I got another list post for you today – yay! When you consider the term ‘mutual value’, what springs to mind? Probably the whole ‘what’s in it for me’ mantra. What I want you to consider is how your customers provide you with value and how your company is reciprocating.

Your customers provide value in a number of ways. They tell stories, i.e. case studies. They refer you to friends, colleagues and family. They provide feedback on things you are doing great at and things you can work on. They put money in your bank account.

Now how can you take that and make it mutual? How can you encourage them to provide value by providing more value to them yourself?

Here are 5 ways to start creating mutual value today:

1. Pay attention. When a customer takes the time to provide feedback, ask for help or praises you, make sure you are paying attention. Setup keyword searches for your branded terms (company name, product name, etc.) on the social channels and search. Then respond to every single one.

2. Provide a valuable service/product. Now you may be just ahead of the curve and not have a single competitor but most likely you do which means your customers have other options. Always seek to provide value through your product and services.

3. Stay ahead of the curve. If you are innovative in your approach, your customers benefit. They may not have the ideas or inclinations that your company does and by you doing the heavy work, you are getting them there.

4. Rewards for loyalty. We are conditioned to upsell at each and every chance we get but at some point your customer’s will hit a glass ceiling when they have purchased just about as much as anyone can. Consider ways to reward these groups of people with custom loyalty programs. Something as simple as sponsoring lunch for them can go a long way.

5. Build an exchange program. Your customer agrees to do a case study, what are you willing to do for them? Active participant in your online support community, how can you return the favor?

Mutual value is something we don’t often think about but many of us are already doing (we just didn’t put a name on it officially). Considering putting a program in place to outline how you provide value and how your customers provide value and map dependent attributes. How can you take it to the next level?

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