I recently heard a radio commercial asking me to pay more for my power. Given that it’s not every day a company solicits your business by asking you to pay more, it got me thinking…
Perhaps for business software vendors, this is an object lesson. Too many vendors try to seal the deal by competing on price. The flip side is that too many companies select key business software based, at least partly, on price. And that’s a dangerous game. Why? The obvious answer is that “you get what you pay for”, and that’s true in this context, but it’s not the whole story.
Let’s use a shoe analogy: I used to buy cheap shoes, mostly because my preconceived notion was that it was a commodity. But a few years ago, I realized that my shoes did not last very last long, and my feet were always sore at the end of the day. I now buy more expensive, better quality shoes. They last much longer – partly because they of superior quality, but (and here’s the point – finally!) mostly because I spend more time and effort looking after them. Because I spend more, my shoes have now become an investment, not a commodity. My feet feel great, and over a period of time I’m probably not spending that much more (because as stated they last longer).
This analogy seems to apply to business software as well. The company I work for sells wholesale distribution software, and with very few exceptions customer satisfaction is directly proportionate to the amount of money invested in the solution. When customers take the implementation of the software more seriously, they derive many more of the benefits on offer. And it seems the more they invest, the more seriously they focus on proper implementation.
- Will you pay more for your power?
- How about your business software?