Seeing The Value

April 11, 2011

What happens when an irresistable force meets an immovable object?

When two forces come against each other, time and time again – often, one of them has an impact on the other.  The wind and the rain come against a mountain – with little obvious effect - but eventually the mountain is beaten down into a hill after trillions of raindrops and hundreds of thousands of years of relentless wind.

The effect this erosion has is clear in Canyonlands, Utah.  We have beautiful arches which have been carved, almost imperceptibly, by the wind.  We have deep pits which have been carved out of flat sandstone by a single pebble – rolling back and forth, round and round, by wind action.

You are a force, and your client is another.  When you come into contact – how is each affected?

What happens when a client of yours doesn’t see the value in a given service?  How do they impact you and how do you react?  Someone’s perception of value is going to change – even if just by a small degree.

Will the customer come away with an increased appreciation for the value of the service?  Or will you come away with a slightly decreased confidence in what you charge, or what you deliver?

You are making a difference in your customers’ perceptions when you show caution (approaching reverence) for their original image.  This was the image they had folded up in their wallet at some point, or that they had their thumbs on – but as they see how you treat it, their perspective changes. 

You make a difference when you explain to the customer “I’ll keep these under lock and key in a fireproof safe.”  And you DO.  It contrasts sharply with where it’s been stored previously. 

You make a difference when you ask them to tell you a little bit about the photo – who was in it – and why this photo is important to them.  You make a difference when you pull out a loop or glass, and examine the photo – noting areas of damage, and reassuring the customer that even though it’s damaged – you’ve been successful with repairing that kind of damage before.  Do they REALLY SEE how bad the photo is?  It isn’t just a spot, it’s the creases, the moire pattern, the fading, the discoloration on the sides.  Your value is in repairing all that – do they realize all that is going on with their photo?

You make a difference when you share how great you think it is that the customer is taking this step to STOP the continuing deterioration to the photo, that it would be PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to restore all of the prints in everyone’s basements and attics.  And all of them are chemically deteriorating at one pace or another.  There’s only so many photos that are even going to BE restored.  What a thoughtful gift to do for themselves and their posterity.

If we aren’t actively getting a customer to SEE THE VALUE, we can let our own perceptions of value erode away.