Value billing and genuine benefits

In my line of work we tend largely to bill a fixed amount per project or task carried out for our clients. There is always at the lower level a consideration of time involved so that we do make a fair profit. If there are extra items that we provide or some special premium service that we offer and our clients opt for it, understandably they expect it to be genuine and not something we offer everyone for a basic price. The rule is that the greater the benefit, the greater the cost.

This last week I had to buy a new printer, which I purchased from a well-known on-line provider (well, I guess all IT related stuff is by definition available on-line). On this occasion, though there were elements of the proposition I did not properly understand, so I actually had to resort to using the telephone. I sorted out the deal with the operator, and she then said to me “do you want next day delivery for a cost of £12.99 or standard delivery for £4.99 which is in two to three days?”. I opted for standard delivery, partly because next day delivery was not particularly convenient.

Imagine my surprise when within a few minutes I had an emailed invoice for the printer plus standard delivery followed by another saying that the machine would be delivered the following day. An hour later I had an email from the courier confirming next day delivery and that the goods had been dispatched. Indeed the package did arrive the following afternoon. For this company, next day delivery is standard practice, no doubt so that no one has any storage problems along the chain and they can keep their goods moving.

I could have paid an extra £8.00 for the same service I was actually getting and would have known no different unless I could have compared notes. I was not out of pocket but could have been if I had been very anxious to receive my printer.

In the business world, often clients and customers do have occasion and opportunities to compare notes. Imagine if your customers finding out that the “premium” service they were paying for was something nearly everyone had from you without paying extra. That is the way to lose clients, isn’t it? You wouldn’t do it that way, because people would feel scammed and ripped-off.

As customers ourselves we do have to make sure that our goodwill is not abused, and as people in business we have to ensure that all our clients and customers feel they are treated fairly. That is good business and good customer service.

© Jon Stow 2010

[tweetmeme source=”JonStow” only_single=false]

Enhanced by Zemanta
This entry was posted in Business planning, Customer relations, Customer service, Sales and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge