Apart from the milk, what am I missing

As a young boy growing up in Perth, I can recall for some obscure reason a TV commercial for Orbit sugar less gum.Photo chewing gum

They had found a way of removing the sugar from the gum.


Same great gum chewing experience, but with no sugar in it.

The gum cost more than a standard pack of juicy fruit or my favourite, double mint (green wrapper).

Here’s what my 12 year old mind couldn’t work out.

Why did the gum cost more? There was no sugar in it.

In essence you were paying more for what you didn’t get.

At the age of 12 I couldn’t begin to understand that there were costs involved with removing the sugar, or to find some alternative product.

I was just confused as to why you should pay more for what you don’t get.

Move forward 30 years and I now find myself confused when I order a long black coffee and pay the same price as my wife does for her skinny cappuccino. Yes, that’s  right the same price.

What am I missing here, apart from the milk?

Her coffee requires not only milk, but someone to froth it.

Shouldn’t a coffee with milk, which I’m guessing is the most expensive part of the drink cost more than one without?

And as for the sugar! If I don’t have sugar am I sponsoring your sugar?

Let me just clarify that it’s never about the 50 cents, it’s the principle that bugs me.

Whilst on the subject of little gripes to start the year.

I went and saw the excellent musical Jersey Boys at the end of last year.

We booked the tickets on-line and were charged a $10 handling fee! Confused? Yes, completely.

We did the handling, not Ticketek.

We booked it all, chose the seats and printed out the tickets. No humans involved.

Shouldn’t we be rewarded for keeping a human out of the process and thereby keeping their costs down?

A lot of people in business like to talk about “creating value”. You can create value for your customers by:

  • Making it better at the same price
  • Making it cheaper without compromising quality
  • Letting me enjoy it sooner than I expected
  • Letting me enjoy fewer hassles in the experience of consuming your service or product (better call centres, customer service, data management)
  • Contacting me at the right time for me, not you as the seller

Everyone reading this will have a different way that they can create more value for their customers in 2012.

It really doesn’t have to be that hard.

At NRG Solutions we keep looking at the little things we can do that will enhance the experience our clients have.

If something annoys a client, can we remove it?

If something is bugging you, please let us know.

It’s never been about perfection, only about seeing if we can do it better.

Posted in Leadership; Tagged Leadership; Posted by Steve Herzberg

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