This blog post is about offering full services to a client. I’ll start with three examples and then I’ll quickly jump to conclusions.
- Case study 1: Let’s say you’re a company which sells something. Some goods cost 100 something, while other goods are more like 100.04. A client comes and wants a product like the latter. You can either charge the client exactly 100.04, or you can leave it at 100. I’m not sure about the laws (so this might be illegal), but if I were you, I’d ignore the 0.04. Yet in Romania, this rarely ever happens. Had the product cost 99.7, sometimes you wouldn’t have gotten change money. On the other hand, if it’s 10.03, don’t expect for a gift. And I think this is rather wrong. Surely in one week, you can cover this rare and minuscule amount of money just by tips. Surely a client who spends 100 something in your business brings you much more profit than the loss you get by ignoring 0.04. Yet I’ve seen a lot of cases in which the client always has to lose something.
- Case study 2: I go to the postal office to send a mail (yeah, a classic one). I have to fill in something. I ask the postal representative for a pen. She tells me she can sell me one. They tend not to give bills at the post office and the pen was overpriced. The postal business in Romania (ran by the State) isn’t all that profitable, and in this case I understand if they have money problems. Still, having a pen which can be used, on average, by 20 clients could bring a better image for the company than the cost of a pen.
- Case study 3: A lot of trains in Romania have no toilet paper, no soap at bathrooms. Yet the problem is also present in some bars and pubs. You go in there – no basic stuff. The cost of soap or of a toilet paper is really minuscule compared to the money I put in paying the train ticket or by the profits from 10 customers in a bar. And yet no basic stuff.
Analysis – sometimes it’s good to cut expenses. Surely, there are things which you need and there are thing you need less for your business. In Romanian getting to the lowest cost is a common practice for clients, which then force business to adapt the same strategy. But I do think that by providing some minuscule care for the client, by providing the smallest of things (necessary), a business can be better on the long (and even short) run. Have I had employees, I would train them to round, in favor of the client, a cost of 100.05 to 100, to make sure that one can get a pen with which to write and, finally, to have basic care items in the facilities. It’s such a small investment that I wonder how come it isn’t applied by everybody.
Note: Also see the Yahoo! Group on which I present similar issues: IMRo. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org and reply to the confirmation email.