Why we don’t trust the new

10 years ago, Posted in Point of View, Transparency

Each day we receive feedback from customers rating their experience with BuildDirect on 3 different criteria. 1) Customer Service  2) Product quality  3) Delivery service.  We treat this feedback as crucial to our business. Even though it hurts when the feedback is negative,  it uncovers areas that we improve upon. We never hide from it. In fact we share the product quality reviews un-edited for everyone else to see.

The vast majority of the responses are not only positive…but extremely positive. Although it would be nice to take full credit for this, I actually think there is something bigger at play here.

I think that something bigger is the perception of risk!

And when we deliver what we promised or more, customers are blown away.

I think most people are taught to think “you get what you pay for” and as soon as they see a price/quality that is far better than their competitors, a natural scepticism sets in. If it is too good to be true, it normally is… so the saying goes.

The problem with this line of thinking is that the Internet has changed the rules.  Supply chains are completely changing. Many of those changes result in a completely different cost structure and therefore pricing structure. The comparisons we used to use are no longer valid.

Look at the news for an example of what I mean. News is just as relevant today as it ever was. If this is true, why are most newspapers dying?  The answer is that the medium has changed. Many didn’t realize that the value was not in the paper….it was in the news. Like any change, the easiest thing to do is pretend that the new channel is somehow inferior…that it lacks quality.  In this case, it is true that many blogs and news sources are inferior in quality, but the best are very high in quality.  People today consume news that is more specialized and important to them through specialized sites and blogs. I myself get brilliant financial information from sites like and Mish’s blog   Thought leaders like this who understood this new medium and committed to quality are thriving today, just as the thought leaders did before them, when the medium was the paper.

This transformation is not just happening in news. It is happening in all industries…..some faster than others.

Do you remember the last time you looked in the yellow pages (Google) or bought a CD? ( iTunes)

In the Google example: Is it the right information that is important, or the pages that it is written on.

In the iTunes example: Is it the music that is important, or the store that you could buy it from.

The same business principles apply to using new technology as they did to the old way of doing business. Great businesses that drive more value to their customers….. win and businesses that do not….fail.

With respect to building products: Is it the product that is important, or the  shelves that the product sits on?

I think that many of the people sending their feedback have found the answer.

Do you agree? Disagree?  I would like your comments!


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