Eventually, you will have to increase your cleaning prices.
Usually, it’s for one of two reasons:
- The job was priced too low in the first place.
- Your business costs go up…(Gas, taxes, insurance, etc.)
There is a right way to increase your prices… and a whole lot of wrong ways.
Let me share the right way with you:
- Will You Lose Clients after a Price Increase?
- How Much Should You Increase Your Prices?
- 7 Ways to Increase Prices (without Losing Clients)
- [Free Template] Price Increase Letter
Especially as you grow your cleaning business, you will see some clients leave you. No business in the world keeps all of their clients.
But when you raise your prices, there are a number of ways you can reduce the chances of losing your clients. Funny enough, when you do it right, you might actually get a few responses that look like this:
“You do such wonderful things for us! We will be HAPPY to pay you more!”
(Believe it or not, that’s a real response I saw recently after a price increase.)
Do not be afraid to increase your prices. With the numbers on your side, you can confidently tell your clients that your costs are going up, and you need to raise the prices.
Remember, this is your business. You are doing this to make money, not to give away your time.
Jump to 7 Risk-free Ways to Increase Your Prices.
The industry standard is to increase your prices by 3-5% each year.
So, if you haven’t increased prices in two years, you can increase by 6-10% without risking your clients’ anger.
But please don’t just increase your prices blindly. Before you do anything, make sure you price your cleaning services for profit.
Otherwise, you might increase your prices… and find out that you still aren’t making any money from some clients.
Increasing your prices can be dangerous when you do it wrong.
Use these 7 risk-free strategies, and you will keep more clients… while turning a healthier profit.
1. Tell Your Clients!
I’ve seen a number of “cleaning experts” who claim that a price increase goes smoother if you simply don’t tell your clients about it.
How is that fair to your clients?
Do not listen to them. You must be honest and tell your clients.
Ask yourself: how would you want to be treated? Do you want your plumber to “sneak in an extra charge?”
No! So, be fair to your clients. Be honest, and make sure you send them a letter or an email before you increase their prices.
We’ll give you a free template for a price increase letter at the end of this article. Use it to get better results when you raise your prices!
2. Don’t Start with Your “Sinking Ship” Clients
You should try to avoid raising prices on clients who have had a bad experience recently:
- If you broke something recently
- If you’ve been getting complaints
- If there was a problem that required a lot of “back and forth”
Fix the problems, then focus on giving them a high quality service. After a couple of months, you can think about increasing the price
3. Act with Authority
When you announce your price increase, do not try to “soften the blow” by letting your clients think they will be able to negotiate your prices down.
And, most importantly… DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
- Some clients will think you’re being insincere
- Some will think that YOU think you’re not worth the higher rates
You are running a great business. Rate increases are a fact of your high value. Own it.
4. Educate Your Clients
Remember how clueless you were when you first started your business?
Your customers are even more in the dark than you were. They don’t know ANYTHING about cleaning (except maybe how to push a mop, but a lot of them get that wrong, too).
You’re the professional – that’s why they trust you. So earn their trust.
Tell your customers why you have to raise your prices – explain how you do your job. Don’t be scared to “lift up the hood” and show them the costs that are required to keep your business at the peak of quality:
- show them how you bring value
- talk about hiring the best employees
- explain the costs of top-notch products
Prove that you are the authority, and your clients will gladly accept your new prices.
5. Thank Your Clients for Understanding
Thank your customers for being loyal. Thank your customers for taking a risk with you. Thank your customers for sticking with you.
Who doesn’t love to be thanked?
6. Test from the Bottom Up
If you have 100 clients, would you increase all of their prices all at once?
I hope not.
Start with the least profitable clients first. Send your price increase to them first, and see how they react. They will tell you all of their objections, so you can prepare for the next round.
This gives you a much better chance at keeping those VIP clients.
7. On Your Next Visit… Over Deliver!
For the first few visits after you’ve raised your prices, you need to show them that you’re worth the extra money.
Don’t tell them you’re going to over-deliver, just make sure that you put in those nice finishing touches to remind them that, “Hey, this company is definitely worth the price.”
Here’s an example of a price increase letter. Modify this for your own business, and make it fit your company culture. Your clients will:
- Feel informed
- Know you care about them
- Understand the value of your work
The best practice is to send a price increase letter about a month before you increase your prices.
This gives your clients time to react, without making them feel like you’re rushing them to make a decision (which can often end in cancellation).
Here’s the price increase letter:
Dear [Client First Name],
Due to rising economic factors, [company name] will be raising our prices soon.
It is our duty to provide you the highest quality cleaning service possible.
To maintain this level of quality, we must pay careful attention to who we hire, how we train, and the kinds of products and equipment we use.
It is also our duty to make sure our prices are as low as possible. We work hard to keep our prices down. However, the cost of doing business is always going up: inflation, taxes, insurance, fuel prices, wages for our employees, office and billing expenses, etc.
In order to continue providing you with the high-quality service you deserve, our cleaning prices will increase to [$XX.XX] on [date].
This will allow us to send the best employees your way, and continue to focus on excellence in your home. We will continue to invest in the best materials, equipment, and training available.
As always, we guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with our services, or we will come back and fix it for free.
The price change will be reflected on next month’s invoice.
For any concerns, or to update your services, contact our office at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.
[Owner’s Signature Here]
Have Confidence in Your Value
Raising your prices can be intimidating and scary…
…but, it comes with the territory. As a business owner, you will have to increase your prices sometime.
If you follow these few tips, you’ll find that your clients will be much more understanding of your case.
Be confident, and good luck!
Patrick Hoffman is Marketing Director at Service Autopilot. He specializes in managing marketing campaigns and giving marketing strategies to the Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Cleaning Industries. When he's not writing, he's reading books on marketing, self-improvement, or science fiction.