Talking to Your Customers About Prices - Deepstash
Talking to Your Customers About Prices

Talking to Your Customers About Prices

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Price challenges

Price challenges

Companies often have difficulty talking with customers about prices and have a legitimate need to reduce “friction” in the transaction. They accomplish this by using tricks such as tweaking price endings to distort perceptions or to signal a bargain. For example, $9.99 is perceived as a whole dollar cheaper than $10.

The challenge for purpose-oriented organizations is to be transparent and truthful.

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How organizations present their prices

A helpful starting point to improve how organizations present their prices is to accept that price is an integral part of its dialogue with customers. The next step is how to explain it.

The field of linguistics gives us four rules to have meaningful dialogue:

  1. The rule of quality: Participants ay only what they believe to be accurate.
  2. The rule of manner: They avoid overly vague, complex, or simplistic expressions.
  3. The rule of relevance: They only contribute information that is related to the topic.
  4. The rule of quantity: They give the right amount of information.

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Make price a reflection of your values

Make price a reflection of your values

Position the price as a component of the company's responsible and ethical intentions. For example, Southwest Airlines price fairness in the name of its approach to service: On its website, the airline describes "Transfarency" as a "philosophy in which customers are treated honestly and fairly, and low fares actually stay low — no unexpected bag fees, change fees, or hidden fees."

From a linguistics standpoint, this applies to the rule of relevance:

  • Communicating about the company's ethics.
  • Connecting price to that message.
  • Hoping the customer makes the connection between the two.

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Explain the price

Customers often wonder how a price was set or why it has recently changed.

This suggestion applies to the linguistic rule of manner by being very clear. Demystifying how prices are set or changed can help establish a trusting relationship with customers. For example, the furniture company Neptune provides extensive detail of its underlying logic for pricing.

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Violate a rule, but do it blatantly

Violate a rule, but do it blatantly

Any of the four linguistic rules for dialogue can be broken if done in a lucid way.

For example:

  • To show customers just how affordable its furniture is, Saudi Arabia IKEA replaced monetary values printed on price tags with images of coffee cups, pizzas, bananas, and other relatively inexpensive everyday items.
  • The Japanese ice cream brand Akagi recently apologised following a 12-cent price hike on some of its products after 25 years without change.

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CURATED BY

kelbar

IT consultant

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