Q&A

Reader to Reader: How do you let your clients know you're raising your prices?

Q.

How do you let your clients know you're raising your prices?

A.

I’ve always relied on a few different methods to convey our yearly increase: a written letter sent snail-mail, an e-mail, and a copy of the letter placed at the reception desk. This process alleviates surprise and makes it easier to charge the new price without hesitation. Since clients have been notified many different ways, usually about a month in advance, we can be relaxed when they arrive, and not worry about coming up with polite excuses! - MELISSA PECHEY, The Matrix Nail Lab, Wareham, Mass.

I start with telling clients on an individual basis during their regular scheduled appointments. Of course this is done prior to the actual price increase. It’s talked about with much tact and respect; after all, they’ve been wonderful and loyal to me. They’re generally understanding and respectful of the decision and know that I will continue to provide an excellent service, products, and client-tech relationship with them. - LISA SANTOS, Afterglow Salon, DeFuniak Springs, Fla.

I’m planning to raise my prices at the first of the year, so I had some brochures printed with my new prices and the effective date. I also work it into the conversation when clients ask me what my current prices are. I give them the old prices and let them know the prices will change at the first of the year. - ROSHELLE STEVENSON, Root 66 Salon and Day Spa, Memphis, Tenn.

I post a sign near my station stating the price increase. Since my clients are pretty used to me giving them information on nail care, I simply give the clients a brief letter on my price increase and verbally explain the letter to them. - HEAVENOR WILLIAMS, The Ladies Room Hair Studio, Milwaukee, Wis.

I give my clients at least a month’s notice by posting a sign about the slight increase starting on a certain date, and I have new menus out for them. I recently relocated to another salon and when I sent out my new menus/moving notices to my clients by mail, the new prices where included; however, I wrote a note to thank my clients for supporting my move and let them know they were getting my old prices until a certain date (about a month after I moved). With relocating to another salon, I felt I couldn’t up my prices right away because it would be a double whammy for my clients with raising prices and me relocating. I also know there is a slight risk of losing a few clients with the move and/or raising prices especially now when everyone is watching every cent. - DAWN FORENZO, Progressions Salon, Latham, N.Y.

When I do a price increase, I send out postcards and an e-mail blast to inform them of the price increase. I make the effective date known (usually 45 days after the postmark date and 30 days from the e-mail blast date). Since the price of gas is so crazy and many clients are getting laid off, I have cut down on the increases, as I used to do them every two years. But I do find the e-mail blasts are more effective as you can track how many clients have actually read the information. - TOPAZ WOODRUFF, The Nail Cabaret @ N-Demand Hair Salons, Charlotte, N.C.

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