When is the last time you raised rates at your spa or massage practice? No doubt costs for supplies, rent, utility or salaries have increased, making it difficult to maintain the profit margin you want. Yet you may be concerned about the impact of a cost increase on clients.
Among your clientele, many will understand your need to raise prices to cover your rising operational costs. Yet there’s no question that a price increase can potentially impact your business. A budget-conscious client may need to cut back on skin care or massage treatment sessions. Even a modest increase might encourage some clients who always are comparing prices to look at other providers.
While you can’t control how a client will respond to an increase in price, you can manage the communication. No client wants to find out that you’ve raised your rates at the end of a session. At least a month in advance, let clients know you plan to raise your rates. At the same time, put up a notice about the change by reception and/or in the treatment rooms. Indicate that prices will be going up, by how much and the effective date. This way, you make sure everyone has been informed. If you send out a newsletter, include information in it as well.
Be prepared for questions
But even after conveying the news in an advance notice, clients may have some questions about the increase. Be prepared to answer them with credible and reasonable reasons. You even may want to write up a list of possible questions and answers before you announce the price hike so you’ll be prepared to address issues.
In discussing the change, always point out how the increase benefits both your clients. For example, you may be using an ingredient in a product that customers really like but its rising price is hurting your profit margin. Let your customers know that the increase will enable you to keep using that ingredient rather than switching to something lower quality or less effective.
It’s also important to always emphasize your value. No doubt long-standing clients will know that your spa or massage practice is a stand out. Still it’s helpful when raising prices to be prepared to talk about your service offering because of your expertise is still very competitive.
Clients like to feel that they are in control. Another way to present a price increase is to give client options. For example, you could put together some treatment option that include a skin treatment and massage with percentage increase. Or you might want to consider offering clients a package of treatments. As an example, enable clients to sign up for a set number of massages, which would provide a discount over the individual ones.
Get your team up to date and on board
It’s important that everyone on your team not only knows about the increases, but understands the reason for them. Conduct a training class giving everyone an opportunity to ask questions that a client might have. This way, there will be consistency in the message about the increase from every member of your staff.
You need to do it to keep your spa or massage practice growing and raising prices is inevitable at some point. As long as the increases are not exorbitant and there is a good reason, most clients will accept them.