How Should I Tell My Clients I’m Changing Pet Sitting Rates?

Following one of my last posts of Should I Put My Prices On My Website? the next question that I have been been asked the money2most is:

“How Should I Tell My Clients I Am Changing My Pet Sitting Rates?”

There is a number of ways that you can do this and it really all depends on where you are currently at and how you feel about it. Here are the 3 ways you can “announce” it:

Send A Letter:
You can send a short and sweet letter to your clients via email or mail telling them that you are changing your pet sitting rates.  Many pet sitters do this because they feel that their clients should know ahead of time. They feel that it would give them the “passive” choice to decide whether to book again. They also probably do not want a conflict, or to be in an uncomfortable position of telling them when they book so they chose this option. Problem is, not everyone reads OR thinks that it applies to them.  If done by good old USPS (how often do you even check your mailbox these days?) chances are they will never read it!

Tell Them The Next Time They Book:
Client: “Hi! Can you watch Max Fri, Sat and Sun?”
Sitter: “Sure, it will be $100.00”
Client: “Oh, shouldn’t it be $80?”
Sitter: Left in a weird space to tell them:
a. Prices went up that is the new price.
b. Prices went up and they will honor the old one this time (Sitter is disappointed bc they lost their back bone and knows they deserve more money)

Just Up Your Rates In Your Booking System:
By now, I am going to assume that you have gotten serious about your business whether you are working by yourself or with staff. You have some sort of scheduling software for your company. If you are changing rates, you can simply change them across the board that way. So when someone books and they get confirmation in their email the monkey is on their back. They are to look at the invoice and if they have a problem with it, they can contact you. Otherwise, there is no uncomfortable silence or that “I didn’t get your letter” scenario.

In addition, if someone says something, you can give them the line of, “Ok I will honor it this time, but next time it will be the new rate” and then you send an updated invoice showing a discount. So there is no miss communication. Alternatively, those that you are keeping at a lower rate (dailies maybe?) you can show then how much they are saving.

Now Who Do You Tell First?

Just because you are increasing your rates doesn’t mean that it has to be for old and new clients. Maybe you just figured out your pricing structure  and realized that you were not charging enough to survive. In that case, you will want to do it to everyone all at once. Although, if what you are charging is getting you by and it is just an annual rate increase then by all means, tell all the new clients (new callers) the new rate and once you have enough on at that rate, you can start telling your old clients in any of the methods listed above that their rate is going to increase.

So you see, it really isn’t rocket science. It is just pricing structure and pet sitting!

Now tell me below… how do you usually do your price increases? Do you agree or disagree?

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