Price Hike Hacks

How To Manage An Increase Without Losing Customers

The decision to raise your rates is a tricky one. But in the end it’s not the hike itself that’s important, it’s how you implement it.

Netflix, for example, put its prices up recently. And while their customers didn’t like it, after a few rumblings, the majority stayed on. So what did this entertainment giant do to make the pill easier to swallow?

They timed it

They were about to release the new season of hit series House of Cards, Stranger Things, and The Crown, so were able to say to their customers ‘for the extra money, you’ll get brand new episodes of your favourite shows’. It was a smart move – adding value to offset the shock.

There are other ways you can introduce pricing changes, in a way that softens the blow for your customers. Two strategies include:

Explain the price increase

You’ll find that customers will be more understanding if you take the time, upfront, to tell them why you’re introducing the change.

Perhaps there’s been a rise in the cost of manufacturing or delivery. Or maybe it’s been a long time since the last adjustment. Communicating these points clearly – and in advance – means your customers will have time to prepare, and will feel valued and respected. There may even be a rush on sales, as they’ll want to get in before the new pricing takes hold!

Whatever you do, don’t apologise for the increase. Instead, be confident and show the customer why it’s fair and reasonable.

Offer a bonus to offset the price rise

People honestly won’t mind paying more as long as they feel they’re getting value for money. Which is why it’s a great idea to announce a price hike, then at the same time let your customers know that they will be getting more than they did before.

Enhancing the quality of the materials you use, offering new options within your range, providing education, or even introducing new packaging for your product can help sweeten the deal and justify your move.

In the end, raising your prices doesn’t have to go hand in hand with losing customers. Often it can even lead to a better quality of customer – one who has a firmer grip on the value you provide.

Feel The Love: Raving Fans Can Rock Your Business

You may have heard the term ‘raving fans’. It’s a passionate subset, usually about 10-15% of your customer base, who are so in love with your business that they shout it out from the rooftops. They keep coming back, not because it’s convenient, but because they want to. And even if you’ve had a bad moment, they’ll stick with you while others shoot out the door.

These people are GOLD, and the very best ambassadors for your brand. So how do you go about reciprocating their loyalty and growing their numbers?

According to global leaders like Apple, Starbucks and Amazon, the trick is to ‘do right and delight’. We’re talking customer service with bling; giving 100% then adding that surprising bit extra. Here are some tips to try:

Under Promise and Over Deliver

It’s tempting to promise the world to your customers. But be careful – because then you have to live up to the hype! A better approach is to deliver more than your customers expect. Tell them that their parcel will arrive within in three days for example, and then send it overnight. Or throw something extra into the deal, like a percentage off their bill.

When you surprise and delight your customers with added value, they’ll return the favour in kind – raving about your fantastic service to their friends and contacts, who are then primed to become your next customers.

       “The biggest mistake organizations make is that they fall in love with their business or products and not with their clients.” —Tony Robbins

Be Consistent – Day In, Day Out

While it’s good to inject a bit of wow factor from time to time you also need to get the basics right. It starts with being consistent, and making sure that your customers’ experience is seamless across the board.

With every interaction – be it in person, online or over the phone – your clients need to know what they’re going to get, and that they can count on you to deliver. That’s what keeps them coming back – and, over time, moves the relationship from happy customer to loyal, raving fan.

Turn Lemons in to Lemonade

On the odd occasion that things do go wrong (and they will), don’t panic. Always remember that it’s less about the issue itself and more about how you handle it. A slip up is often the best chance to lift your game, showcase your ability to listen to your customers and potentially turn a peeved client into a loyal one.

When a problem is resolved quickly and efficiently, in a friendly and responsive manner – the negative becomes a positive. PS: smiles help too!

Ask for Honest Feedback

A satisfaction rating from 1-10 isn’t really going to help you. But when you dig deep and ask specific questions, like ‘what’s the one thing we can do to improve’ – then you’ve got something to work with.

It’s important that you follow through, and act on this feedback of course. And keep your customers in the loop. Because people love to know that their opinions matter – it strengthens the relationship, and gives them a vested interest in your success.

Also, while we’re on feedback, never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned testimonial. Once you have your raving fans, be sure to use their reviews on your website, throughout social media and on all your marketing material. True stories from enthusiastic customers are powerful. Leverage them!

Finally, always remember that while raving fans are happy to tell everyone about the things they love about your company – disgruntled customers can’t wait to rattle on about their bad experiences. We know which scenario we prefer. What about you?