The rewards of delivering value

The name of the game is pleasing as many customers as possible

Not to sound like a critic, but do you ever observe things businesses are doing and wonder, “Why would anyone ever do such a thing?” Well, here are just a few examples that make me ask that question.

With the increased price of gas, prices are important to many. There are even apps like GasBuddy that give you gas prices in your surrounding area. Prices have become so volatile that many stations have invested in electronic displays that can be changed at the touch of a button, but then they allow a tree or a bush to grow in front of the display, meaning motorists can’t see it.

There are a lot of trucks and commercial vehicles on the road. Many of them have advertising painted on their side and rear panels. They give the name of the company often with a nice graphic logo. They include website URLs and phone numbers, but never give us any idea of what types of products and/or services they provide. I guess if we’re curious and have absolutely nothing else to do, we might call or look to see, but how many would actually bother? If they told us what they do, and it was something we needed, we might call or visit their websites.

As you’re driving along, do you ever encounter one of those mobile electronic road signs telling you to seek alternate routes because of the construction that lies ahead? Why do they always place those after the last junction or opportunity to take alternate routes?

Long before the pandemic, many people were buying online. The pandemic dramatically increased those numbers. If you’re one of them, you have probably noticed that once you buy something, you’re continuously besieged with emails to buy more before you could possibly have used what you already bought. I know, you can sometimes opt out of these solicitations, but why would any marketer pester customers this way? Thank God for spam filters.

Likewise, donate to a charity, and you’re on their hot list. Once they have your address, you’ll hear from them weekly, sometimes getting a couple of solicitations from them in the same day. Do their marketing people really think pestering us will make us give more?

Advertising has become so pervasive.

When watching your favorite teams play, the screen often splits to show you an ad while you’re watching the game. This is in addition to all the regular commercials. Why would they give the bigger screen to the commercial, when the game is what everyone wants to see?

When you need a prescription from a pharmacy, they want your contact information before filling it. That’s reasonable, but once they get you into their system, their computer will pester you to buy more, even if you don’t need it. I ask the pharmacist to change the settings, so I won’t get those calls. Unfortunately, that seems to last a few months, and then they start all over again. Most health insurance companies have a deal with a major pharmacy. If we don’t use that pharmacy, we could pay more, sometimes much more. Many pharmacies are now focused on keeping the insurance companies happy, not us.

What do all these examples have in common? None of them is focused on trying to keep customers happy. You don’t need an advanced degree to correct these faults. All you have to do is become your own customer to see what it feels like. Very few managers and employees ever do that. If they want something from their employer, there’s a special process for them.

It’s hard to imagine the owner, manager or even an employee driving up to a gas station and not noticing their allimportant price display is not visible. All too often, it’s not just some disgruntled employees not paying attention; nobody cares.

If you want to make money, the name of the game is pleasing as many customers as possible as often and as much as possible. Many people have figured this out, and there are stories of people starting on the lowest level and working their way up to CEO.

Delivering value works for anybody who takes the trouble to do it, and it can pay quite handsomely.

Ronald J. Bourque, a consultant and speaker from Salem, has had engagements throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He can be reached at 603-898-1871 or

Categories: Business Advice