The rising cost of utilities, and the increased shortages of some items as a result of current world events unfortunately means that many businesses are having to put their prices up in order to stay afloat. There is a good chance that at the back of their minds your customers will be expecting a price rise. Nevertheless, it is still a tricky subject to broach, and one that is best done in the right way if you don’t want to lose your loyal custom base.
Before you put your prices up it is worth doing your sums again. This way you can make sure the increase is necessary. If your cost increases are just a temporary thing rather than long term, then you may prefer just to ride it out rather than making the price increase.
Give plenty of notice before putting prices up
There is one thing worse than a price increase and that is a price increase with no notice. As soon as you have worked out what your price increase will be it is a good idea to give your customers as much advance notice as possible. Let them know that the new prices will be and when you will be putting them up. This can be as simple as a polite email. The point is to warn them so when the increase happens, they are prepared. Depending on how much the increase is and how much a customer spends with you this may mean them looking at their own finances. They may even assess their prices in order to accommodate the increase, and this is something they will need time for.
Explain the increase
Your customers will probably realise that the increase is as a result of increases in costs. However, it can be a good idea to explain the reasoning behind your pricing increase. This will help to soften the blow. You could also emphasise the benefit that the price increase could have to your customers. This could be the continued quality, availability and same service levels, for example. Doing so may help to keep them on board with the increases.
When you are transparent about things in this way it makes any communication that you have with your customers seem more authentic and trustworthy. This in turn makes it a little easier for your customer when it comes to paying the higher prices and justifying them.
Don’t over calculate
Make sure that you work out any increases in pricing properly. This means you should gather all of the information that you need to make your decision. Then, do some calculations. Do not be tempted to over inflate your price increase. If your clients do some careful comparisons with other companies who work in the same field and find your prices are suddenly much more expensive, they may be less likely to trust you in the future. This is never a good way to conduct business. Remember if your prices are increasing as a result of things like energy bills then your customers will also be experiencing increases in their bills too and may need to be a little more careful with their money.