Price hikes are never fun; there’s always a possibility of a backlash and unhappy customers. The reality is, however, that sometimes your salon prices simply need to be adjusted. If this is your case, know that you shouldn’t feel insecure of your decision.
One thing I’ll say, though, is that it’s crucial you deliver the right message. The slightest hint of increasing prices for a better profit margin could be detrimental to your brand. The good news is, there are strategies you can use to make your announcement go smoothly and ensure your clients stay loyal to the services you provides them with.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Raising Your Salon Prices
1. Bring Your Salon To An Authority Position
How confident are you with your level of authority in your area?
It’s no secret customers’ habits have changed over the last few decades. Nowadays, trust often comes hand-in-hand with a brand name, its reputation and leadership position.
While you don’t necessary need to be the number one industry leader in order to hike your salon prices, leveraging your reputation for doing so can help clients digest your announcement.
2. Aim For ‘Added Value’ Rather Than ‘Profitability’
You know your business’ financials: if your salon prices need to be raised, then be it. While you want your salon to be profitable, increasing prices for profitability is the last message you want to convey to your happy and loyal customers.
Instead, add value to your product or perhaps add a bonus service, you might want to mentally prepare yourself for a negative clients response. It doesn’t need to be anything big; just a little something that would cost you little or nothing, but would have higher perceived value to the customer. This small tweak in makes it far more likely for your customers to accept your new prices.
For instance, as a salon or spa owner, you could offer free gift wrapping for your retail products or possibly re-evaluate the TreatCard points attributed to your product and services affected by the price increase.
3. Plan Your Communication Strategies
Negative reviews and complaints left online can quickly get out of hand, inherently hurting your overall online reputation. The first thing you probably have to consider when raising your prices is yes, your current costs, but also any cost increases probable to happen in the next year or so.
The next key thing is contacting key clients first (before the main broadcasted announcement). You could do this when they come in for an appointment for instance.
Communicate your changes internally, and make sure each and every one of your staff members is on the same page – has the same explanations to the questions you will be getting.
Next step, the general announcement. Send your clients an email, post your press release on your salon’s website and announce the changes on your social media channels. The more areas you cover, the more you minimise the impact. Remember, you might not please everyone, but at least you’ll have treated all your customers fairly.
4. Time The Increase Right
Timing is key. Make sure your customers are happy with your current services and give plenty of notice before the increase goes into effect. Dropping a bomb on your clients will never go down well. You need to prepare them mentally and allow them time to adjust.
5. Thank Your Clients
Sarah Schupp, from UniversityParent, explains: “The first thing I do when I increase prices is say thank you to customers. I sincerely express my appreciation for the risk they took on me, and then I’m transparent with them about why I need to raise prices. I make sure they understand why we’re asking for more money and why our product is worth more now than when they started. It doesn’t always work, but most customers tend to be understanding.”
It’s as simple as that. We couldn’t have said it better.
6. Think Numbers And Packages
This works especially well for retail products in your salon or spa. By creating different-sized or additional packages, you can make your old packs seems like a bargain, even at the new price.
For example, imagine you were selling 5 products for £/€/$ 100, but you need to raise that price to £/€/$ 120.
By creating additional 3-products retail packs for £/€/$ 80, you make the 5-pack seem like a deal – even at its newly increased price. Clever, right?
7. Just Do It
I came upon this quote the other day and thought it was worth sharing as it sums up this whole point: “Don’t beat yourself up; don’t lose sleep over your decision. Here’s a secret: Your best customers will be surprised that you didn’t raise prices sooner because they value your work.”
8. Explain, But Don’t Apologise
It’s all about the power of persuasion. Robert Cialdini, in his book Influence, illustrates the importance of explaining your actions to customers. To go back to his example, he asks you to imagine a woman in line at a copy machine. When she just asks to cut in line, sometimes she’s successful. When she explains she’s in a hurry, however, her success rate jumps up to 94%.
If you don’t give your clients a valid explanation for raising your salon prices, best believe they will invent or speculate on one.
9. Make Yourself Available To Chat
When you’ve announced your new salon price list, be prepared to answer many questions – on all platforms. Don’t brush these questions off, taking the time to chat with your clients will smoothen the entire process.
10. Offer A Transition Option
If you can afford this, offering transition options – slimmed-down versions of your re-thought/re-priced service – can help ensure your customers on a tight budget stay with you. People will be drawn to compare your new salon or spa packages prices and find the one they feel offers the most value for their needs.
Another option is to give your clients an opportunity to purchase or redeem products and services at the old rate for a limited time only – time you need to define.
So there you have it. Sorting through all these details allows you to remain fully transparent and adds an incentive for clients to stay loyal!
Cheers to your success and thanks for reading!