It's never easy having to tell your customers that you're raising your prices. In fact, it can be downright nerve-wracking. You know that you need to do it, but you're not sure how your customers will react. Will they understand? Will they be angry? Will they walk away from your business altogether?
We may be confident when setting our prices, but we buckle under pressure when it comes to effectively communicating our prices, especially when we have to communicate an increase. Below are three tips to make the process easier for yourself and reduce the chances of negative reactions from your customers.
The first way to confidently communicate a price increase is to be clear about why you're doing it. If your prices have remained the same for a long time, customers may be more understanding if you need to raise them. On the other hand, if you've only been in business for a short time or recently raised your prices, they may be less understanding. Be prepared to explain why you're raising your prices and what it will allow you to do for your customers (e.g., improve product quality, offer better customer service, etc.).
The second way to confidently communicate a price increase is to give your customers advance notice. This will give them time to budget for the price increase and make any necessary adjustments to their own spending. It will also give them time to compare your prices to those of your competitors and decide whether they're still willing to do business with you. Pay close attention to what you have committed to in your contract with regard to communicating changes in your contract so you are operating within the bounds of your commitment.
The third way to confidently communicate a price increase is to be open to negotiation. In some cases, customers may be willing to accept a price increase if they feel like they're getting something of value in return. For example, you could offer a discount on future purchases or throw in some extra services for free. If you're not open to negotiation, however, be prepared to stand your ground and explain why the price increase is necessary.
When it comes to how to communicate, sometimes it makes sense to do it in person or face to face. Sometimes it warrants a call for courtesy and sometimes an email is sufficient. It depends on the magnitude of the price change and the relationship you have with the customer. Knowing you customers well will also help you anticipate reactions and manage expectations properly.
These are just a few tips to help you communicate a price increase confidently. By being clear about why you're doing it, giving your customers advance notice, and being open to negotiation, you can minimize the negative reactions and keep your business running smoothly. Good luck!