The customer is always right

Published: August 4th, 2009

Got a tweet that came through today in my twitter stream:

$500-$1000 for a professional web design too much?

Innocent enough question – followed the link to DewLilly’s blog and an article that upset me.  Why? Not because anything she said was particularly offensive – in fact, she actually utters the V-word (value) in defense of her belief that this is NOT too much $ and in fact, likely too little.

What came through however was frustration – and a lack ofunderstanding of “the customer” that hits you like a ton of bricks whenyou’re used to listening to folks like Seth Godin and Anthony Ulwick talk about the customer.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“…web design anddevelopment is not a commodity, otherwise you could easily go to yourlocal cheap super-store and buy a CD with your favorite web sitetemplate ready made for you…”

If your customer thinks that “web design” is a commodity, then itis, no matter what you think.  The fact is, if your customer just wantsa “templated design” for their site, then $500-$1000 might just be toomuch.

Your customer does the “value math” based on their interpretation ofthe value proposition.  Don’t like the math? Change the perception ormessaging of the value proposition to your customer.

If they are truly looking to engage with a “web designer” as asolution partner to help them succeed in their business over theircompetitors – if that is the Value Proposition they are seeking, or youare selling, then absolutely $500-$1,000 is cheap.  Now you’re talkingabout a relationship with a professional.  Your time, in a mutualpartnership to drive the customer’s success – that’s “priceless”.

Commodities drive a linear pricing scale with steady downward pressure on price.

A trusted partner – with a powerful value proposition tied to your customers success? Exponential pricing.

Whether you are building web sites or in Enterprise IT – it’s aquestion of service and an experience your customers will value.  Makea difference, and your customer will feel it.

Cost won’t be the next discussion.  They’ll want to know how they can get more of you.

Don’t be a commodity. Be exponential.  -Pedro

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