While the phrase "less is more" has been used so much that I could honestly stand to hear less of the saying itself, it doesn't mean that the concept doesn't apply. And as the above quote elegantly states, there is a balancing act that goes on between giving more and being efficient.
We here at ProSolutions have encountered it many times ourselves. For example, one of our services, hotel competitor pricing, begins with the client filling out a request form to indicate exactly what pricing he or she wants us to gather and from what venues. The form has been, especially in recent years, long. It had become this way over more than a decade of doing projects, becoming more and more bloated as we incorporated different ideas from our customer base and as we gave the customer more and more ways to customize the report to their needs. While any one of the added options was solid and did present a "value added" for our customers, eventually, it was painfully clear that this amount of customization came at a price: a complex system for us to manage and a long and convoluted form for them to understand and fill out.
So over the last two years, we've focused more on giving our customers less: less confusion and less time spent getting started on a project. We removed the most infrequently purchased options, we switched to a significantly simpler pricing and discount structure, and we changed some of the fields to administrative use only so they are hidden from the client's view. And while it did mean that some opportunities for customization no longer appear directly on the form, they are still always available via special request, so for very little loss to our clients, much was gained.
Try this on your own products and services. Ask yourself, "What could I remove or simplify?" Then keep asking it until you've absolutely exhausted all possibilities. It's not always easy deciding exactly what to cut or how to streamline your processes, but it's certainly worth it.
To learn more about our competitor pricing projects, click here. If you decide to complete a Competitor Pricing Strategy (CPS) project, you'll be able to see the above-referenced form in action.