How to measure what customers value

A couple of weeks ago, we published a blog post with advice to make your customers love you, not just like you. In that post, Ivana mentioned making sure that your products are something that your customers value, and said, “Products and services have value when we feel like we paid less than the benefit we received.”

We received a follow-up request to this post, asking for ideas on how to create a survey that could measure what customers value and if they view the service or product as a good value. Let’s see what we can do!

Measuring What They Value

There are a few ideas that come to mind when it comes to measuring what someone values. This can be tricky, because, to measure what the customer values, you don’t want to tell them what we think they should value, instead getting them to tell us what they value. There are certainly many ways that you could approach this; below, you’ll see one way that I would approach this scenario. This is by no means the only way that you could determine what your customer values from your product and how they perceive the price and value measure up against each other.

Step 1: The Open-ended Survey

Create open-ended questions for each of the 7 core needs Ivana listed (safety; shelter; protection for friends and family; looking good and being accepted; relationship; health and wellness; enjoyment of life). Each would ask, “How does our product fill the following core needs?” and then list each core need with a large text box. Make each question optional, rather than required, so that respondents don’t feel pressured to provide an answer if they can’t think of one. Ask a small group of respondents to provide answers and look for the themes in the open-ended answers. If you find that one recurring theme appears for each of the core needs, great! Otherwise, collect the values that were most prominent from the answers provided, and create a new survey for a broader group of respondents.

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Step 2: Vetting the Responses

Time for the second survey. I would create a matrix that asks, “Please rate your level of agreement with each of the following statements as they relate to our product.” The highest-rated statements are the winners. It’s possible you walk away from this survey with multiple statements for each core need, depending on how the ratings come back for each statement. A key item here is to make sure that the statements are shown randomly to each respondent. This will help you avoid order bias (where people respond a certain way due to the order they are shown a group of items).

Step 3: Measuring Value Amounts

Now that you have a much clearer, customer-driven list of values for each core need, it’s time to measure the perceived value benefit of your product or service. I would create a third follow-up survey for another broad sampling of your customers. In this survey, I would list each of the value statements from the second survey, then create a side-by-side matrix question that asks your customers to measure price and value. The wording could be, “Please indicate your perception of the current price and value of our product for each of the following statements.” In this scale, I would use a low-medium-high scale since we’re talking about price and value. This is where you can learn if customers think the price they are paying is high for a particular trait, with low perceived value, or vice-versa. You can then use a gap analysis to easily identify these key items (high price, low value; low price, high value).

Use the Data!

Now that you’ve run these surveys, the data can be used for marketing campaigns (bonus: you have your own customers’ words used to describe the value they feel they get from your product or service!), product development (is there a core need that your product isn’t fulfilling?), and pricing strategies (do your customers feel the price is too high and value too low for certain aspects of the product?). We’d love to hear if you have other ways that you’ve approached this scenario of trying to measure what your customers value and how the price and value match up for your products or services. Let us know by sending an email to or by leaving us a comment below!