The price vs. service battle

, posted: 25-Jan-2010 10:00

I'm always after a good deal.  When I'm buying a new tech toy I will extensively search Google for pricing from both local and overseas (taking into account the exchange rate and freight), create a spreadsheet, and figure out the best price from there.  Reputation and after-sales support do affect my decision, but I'm primarily price driven.  There is also the understanding that a cheap supplier won't have the profit margins to support a 24/7 comprehensive support help desk, so all these are factored into my decision.  Once I've picked a supplier, my purchase is put on my VISA, to which the elves at the ASB finance department rejoice at having my slavery to them guaranteed, at least, for a few more months.

iStock_000011297153XSmall Price isn't always the deal breaker - when does receiving good service win over the cheapest price?

During the Christmas break, my partner and I were visiting friends out in Waiuku, a small town south-west of Auckland.  After the hour's drive to get out there, we stopped at a Caltex station to fill up.  It was here that I received excellent service, which triggered my ideas for this post.

As a school kid, I remember the service my folks used to get from their local petrol station.  There was always an attendant to pump your petrol for you, your oil and water were checked, windows washed, and a friendly wave given as you pulled away.  It was only after grazing on far too many unhealthy snacks in store while waiting for the pump to finish, did I remember that thorough service used to be standard. We have accepted pumping our own petrol in exchange for the illusion of sustained lower petrol prices.

I'm not always after the cheapest deal: in hospitality the opposite is true - I frequent places that give me good service.

I always buy my morning coffee from the same cafe since we are now on a first-name basis, and because of this, they look after me.  I'm sure they are not the cheapest, but they give me consistently good service.  The same goes for the restaurants - the ones that have given me the best service, get my continued business.

What dictates where you spend your dollars - price or service? I'm interested to hear what you think, in the comments below.



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I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, own Tuihana Cafe, and am a moderator here at Geekzone.

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