I found a good article in Entrepreneur Magazine discussing the frustrations of perfection vs good enough. As the title states, the author provides two questions she feels you should ask to help you know when good enough really is. Her questions are valuable, but not the one I would ask.
My question is how does the customer feel about it? As I have mentioned in earlier blog posts, good enough is the metric that matters for customers. Charging for more than your customer wants makes you over-priced. Providing less than the customer needs, wants and demands causes them to look elsewhere. It’s good enough when your target customer says so. Period.
That being said, there is a challenge. What was good enough yesterday may not be good enough tomorrow. Many years ago I worked with a company that provided equipment services to hospitals. Average turn-around time was a week. This company did it in 2-days for about the same amount of money. They raised the bar. The challenge for the CEO came when a competitor came in with 24 hour response. His initial comment was: “Those customers don’t remember how bad it used to be.” Doesn’t matter, the game is changing.
UPS delivered in 2 weeks with no tracking. Fed Ex adding overnight and tracking. They changed the definition of good enough. Amazon got us all used to free shipping and 2-day delivery, which is becoming 1-day in many cases.
Good enough is a moving target. Stay connected to your customers and you won’t miss out or focus in the wrong areas so you add costs without adding value.