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Too Much Value

Posted by Bill Lee on April 23, 2012 at 02:48 PM

Some companies get too caught up in providing superior value to customers, because they regard value as something they provide rather than something customers perceive. "We strive for excellence in everything we do--especially if it's something that touches the customer," goes such thinking. But a lot of that "excellence" that companies obsess over getting perfect is, in fact, a matter of complete indifference to the customer--or worse, annoying like a syncophant pursuing every angle to get a promotion. 

When I'm at your restaurant, I really don't want you to train your wait staff to chat me up and form deep personal bonds. I just want unobtrusive, efficient service. When I'm calling your credit card company, I really don't want to be asked a series of questions about how good your service was. Just answer my question quickly so I can get out of there. When you're installing a cabinet in my kitchen, I really don't care if you paint the wood in places that no one will ever see. In fact, I wish you wouldn't. When a craftsman respondes that, even if no one else will know, he will know, I'm thinking, "Yeah, but I'm the one paying for it."

Great companies take the time to figure out what customrs value, and then stop investing in all those other things that don't make any difference to them--no matter how much others protest that that's not the way things should be done, that you lack pride, that you lack standards. Nonsense. What you're doing is providing value.

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