Business Pressures

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124184

    GoofyGuy (8/13/2015)


    I find it interesting that we're now using the term "customer" for folks who aren't actually paying for service. A couple of years back we used to call those "prospects".

    Perhaps we're looking at one of the innumerable difference between UK and US English, but 'customer' has at its root 'custom' - which, in the UK at least, means having regular (as in 'customary') dealings with a shop or a service. So 'customer', for me, is an appropriate term even for those regularly using a service - free or not.

    I get the etymology just fine. I will be sure to try that argument next time I go sit for 12 hours straight in a Starbucks without ordering anything, while I use the Wifi 😀 I might get away with it, but I am certainly not entitled to it.

    Paying gives you rights not otherwise accorded to those who don't. Expecting a service level for free is a rather diseased view, and one likely to disappoint.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    I get the etymology just fine.

    Thanks for alleviating my concern. 😉

    I will be sure to try that argument next time I go sit for 12 hours straight in a Starbucks without ordering anything, while I use the Wifi I might get away with it, but I am certainly not entitled to it.

    Starbucks states the use of WiFi at its company-owned stores is free. There is no requirement to buy anything while you're there. You may not feel entitled to use its WiFi in doing so, but this is essentially Starbucks' 'service level agreement'.

    Paying gives you rights not otherwise accorded to those who don't. Expecting a service level for free is a rather diseased view, and one likely to disappoint.

    No one's questioning that you get better service levels as you pay more. But as the Starbucks example shows, there may be a service level even when the service is free. And if Starbucks doesn't feel that's a diseased view, well, then I won't either.

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124184

    GoofyGuy (8/13/2015)


    I get the etymology just fine.

    Thanks for alleviating my concern. 😉

    I will be sure to try that argument next time I go sit for 12 hours straight in a Starbucks without ordering anything, while I use the Wifi I might get away with it, but I am certainly not entitled to it.

    Starbucks states the use of WiFi at its company-owned stores is free. There is no requirement to buy anything while you're there. You may not feel entitled to use its WiFi in doing so, but this is essentially Starbucks' 'service level agreement'.

    Paying gives you rights not otherwise accorded to those who don't. Expecting a service level for free is a rather diseased view, and one likely to disappoint.

    No one's questioning that you get better service levels as you pay more. But as the Starbucks example shows, there may be a service level even when the service is free. And if Starbucks doesn't feel that's a diseased view, well, then I won't either.

    Perhaps - but you're not really entitled to just stroll in, park yourself and never purchase anything; In busy locations, they can and will ask you to purchase or leave. Even if you purchase something, if the thing's down - it's down and you don't get to have any other expectation. The WiFi in this example is a side-benefit of the purchase. Many locations around here have had to spell out more specific service standards whereby you are NOT entitled to just stay forever.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    ... you're not really entitled to just stroll in [to a Starbucks], park yourself and never purchase anything; In busy locations, they can and will ask you to purchase or leave.

    In busy locations, they'll ask you to leave if you've been nursing your mocha-latte-frappe-thingy for too long, too. Why, they'll even ask you to leave for not wearing shoes and a shirt (no, I don't know this from personal experience!).

    It's not really related to the WiFi bit; they're just trying to ration seats and keep 'em moving along.

  • Robert Sterbal

    SSChampion

    Points: 10967

    I think it is more realistic to think of Starbucks as an brand that tries to do the right thing for people. Embedded in the $5 latte is the availability of restrooms for customers and non customers alike.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124184

    robert.sterbal 56890 (8/13/2015)


    I think it is more realistic to think of Starbucks as an brand that tries to do the right thing for people. Embedded in the $5 latte is the availability of restrooms for customers and non customers alike.

    As I would of RedGate for keeping this wonderful site up and running. That said - there may come a time where this just becomes too costly to keep up, and good intention or no - a change has to happen.

    When I was self-employed with a few partners - we offered a lot of discounts for non-profits, which worked fine all of the way to a particularly hard year where we just couldn't sustain it. We found other ways to help, but for a while that model had to go.

    The business end has to survive for the benefits offered for free to continue. I just find it a bit sad that people lose trust in a market when they're being given something completely free for many years: be thankful for the years you did get and move on, not bitter or distrusting.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • xsevensinzx

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 25531

    When I was working in the video game industry, we saw a huge transition in business models in the online gaming sector.

    It was pretty much the standard that all online massively multiplayer games charged between $15 to $25 dollars per month to play the game for unlimited time for that month.

    Then a great change happen when a lot of companies tried "Free2Play" style models in Asia and Europe that caught fire. You could play the game for free with optional in-game store purchases that broke out into 3 typical categories: Power, Vanity and Utility.

    Insert mobile (smart) phones here ->

    Our game, which was a subscription based model, adapted this concept as a hybrid model. Free2Play or Subscription. Free customers got to play for free with in-game store options and limited game content where Subscription customers got the best of both worlds.

    When this transition happened, the customers were not too happy. Going from Subscription to Free meant something different to them because free2play was tied to nickle & diming the customer on top of potentially selling power to players who had the most money.

    At the end of the day, we spend millions making the game. We also spent millions supporting the game. Most online games have to have large server farms in that day. Bandwidth, operations, Oracle licenses and so forth are not cheap.

    New business models are adapted to survive, not piss you off.

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    We are a non-profiit health organization. We have a large community outreach program providing services and products to those that need them, primarily children and seniors. But we can't be blind to the fact that it does put our brand name out there.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    A good business, in my opinion, is one that provides value to its customers whilst creating a good enough return on investment.

    How it generates that income and whether the value each customer receives is in relation to what they pay, if anything, is down to the business model. That business model might change.

    Sometimes even "free" services are not worth it. I have paid for some things I could have got a free, poorer quality version. In those circumstances free was just not cheap enough or rather the cost was not too much compared to the elevated quality in the level of service.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • MVDBA

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 20800

    In my place of work we have "internal customers"

    our departments cross charge each other (it makes no sense to me) but our marketing team have a budget that they can use for the design of artwork, the artwork team pay IT operations for equipment and servicing etc etc…

    I'm pretty sure the money just moves around and around until the finance team get bored 🙂

    MVDBA

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