Is more always better?

In Seth Godin’s blog dated June 1, 2012, he wrote:

 Is more always better?  Sometimes, only better is better.

A simple enough statement but let’s examine it with some examples.

  • a seller “giving” you more services to cover the shortcomings of a product
  • a seller adding-on services to try to convince the consumer that he/she is receiving a better value

Let’s look at this from a consumer’s standpoint.

As consumers, we want better “stuff”, not more “stuff”.

  • We don’t want our cellular phone company to “give” us a cover for our new phone – we want better phone and customer service.
  • We do not want nor are we willing to pay for a below average product when a better one is available at a fair and reasonable price.
  • We don’t want to be charged for delivery if it’s going to take six weeks to get that new couch.

According to an article from StartupNation, this is what customers/consumers want:

 What keeps customers satisfied?

  1. Knowledgeable and available staff: While a customer is making the buying decision, they want knowledgeable assistance, available when they want it . Customers place a high value on accurate information and want to be served by employees who know the product inside and out.
  2. Friendly people: Customers not only want product-savvy sales people, they want them to be friendly and courteous. Your staff should value each customer more than any individual sale.
  3. Good value: This is where price factors in. But customers surveyed see price as only one component of the bigger picture of “value” that includes the service, information and follow-up they also receive.
  4. Convenience: The service rule here is simple: make it easy! Says Gross, “Customers want merchandise that is well organized, attractively displayed and easy to find. That’s how today’s customers define convenience, and the easier you can make the shopping, the more money you will be lugging to the bank.”
  5. A fast finish: This final item is where too many businesses fall flat, right at the finish line. While customers are in the process of deciding to buy or not, they are proceeding on your time. They want thoughtful help making the right decisions. But once the buying decision is made, get out of their way because now you are working on their time, and they want to complete the transaction and be on their way as quickly as possible. At the cash register, there is no time for making additional suggestions.

You may invoke any metric or principle you want but sometimes only better is better.  Think about that next time you’re dealing with a customer or salesperson.

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