How To Answer The No. 1 Question Your Customers Ask

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By Paul Baccaro

 Paul Baccaro Coolfront VP, Operations & Product DevelopmentYou know it’s coming. You can’t run or hide from it. It’s unavoidable. On every service call you run, the one question your customers will ask (say it with me)...

“How much?”

How do you respond to that question?

Before you answer that, be aware pricing is a complex stimulus. It brings out emotions in your customers. Through brainscans some studies show that price and emotion are deeply intertwined.

Your customers react to HVAC system prices based on many factors such as:

  • Their current financial situation
  • The economy & local market
  • Their past experiences
  • Their expectations on quality of work
  • Their idea of value
  • Price anchors (see my previous blog post on Price Anchoring)

And the list goes on...

You won’t know which factors influence a given customer on price. So to combat the unknown, I suggest you create a pricing process to answer the “How Much?” question in a way that is best received by most customers.

When developing your pricing process, be sure it addresses the following:

  1. Who will present the HVAC system price?
  2. When the HVAC system price be presented?
  3. How will the HVAC system price be presented?
  4. What actions will you take (if any) if there is pushback on the price?

Below is a sample process you can start with. Note, this process assumes you use flat rate pricing since it allows your field staff to quote pre-calculated repair fees upfront.

flowchart

Once you define your pricing process, train your team, roll it out, then evaluate its effectiveness. You may need to tweak it a bit as your customers and staff provide feedback.

If you ever want to understand the psychology of pricing, try reading Priceless (The Myth of Fair Value), by William Poundstone.

Short of that, I highly recommend you spend some time thinking about how you price your work and communicate your price and value to customers. It gives you a much better chance of answering “How much?” to your customers liking.

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