Being back in classes at the University of South Florida has come with a few surprises. In just a few short years, the Tampa campus has massively overhauled the open use computing labs by updating the equipment and offering more services at a slightly lower cost.
I am not a fan of these computing dungeons. They become a cesspool filled with the technology-impaired. You know, people like me.
I am the first to admit when I don’t know how to use technology. This happens often. This happened a few days ago when I tried to print a document in one of the Dungeons. After failing to log in to the system several times, I approached the help desk, only to be met with a Computer Troll so thoroughly disinterested in my problem that I got angry and left.
Still needing to print The Document, I ventured across the land to a second Dungeon. Alas, the Princess of Printlandia had been cursed by the evil witch Apathy, and seemed less likely than the Troll to help me. When all seemed lost, I remembered a cure I’d seen in my travels: money.
In short, I offered a girl $5 – American – to print something for me, a two page document that would have cost me 22 cents to print on my own. I just didn’t feel like dealing with domains and servers and passwords and accounts and signing in or logging out or anything associated with the process. Here, here’s $5, do it for me.
I was prepared to pay for convenience.
Your customers may be as well.
While staying competitively priced seems like the safest move for some in today’s economy, don’t forget the value of what you are truly offering to your customers. If you are offering to take away someone’s headache, don’t be afraid to charge appropriately for it.
In my case of the Princess and The Printer, convenience truly was king. I had limited ability, limited time and limited patience. I’d gladly pay $5 each time I desperately need to print something, just to avoid the hassles. And the Troll.
Think about it, how many times have you shelled out a few more dollars for convenience? What can you offer to your customers in the way of convenience that makes you a better choice than your competitors?
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