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As a follow-up to the article Influence of Buyer Perceived Value (BPV) on Buyer Behaviors and Decisions, offered is a perspective on how to implement a scorecard approach. The Buyer Perceived Value (BPV) Scorecard™ combines both a qualitative as well as a quantitative approach to understanding the influence of buyer values. An important disclaimer here is that there have been many scorecard approaches for measuring customer value over the past two decades. My point is not to endorse any particular one but to endorse the notion that values are rapidly changing and that buyer perceived value is critical to understanding buyer behavior. The understanding of buyer behavior is the central focal point of Buyerology© and understanding Buyer Perceived Value (BPV)™ is one key aspect.
Before jumping into a quantitative approach, it is important to emphasize the need for reaching an understanding of Buyer Perceived Value (BPV) qualitatively. Perceived values are changing rapidly and will continue to do so as new buyer behaviors are formed – changes driven by the introduction of new technologies and business models. Multiple and varietal forms of qualitative methods help to provide a unique articulation of value criteria that buyers may formalize or internalize for decisions. Qualitative understanding is essential due to buyers, common to human behavior, having difficulty in offering a clean series of statements that accurately reflect their value sentiments. Multiple qualitative methods assist in identifying un-articulated patterns of thinking and behaviors that can be translated into value attributes unique to your industry, markets, and organization. Basing a scorecard approach on a generalized and presumed sense of buyer perceived value attributes mitigates the usefulness of a Buyer Perceived Value Scorecard™ severely for informing buyer strategies. Now let’s take the academic speak out of the above and simply say that if you base the scorecard on what you think buyer’s value versus actually going out to talk to buyers and using qualitative methods to uncover values – it will be of no particular use.
As mentioned in the previous article on Buyer Perceived Value (BPV), value has been viewed conventionally around product and service. The convergence of the Internet and the Social Age is resulting in new as well as evolving values that we may not fully understand at the moment. Calling for qualitative means of discovering exactly what these values are and the meaning behind them. This is the primary reason why I advocate strongly the need for qualitative research to understand Buyer Perceived Value (BPV) meaningfully.
Once value attributes have been identified, monitoring and using a scorecard approach can help to inform how an organization can improve as well as build new strategies to better align with buyers. To make a scorecard purposeful for informing strategies, there are several key elements to incorporate:
Priority: Not all values are perceived equally. Determining through qualitative means how much weight buyers place on certain value attributes is essential.
Ideal: After values are weighted, what do the values look like in a perfect world to buyers? The goal becoming how to score a perfect 10 on all value attributes.
Perceived: Once value attributes have been identified and established, a combination of qualitative and survey methods can help in discovering how buyers perceive the organization abilities in measuring up to the ideal.
Differential: Using the scorecard approach can help in identifying the largest differentials between what buyers consider of high value and where the organization is falling short in the minds of buyers.
Below is a simplified version of such a scorecard:
In the example below, you will see a red flag around implementation support suggesting improvement. You will also note that 24 hour turnaround is prioritized highly and this can include the use of social networks. The meaning behind each value attribute listed should be supported by qualitative interpretation. For example, what exactly do buyers’ value in implementation support? How much of a factor is social engagement behind 24 hour turnaround perception?
By combining the use of multiple qualitative research methods and quantitative analysis, an organization can begin to get a realistic handle on how well they measure up to the perceived values buyers base decision-making criteria’s on. We are at a point in marketplace history where uncertainty reigns. The importance of refreshing, qualitatively, the understanding of exactly what buyers perceive as values and how much weight is put on each is critical to being on the buyer’s radar of choice. What we can count on is that new technologies, services, and business models will cause shifts in what buyer’s value.
How do you plan to stay informed of these shifts in buyer perceived values?