Price vs. Value: Success in Customer and Employee Relationships

Shep Hyken
2 min readNov 16, 2023

The title of this article may sound like a lesson in sales, but it’s much bigger than that. It’s about the entire customer experience. If a promise to provide value in the CX is built into a company’s mission and values statements, it potentially becomes part of the culture.

Imagine if your organization were bold enough to state that the value it delivers to customers would make price irrelevant. How do you define that value? It’s simple. It’s the value provided in the customer experience. But, remember that your definition of this value is only good if it aligns with what customers want and hope for.

Let’s talk about making price irrelevant. My good friend and fellow customer experience expert John DiJulius has often said, “Make price irrelevant.” He and I jab at each other over this statement. I’ve said, “Make price less relevant. There’s no way you can make price completely irrelevant.” John knows this, and he admits it, but at the same time, he argues the point that if you provide enough value with the experience, you can distance your company from the competition, even while charging more than others. I can live with that because he’s right. We’re just using different words to get us to the same outcome.

So, let’s not get caught up in the semantics of these two sentences. We are both in alignment, and you should be, too.

Furthermore, this way of thinking crosses over to the employee experience (EX). Can you create an employment opportunity so fulfilling that people would line up to apply for the job, even though they might make more elsewhere? There are companies, like Disney, that have achieved that. The Disney culture is so powerful that people love the company more than a higher paycheck from another employer. Of course, every company, Disney included, has to be somewhat competitive with compensation and benefits. But in the end, for many, happiness and fulfillment are more important than a few extra dollars in their paycheck.

Let’s close by considering three ideas:

1. The Alignment: Value in the customer experience and employee experience is non-negotiable. You can’t have one without the other.

2. The Opportunity: Create experiences that are so enriching that neither customers nor employees can easily walk away, regardless of dollars.

3. The Challenge: I challenge you to define your version of value and make it so compelling you’re willing to include it in your mission and value statements.

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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!