This morning, I got an email from an online retailer offering me $15 off a purchase of $30 or more. It was tempting, but I hesitated. Why? Because I couldn’t help but wonder, “What happens next?” Once they’ve won me as a customer, will they just go back to business as usual? Of course, I don’t expect them to sell me everything at half-price indefinitely. But could they find a way to deliver more value to me than what they’re getting from me? Is that so crazy?
Well, some might think that a “give more than you get” approach is bad for business. After all, simple math will tell you that delivering more than what the customer paid for is a good way to cut into your profit. But I think it’s a great idea, and it’s one we strive to apply at MyITpros. And I’m not alone; in fact, the writer Bob Burg calls this approach “the law of value” and lists it as the first of five laws of stratospheric success in his best-selling business book “The Go-Giver.”
This isn’t really about math, and it’s not a science. It’s just a philosophy of doing business that suggests in the end, you get more when you give more. We approach every interaction this way at MyITpros. For example, when a client calls us with a problem, we have to stop and think whether it’s covered by their monthly fee or warrants setting up a whole new project. When applying the law of delivering value, our first thought is always, “Can I do this within their fee? How can I make this work without having to charge them more?” and not “Oh boy, I bet I can figure out a way to charge extra for this and make more money for us!”
More often not, we end up doing what the client is asking for without charging more. Or course, there are cases where we can’t justify that course of action, because resolving the issue really does require a whole new project – like upgrading to a new server, for example. But when it’s possible for us to go the extra mile and do what’s asked without charging an additional amount, that’s exactly what we do: deliver more than what we agreed to originally.
Yes, we’ll incur a cost to resolve the issue. But the more important result is that we’ll earn the customer’s ongoing goodwill and confidence that we have their best interests at heart.
To return to the retail example I talked about at the beginning of this post, imagine this scenario: I take the bait and buy something that gives me twice the value of what I pay, but once I become a customer, the company turns around and starts nickel-and-diming me to death with restocking fees and steep shipping charges. It’s safe to assume I may not stay a customer for long! On the other hand, if they consistently offer me no-hassle returns and an occasional freebie for being a good customer, they’re going to keep my business for a long, long time. It’s also important to remember that if they lose me to greedy business practices within two months of the special deal they used to lure me in, they’ll never make up for the hit they took with that original steep discount.
We truly believe this at MyITpros, and we frequently assess how we’re doing in terms of payments and value so we can adjust accordingly. We regularly evaluate what customers are paying us, what kind of margin we’re seeing for that payment and whether it’s fair for both parties. Some months, we’ll deliver a lot more value for the monthly amount we’re paid; other months, that won’t be the case. But we’re always looking to provide the right amount of service and then some, and if we feel we’re not, we’re going to look for ways to deliver more – or we’re going to lower our fee for that client.
The law of delivering value has proven to be a very worthwhile business practice for MyITpros. No matter how counterintuitive it sounds at first, I hope you’ll try it. If our experience is any indication, you won’t regret it.
The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! For more information on MyITpros and how we run our business, check out some related posts here. If you're interested in learning more about managed services and the MyITpros methodology, check out our services section or always feel free to contact us!