When it comes to professional services and products, the majority of businesses assume that price is the most important factor in making a decision.
Of course, there are many different reasons for why this is the case. The most obvious one, however, is that most of the marketing and sales messages we are exposed to on a daily basis (and there are many), are based on trying to get a buyer to take action because it will save them money or cost less than their competition.
This has led to a prevailing idea among buyers, whether professional or consumer, that, if it is POSSIBLE to pay less for something, then that means it is BETTER to pay less for something.
What this mindset has led to is a marketplace where the majority of service providers are competing on price. They are racing to the bottom. This has also led to a marketplace where buyers are giving more weight to price than to other considerations.
The problem is that with the heavy focus on price, which has become commonplace in modern business, the average buyer is not paying as close attention as they should be to other factors in a purchasing decision.
There is a term that used to be more frequently used, but it’s become less common because it had lost a lot of its meaning. That term is “full-service.”
The term “full-service” applies to a customer experience in which the buyer is basically guided through the process and everything is provided for them. A full-service customer experience could perhaps best be described as effortless.
The alternative to a full-service experience is what has been known for a while now as DIY, or do-it-yourself. A DIY experience is one where the buyer is responsible for as much as they possibly can be and the service provider is almost uninvolved.
Traditionally, the draw of a DIY service model has been the lower cost associated with it. You can buy a backyard treehouse from Menards and put it together yourself for 1/3 of the cost of hiring someone to do it for you.
There are just one little problem with the DIY approach: YOU’RE the one doing it.
It might just so happen that you’re not particularly good at putting together backyard treehouses. You might run into a little snag and not be sure how to get around it. What was supposed to take a Saturday afternoon suddenly takes 3 entire weekends to complete.
At some point, you have to ask yourself. Do you want DIY or do you want it done right?
When you make the choice to spend less money and do the work yourself, you’re also making a choice to devalue your own time by spending it on something someone else could accomplish better and faster.
Most professional services providers bill their time out somewhere between $100-$200 per hour. And yet, these same professionals will spend several hours calling a 1-800 number to get customer service for whatever their latest problem is. When their billable time is considered, this DIY service model, which was supposed to save them money, just cost them so much more in wasted time.
Again, the simple question you need to ask yourself – do you want DIY or do want it done right?
Price isn’t everything. Time, headache, simplicity, and speed are also factors in a decision. How many decisions are you basing on price that have more important factors to consider?
When you start including other considerations in your value-equation, you might find full-service is actually the cheaper option.