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100 Percent of the Time – or at least 99 Percent

May 6, 2015

Nothing is 100% certain, except, as Mr. Ben Franklin once said, death and taxes (and who knows, death may not be 100% certain for much longer). But it seems to me that there is a marketing and sales advantage that accrues to the company that strives for 100% and advertises that fact.

I am personally, extremely, highly, and incredibly frustrated by things that don’t work as promised. And it’s not the things – services, products, etc. – that work 50% or less often than expected. Those I can throw away or find an alternative and just chalk it up to a bad decision on my part. It’s the things that work 85% of the time and the 15% they don’t catches you by surprise (and is almost always inconvenient).

For example(s). My Bluetooth headset that almost always works (and sounds great), but occasionally decides to not. There’s no pattern, so I can’t predict it. I just get to be surprised – and annoyed.

excellent_good_average_checklistOr my bank’s ATM. It is one of those no-envelope ATMs. You just put the checks in, and it adds it all up and makes your deposit. When it works, it’s fabulous. But 15% of the time it spits out a check and says it can’t read it for some reason. And again, there is no pattern to it. So when it spits the check back, I have go to the window, fill out a deposit slip, and wait.

Or the fingerprint lock on my iPhone. Works most of the time, but I am never sure why it doesn’t when it won’t.

Or the software update from the cloud software provider that changes the way I did everything because they decided a “better” way.

The convenience of all these services and items is great. No wires getting tangled on my headset; not having to write a deposit slip every time; knowing my kids can’t get into my phone. But the inconsistency devalues the benefit.

We used to be able to count on the little things working time in and time out. Technology was the promise to get rid of drudgery. But inconsistent service and function has, in my opinion, installed a new kind of anxiety – the anxiety of “will it work”.

If you run or manage a business, here’s your opportunity. Market yourself as getting rid of the “will it work anxiety.” You don’t need to do it (whatever it is) better or different, you just need to be consistently consistent.


Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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