The perceived ease of tasks.
There are restaurants in the world that let their customers set their own price. It sounds crazy but it works for them… It works because we’ve all tried to cook something for ourselves and struggled. Anyone who has ever tried to make their own chicken kiev, or vegetable lasagna has a finer appreciation when they experience the same dish in the hands of an expert. It’s worth an extra buck or two. Not everyone is respectful, -but for every cheapskate, there is a rewarding connoisseur.
Would a lawyer, an accountant, or graphic designer survive by letting clients set their own prices? Have you ever audited an S-corp? Designed a tri-fold brochure? Would you know excellence if you saw it? Would you have a concept of how long it might take to do it yourself? or what could go wrong? Would you be able to assess the worth of the service?
Technology has spoiled us when it comes to purchasing professional services. Why pay an accountant when you can just use Quickbooks. Why pay a designer when you can just throw something together in Front Page. There is a perceived ease that technology affords us. But how much does the legal fee cost vs. the long drawn out court case? How much does the web designer cost vs. the ecommerce site that crashes?
Just like good food or service at a restaurant we all look for quality in our service providers. We look for trust. You’ll probably never use CSS to change the size of the header on a 500 page website. You’ll likely never color correct a brochure on press before 10,000 copies are printed. You may never get to set up a database that powers a content management system. If you ever do, you may gain some insight into how we spend our days. We might even consider the voluntary payments. In the meantime, we hope you trust us to find every efficiency, and optimization we can, and we’ll keep billing by the hour… We won’t even put out a tip jar.