up phone space by easily identifying apps that I haven’t been using and uninstalling them. Very valuable, and very much on-point.
That's all for now. More on communicating product value to come. As always, let me know your thoughts, questions, and please share examples of products you feel do (or don’t do) a good job of communicating their value. I look forward to hearing from you!