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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Monday, December 15, 2003
Businesses That Don't Explain Price Increases Will Be Penalized for Them
In a Gallup Poll conducted earlier this year of feelings about business sectors in the United States, the three sectors with the highest positive ratings were computer industry (70%), restaurant industry (66%), and grocery industry (63%).

The sectors with the worst negative ratings were healthcare (45%), oil and gas (43%) and legal and pharmaceuticals, both (38%).

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted the previous year by the Peter Hart and Robert Teeter polling organizations asked people to identify the least justified price hikes in areas that had undergone substantial price increases in the past couple of years. The increases respondents felt were hardest to justify were prescription drugs, healthcare, and oil and gasoline.

That's a pretty good correlation between two separate polls. What it tells me is that those industries have done a poor job explaining the reasons for their price increases. Sounds like bad customer relationship management to me.

If your business functions in one of those three areas, what have you done to prepare your customers for price increases? All the trend lines show those prices will continue to rise. Are you educating your customers, or are you going to be regarded as a gouger?

No one likes to pay higher prices, but they are easier to accept when the businesses charging them warn customers and show what is being done to hold costs down. Knowing something is coming gives you a chance to prepare for it. If you're in a business where you know price increases are coming and you don't make the most of the opportunity to prepare your customers, you deserve their negative feelings.

To get a look at some of the results of those two polls and others go to Polling Report.
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