Knock on the door.. ”Window Cleaner!” he announces, without any prelude or nicety.
Caught somewhat off guard as my mind had been buried deep into a piece of work, I replied in an equally perfunctory way, “Sure- yes- crack on.. Thank you”
I smiled to myself at his brusqueness, glanced at the time and sat down to pick up where I had left off.
Outside I heard the noise of the water pump that the cleaner had fitted into the back of his van and a few minutes later the outside of the house became deluged with a torrent of water.
The noise continued and then all went quiet.
“Finished Guv- £20 please – want a receipt?”
Now I reckon I’m pretty good at job costing, with an appreciation of time, effort, direct and indirect costs but I didn’t need a calculator to work out that the cleaner had just charged me £80 hour.
I have no problem with paying for hard graft, time, expertise and I recognise the investment made by the entrepreneurial window cleaner in his pump but for whose benefit?
I acknowledge I didn’t have to pay for the water or the fuel to drive the pump, wear and tear, depreciation on the van or perhaps even liability insurance, but I was irked.
I have the same problem with the Electricity Company telling me how beneficial a smart meter is for my house – no, it’s not for me, it is for you, the Electricity Company- no meter reader costs, reduced billing cycle, accounting accuracy and so on; that’s not win-win.
“Fit our smart meter and we will give you £100 off your next quarter’s bill” – now that’s added value or rather shared value.
A Customer is only a Customer when they come back, in my book and a Customer buys from me because they receive benefit or added value.
So this morning’s thought is “What is it that we do, that is good (of value) for my Customers and what is of value for me? should we share our benefit or just harvest it?
Perhaps worthwhile to put a slot in the diary to have a think about your business’ value chain?