Part 2: How to position a price increase
Communicating a price increase is one of the trickier topics to communicate with customers, but it’s an important step, and communicating it clearly allows your customers to understand the increase.
Increasing prices is not always negative, you just have to change your viewpoint.
Increase your value
Do you hear; “Wow, that vet is expensive – I was in there ten minutes and it cost £40”? The truth is that they may have good reasons for stating that, but it also illustrates the importance of a good customer journey. For example – how were those 10 minutes spent; was the first half spent catching up with the latest viral video, fashions or football? If it was spent talking about the patient, what questions were asked?
Consider, for example, many questions during a consultation could be answered in advance in the waiting room or during the initial booking call and added to the patient file. Did you need to spend so long discussing deworming, flea control or product explanation? Of course, these are all important points, but for the purpose of an efficient consultation workflow, is it being delivered at the right time by the right person – would it bet better sent via email after the appointment? You need to ensure that the pet owner walks out with the feeling that the full ten minutes was used efficiently – caring more for the patient.
Show what your value is
Always try to be clear to tell customers which procedures, products and actions are involved. If you state “a quick x-ray”, a customer will think it’s a simple 2-minute job, but they won’t be aware of the work behind “a quick x-ray” – the prep, staffing, and other costs. Don’t be afraid to detail items. Also, don’t forget or undersell the experience or you and your staff – especially when it’s the experience that’s making the product ‘quick’, ‘easy’ and ‘simple’!
Be honest about costs
A customer assumes that you are the expert and they trust your expertise. A customer also counts that you can give a good cost indication with your experience and knowledge. If you are unclear about the price, or if you underestimate, this can be damaging when the customer receives the final invoice. Always aim to provide clarity and insight in advance (offering options for the treatments). Handing over a detailed invoice can also help customers digest and appreciate the product; “I get all this?” In other words, be detailed and give a lot of information. Don’t simply invoice for: “dental treatment x minutes”, but include; anaesthesia, medicines, staff time, aftercare, etc… Also don’t be afraid to itemise disposable products used in the treatment. If you have made – or want to make – large investments in the latest equipment or technology at your practice, it’s worth letting the customer know that maintaining the best level of care for your patients is an important factor which – unavoidably – comes at a cost.
A good customer experience
Last time your car was serviced were you unsure when you could pick up your car again? Was it clear what the price would be? Did you have to wait a long time? Was the waiting room easy to find?
Treat your practice the same – show the value of your practice by looking at your own practice through the eyes of the client. Walk in through the front door and follow the route that the customer travels. Customers want to see that your practice is neat, clean and friendly. Are the staff friendly and accessible? Are your staff easy to recognise as staff?
What’s the gossip? Do your staff grumble when a customer is a few minutes late, or if they have forgotten the pet passport? Remember that you don’t know what the customer went before the visit – did they spend 30minutes trying to catch the cat, or perhaps they haven’t been to the practice since the last annual vaccination, so they forgot the process. Try to turn events like this into a positive start, or an action – perhaps you need to verify that you’re sending a pre-appointment reminder to bring the passport.
Also read, Part 1: Why change your prices?
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