At one stage or another we have all heard our customers say that they want a great product at a great price, or in more precise terms, they want it cheap or at a discount.
Some customers these days want a new BMW from the floor of the dealership with 10km on the clock, but they wish to pay the price of an Opel Corsa. Certain radio ads profess the age old cliché that a good quality product is not cheap and that a cheap product is not of good quality.
While I fully agree with this cliché, there is a new dimension to this age old problem.
With our hectic lifestyles these days and the limited time we have available to do certain tasks, the customer’s needs have added a new dimension to this, namely constant availability. A customer wants a great product at a great price and it must be immediately and constantly available, or they will move their business to someone that can offer this.
Is it possible to have such a product or service in today’s business world?
In the technology age of today, any information you could think of is available at our finger tips and we can Google any topic thinkable within 2 minutes. This makes us the “instant gratification” generation and we unfortunately portray this to every aspect of our lives.
If we want something, we want it right now.
As a business owner that is working for profit, we cannot sell our great product, expertise, knowledge or service at a price that is not deserving of the quality of the product or service that we provide. If customers want a great quality product, then they must accept that it comes at a price.
Do not compromise on price if your product or service is really of high quality. The customers that want to use your business because of the great quality will thus also be able to afford you. Do not underestimate your business’ worth of the value that your product or service adds.
If the customer is happy to accept the lesser quality product or service, then you should reduce the price to reflect this fact. Be accommodating to them if they are happy to take a lesser quality product.
The question of constant availability is one step further from this and can be an entire thesis on its own, and will be a future blog post.
As a business and entrepreneur that strives for customer services, you must at all times attempt your best to have the product or service available for the customer.This ensures customer loyalty, brand loyalty and excellent word of mouth advertising.
The important factors to consider when one wishes to have the product or service available immediately and constantly are capacity, the skills of service personnel, the profitability of having this product or service constantly at hand and whether it simply makes business sense.
So, if a customer wants a product or service immediately and constantly available, then again the price must reflect the premium that is charged for this extremely valuable attribute or the quality might have to be sacrificed.
Too many entrepreneurs wish to satisfy their customers by giving them the best product for cheap and at any given time. Unfortunately, in my mind, we cannot have it all three ways.
As an entrepreneur, you need to decide where the middle ground for your business will be. Are you the best quality provider, the cheapest in the market or do you always have the product available? At most you can satisfy two of these questions, but you cannot do all three.
At the end of the day it is up to you to build your business around those two aspects that you are most comfortable with and which make you enough profit to satisfy your entrepreneurial needs.