The Limits of Quality
Robert Cappos wrote an intriguing article entitled “The Good Enuf Rvltn” in the September 2009 issue of Wired Magazine (pp. 110-119). He tells a story about a company called “Pure Digital” which made a very inexpensive digital camera. The photos were good enough that Pure Digital sold 3 million of them. Cappos argued that while high quality is great, it often isn’t necessary to satisfy customer wants. Customers will frequently take a less expensive option provided the service or product is “good enough.” Therefore, companies that spend inordinate time producing high quality products actually over satisfy clients at best and hurt profitability at worst.
I wondered how many wildlife control operators (WCOs) suffered from the same challenge with their own businesses. Some WCOs argue that pest control operators (PCOs; those that primarily handle insects) will never be able to compete with WCOs that deal with vertebrates. The argument goes that customers will want the company that provides better service(s). The problem with this argument is that it assumes clients want and will pay for the “better service” and that they would be able to recognize the better company. Both assumptions are highly questionable. The fact is customers frequently want and are satisfied with “good enough.”
Good Enough Service
Now some readers may think that I am recommending companies provide poor quality service. Nothing could be further from the truth. My point is simply that you may serve your customers just as well by providing A- service rather than spending a lot of energy trying to give A+ service. The bottom line is you want to fulfill the needs of your clients. You don’t help anyone by providing services that they don’t want. If the client can’t appreciate the value of an additional service then your spending excessive energy and resources on that service is detracting from the profitability of your business.
You either need to eliminate that service extra or educate your client on its value.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control operator who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest book is the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition. He can be contacted at stephenvantassel at Hotmail dot com.
All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included.