I was talking with my youngest daughter this morning. We chatted about our recent trip to the new Chick-fil-A in town.
I said something about liking the ketchup packets. She responded – “yeah, you have options – you can dip or squeeze.” If you have encountered this type of ketchup packet, you know what she means.
You can peel up the bottom corner and dip your fries into the container, or you can tear off the ‘neck’ of the packet and squeeze the tomato goodness out the top. The package, and the choices it offers are notable – at least for ketchup lovers.
While “Dip or Squeeze” ketchup packets break new ground in the fast food arena, the concept of options has significant implications for business in general.
Do you give your customers options? Their needs vary. Their circumstances change. What resonates with one customer may totally miss the mark with another.
Starting up a business requires focus and start-ups often benefit from limiting options, rather than creating more. It’s often wise to role out simple products and services. Such decisions decrease our time-to-market and provide a base-line for future changes and growth.
There comes a time, though, when people want a different color — they want baked, not fried – or prefer to dip rather than squeeze – and they want to decide based on their current needs and desires!
Who is walking away from your product or service because they don’t see it meeting their wants or needs?
When we started our prepaid phone card company, we simplified our offering into one flat rate card. The cards sold well, and we added customers and retailers on a monthly basis. Over time, however, the market changed. We heard new and recurring suggestions from our customers. Competitors began to offer other types of calling cards.
We got busy and designed a card that offered two rate plans – one was a flat rate per minute, the other offered a one-time surcharge per call and a much lower price per minute. (shown below) The customer could choose which rate plan that they preferred.
The guy who used our card to call his girlfriend and talk for two hours was real happy about out our new card and the ability to choose a rate plan that better-met his needs.
Options create opportunity. Opportunity to attract new customers – and keep old ones satisfied. What new options can you offer today?