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“Oh By the Way…I’m Charging You More”

April 1, 2013

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

priceincreses

I called a restaurant I have been using for five years to host quarterly events for Women TIES. They have been very cooperative in setting the room up the way I requested. I was always impressed with their willingness to arrange the space I needed to make my event successful. I never had a feeling it was a problem.

This morning I emailed my contact to book my next event. She said, “Yes we have the date you want open but the owner has decided to start charging you a $100 setup fee since you always ask us to move the room around.” I said to her in reply, “I never knew there was an issue with moving the room around. I noticed the last time I left it took the staff member only 15 minute to move everything back in place. $100 seems steep for such a little change.”

As I wait for a reply to my email and figure the increased fee will remain, I wish the owner thought of these customer service thoughts before implementing the additional fee:

* Take the time to inform a good paying, repeat customer of a policy change in writing before they arrange to do future business with you. A well written letter notifying customers of fee increases are a better way to maintain loyal customers over time.

* Before implementing new fees, notify the client and give them one last purchase before instituting the new fees to their bill. Good paying, long lasting clients deserve some type of notification before fees are raised. The notice would give the client more time to ponder the situation, budget and plan to remain loyal to you.

* Pick up the phone to tell a loyal customer about policy changes. A short email notifying a client of a fee increase isn’t the best tactic to keep a loyal client. If you must deliver perceived bad news to a customer, respect the customer enough to have a personal conversation with them. They will not only respond better but you have the chance to have a conversation with them about the change.

In a world where fees keep increasing every moment of every day, consumers are noticing the companies who take the extra effort to keep their clients informed of pricing changes.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2013 7:13 pm

    You are so right Tracy. That extra customer service and attention, even when you must increase your price, is so important in valuing our customers. Great post.

    Like

  2. April 2, 2013 1:47 pm

    Great article Tracy. While raising prices is sometimes unavoidable, HOW you do it is what is key. I always notify in advance and, as you suggest, give my good clients the opportunity to use my services at the old price at least once more before the increase. I have also forgone passing on my increased prices to a client experiencing some financial difficulty. I have always been rewarded for this with increased loyalty – something money cannot buy!

    Like

  3. April 15, 2013 8:50 am

    This is a thoughtful post, Tracy. It’s only fair to let clients know in advance of price increases. If yearly contracts are put into place, several months notice allows clients to plan and/or ask questions.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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