You have decided to send a rate increase letter but are drawing a blank on what to start writing.
I understand that increasing your rates can be scary. You might be thinking to yourself “What am I going to tell my clients?” and “HOW am I going to tell my clients?”
But what if I told you may not even need to write a rate increase letter at all? And if you DO choose to write a letter, I’m going to breakdown exactly how you should form your price increase letter to your clients, and whether you should send it via snail mail or email.
Example Of A Rate Increase Letter To Pet Sitting Clients
Do You Even Need to SEND A Rate Increase Letter?
The answer is yes and no. Like most things in the pet sitting business, there’s no black and white answer. It’s more of a gray area. Why? Because no two clients are created equal.
In general, you have your pet sitting clients (those who book sporadically every now and then) and your regular dog walking clients (those who book consistently Monday through Friday every week). Your price increase letter is going to vary for both of them.
Dare I say it, but for your pet sitting clients DON’T even send a rate increase letter! Think about the services you pay for such as cable, car insurance, and your phone bill. When was the last time you got a call or a letter from them explaining to you that they’re going to increase your rates. Never, right? That’s because they just do it. And that’s what you should do too.
People understand that prices just naturally go up. So, you’re really under NO obligation to tell people that. You can simply let them know when they receive their invoice.
What About My Dog Walking Clients?
It’s a little bit of a different story for your dog walking clients. These people are loyal to you, booking Monday through Friday week after week after week. So, it is definitely courteous and professional of you to give them a little bit of a heads up.
But, don’t fall into the trap of making it long and convoluted. Keep it short and sweet. Simply send them something that says:
Hello! Effective X Date, our prices are going up to X amount.
That’s really it! It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
Should I Send My Rate Increase Letter Through Email or Snail Mail?
The obvious choice here is email! There is absolutely no reason to expend your time and effort crafting these letters to mail them out to each individual client. Make it easy on yourself. And if you want to post it on your Facebook page as well, more power to you.
Simply write a mass email and send it out to everyone. And guess what – since you sent out the email, you get to assume that everyone got it. Well, what if you get backlash from your clients? In a perfect world you won’t, but this is the pet sitting business so we definitely have to account for these possibilities 🙂
This actually can work in your favor, since it gives you an opportunity to exercise your stellar customer service skills. You can simply tell the client that yes your rates are going up and you had sent out an email a few weeks ago detailing just that. BUT, since you value them so much as a client, you can honor the prior rate for this week, but starting next week it’s going to be the new rate.
What you’re doing is you’re giving your clients an option. You’re giving them time to think it over and decide if this is a service they want to stick with. And if they choose the latter – no big deal. I promise you, there will be many more clients!
I’m Giving YOU Permission – Just Do It!
Plus, if you have pet sitting scheduling software, this will help you with increasing your prices tremendously. When they book online – chances are they’re going to see the prices. This will help soften the blow, so to speak, so it’s not as big of a surprise or shock. If you don’t have software, I HIGHLY recommend it.
As a pet business owner, you ultimately need to do what’s best to make ends meet for both yourself and for your business. I don’t want you to be afraid to increase your rates. You should have control over your business, not your clients.
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Effective Jan 01 17 I raised my daily walk rate by $2 per walk. I sent a text to each client, short and sweet several weeks ago. No pushback from anyone, so I’m good to go.
Thanks for the straight talk on this. This is something many of us pet sitters struggle with for sure.