Convenience is the enemy of value.

For a Father’s day get together, my family and the families of my two sisters had arranged to take my parents out for dinner.
For a variety of reasons, we agreed on our local Harvester pub and on the following Tuesday since Father’s day itself didn’t work for us all.
So we pre-booked a week in advance since there were 15 of us in total.
When we arrived for our meal, the young lady who welcomed us took us to our tables.  As we approached, we quickly realised that these were separate tables and not even within reasonable talking distance apart.
We asked if we could move the tables closer together and they said no.
‘Why not? ’I enquired, completely puzzled by this response.  Because we’re not allowed to.  The tables are in certain positions so we know where to deliver the food to.
‘But the tables have numbers on them and we’re only talking a few feet’ I responded, trying to be diplomatic despite my frustration that we were even having this conversation when we were out for a pleasant Father’s Day meal.
‘They can’t be moved’,  was the response she gave as she turned on her heel and went to welcome the next visitor to the pub.
Convenience for the business over value for the customer.  The value is a great experience that would lead to further custom and perhaps desserts.
Of course, it may well be the pub’s policy to not put tables closer together, perhaps it could be a health and safety risk if it’s difficult to get through the joined set of tables. There could be fair reasons.
But these should have been made clear at the time of booking to set those expectations.

But convenience over value isn’t limited to the Harvester by any degree. 

It’s something I’ve seen and experienced in many businesses.
In the Accountancy profession, I’ve seen Accountants send out accounts (or make them available on online portals) but don’t take time with their client to discuss them and identify areas for improvement to strengthen sales, profits and cash flow or ensuring that systems can be improved, etc.
Tapping into analysis and reporting tools that produce trend reports and projections, and then simply stapling them to the accounts or accompanying them within a client portal, without the value of conversation, is still convenience over value.
Have you viewed your Accountancy practice through the lens of your clients and prospective clients recently?
What’s your prospect and customer journey look like and how can you ensure that your clients feel loved and experience value?

Here’s my recommendation…

If you don’t have a planned out customer journey, then grab a pack of Post-it notes and write down every possible interaction that a prospect or client might have with you.
Put them in some kind of logical order and then pick just one of those items this week.
Grab the Post-it and get creative. Think of as many ways that you can make that one experience, outstanding. Some of those ideas might be daft but that’s fine since the daft ones trigger great ones.
Then decide what you can implement now from that list and systemise the process so that the experience is consistent.
Next week, pick the next Post-it note.
In addition, ask your clients questions about their customer service experience from you.  If you’re afraid to ask for fear of the answer, all the more reason to ask.
Convenience over value just isn’t worth it.

Update June 2022:

How else can you improve the service you deliver to your clients? And the results you get from your Accountancy practice? In my book, Putting Excellence Into Practice, I share a roadmap for creating a practice that does exactly that. A practice that gives incredible value to your clients. And also gives you the fulfilment and the income that so many Accountants are missing right now. Download your free copy here.