Last year we had a few quotes to remodel our bathroom. Unfortunately I picked the quote that was substantially less money (much to the chagrin of my wife). The project did not go well. It took twice the time, but the price was still considerable less than the firm that came highly recommended from a friend but was higher priced. Several months after the project, I noticed that water was accumulating around the drain. It turns out the floor of the shower was not installed correctly. Unfortunately, I had to hire a different person to fix the problem, and it cost me a fair amount to rip up tile and redo the floor. The project was still less money, but I have now noticed that I am having other issues with the tile in the bathroom.
As a professional services firm, we have been challenged by customers, prospects and sales folks to cut corners, lower prices, do less. We have resisted this temptation over the past 12 years, sometimes losing customers or prospects over this issue.
This week we have had two clients return to us that previously were seeking lower priced alternatives. In both cases, the clients thought they could get a cheaper price from some other firm. One of the clients had asked us to bid on something 5 years ago. 5 years later they have not solved the problem and we are bidding again. In the other case they used another firm for 6 months and decided that we are a better firm.
I understand how some of our clients or prospects feel. Hey – there are many firms that can do this work and there is a lot of competition, so why can’t we do it for less? Just like my bathroom project, the projects we work on are vital to the success of our clients. We have invested over 20 years in developing an approach to ensure success on very difficult projects. The way many firms lower the price is by not taking all the necessary steps to make sure you are successful. We will not do this.
Our strategy has always been to provide the highest quality service, and we have had faith that customers and future customers would see it and believe it. We have invested the dollars into recruiting and retaining the best folks in the industry and building a world class service organization. After 12 years it is hard to argue that we have not taken the best path.