6 New Insights That’ll Make You Re-Think Service Industry Price Increases
When it comes to your home or community, you may wonder if price increases for landscape, pool, or clubhouse cleaning services are valid, right? Prices have increased in every industry for 2021 and are most likely to increase again throughout 2022. Businesses are hoping that price increases won’t need to be so drastic. But let’s face it, it’s part of the new reality these days. This topic will continue to come up, so expect the common question that homeowners or community residents to ask, “Why are continual price increases necessary for landscape, pool, or clubhouse cleaning services?”
Unfortunately, you may already know some of the reasons like inflation, manufacturing and labor shortages, wage and gas price increases, in addition to high demands for specific industry supplies are all factors. For many businesses, these reasons are all justified for prices to increase so staff can be retained and business doors to remain open. Landscape, pool & cleaning businesses aren’t any different.
So….What ARE the other reasons prices increased?
Company Catch Up
You may be surprised that to remain competitive, landscape, pool, and cleaning companies have been eating the cost of product increases for years. If you understand anything about running a business, you’re most likely thinking that absorbing costs is not the best business plan. By absorbing costs, businesses provided customers with artificially low prices. While this may seem uncommon business practice to you, key players in landscape, pool and cleaning businesses consider it as providing customer service instead. Just think about how much money you or your clients have saved over time because the value of customer service means more to these companies. It’s rare and something to consider before breaking up with your current company.
Supply Costs Higher Than Expected
If you received a higher than expected price increase from your landscape, pool, or cleaning company, it’s probably because they were just as surprised at the drastic supply price increases as you were. Many businesses didn’t expect the shortages to be so drastic causing high demand that just fueled supply costs higher than anyone ever expected. It then becomes a battle of canceling service appointments due to unavailable or unaffordable supplies.
This leaves businesses with no choice but to increase prices just to keep appointments, staff, and enough left over to pay the rent.
Resources Ran Out of Backup Resources
Yes, this is a thing. Manufacturers for pool and cleaning supplies could not keep up with demand. Most companies have at least three supply sources for backup. However, the backup suppliers were out of supplies too. This is a rare occurrence, but it happened and devastated some service companies. Running out of supplies for any business is tough, however, it’s even tougher for cleaning, and pool companies because they provide services that are very personal to their customers. If you have a great pool or cleaning company, they are required to uphold health and safety standards. This makes it even harder to find the proper supplies to make your home or community safe and healthy.
Consider Company Traits or Values
Competitor Price Comparison
Most of us follow the rule of thumb to compare prices. We try to be savvy shoppers whether it’s a product at a store or service provided by your landscape, pool, or cleaning companies. Even so, you may want to consider what value you receive from your service provider along with how happy you are with your service from them. Selecting a landscape, pool, or cleaning company with a lower bid doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive quality or stellar customer service. Sometimes the lowest bid means, you’ll receive lower quality and less customer service (if any at all). Are you willing to break up with your current landscape, pool, or cleaning company if you’re losing great service or value? My guess would be no because not everyone is qualified to maintain their landscape, pool, or special projects that require professional equipment.
Price increases can be a “shocker” if you aren’t exactly sure why prices need to increase for your landscaping, cleaning, or pool services. Consider the fact that businesses don’t “have” to tell you the reasons why they are increasing their prices. And sometimes reasons seem like excuses. Nevertheless, if your service provider is being transparent about why they had to have a higher than usual price increase or an increase at all, try to be open-minded about the reason(s). A business that provides pricing transparency does so as a courtesy because they value your relationship. They are communicating about price increases for a reason, and that reason is to gain your support by fostering their relationship with you.
It’s one thing for a landscape, pool, or cleaning company to be transparent about their business. It’s another thing if they are honest about it. So if your pool or cleaning service explained shortages and price increases because of the influx in demand, then most likely they’re telling the truth. These days, honesty is a rare trait in any business. So if your pool or cleaning company is being honest about pricing, that should count for a reason to keep them on the list for consideration. On the flip side, if you have suspicions about your landscape, pool, or cleaning company cutting corners multiple times, doesn’t hurt to find out if they are telling the truth.
If you’ve made it through this post by now, I’m sure the word “budget” may be flashing through your mind. So, you may want to ask the question to your landscaping, pool, or cleaning company, “Are you increasing prices again next year?” I would guess the answer would be “yes,” but hopefully the increase may be less than the prior year. If you receive an “I don’t know” answer, consider it a “red flag” based on the current business climate. At this point in time, the best answer is an honest one. And that might even be a “yes, however, I’ll keep you posted of increases once I find out.” I’d take that answer over a promise that can’t be kept.
In the end, customers and businesses alike want to save money whenever possible. Keep in mind finding a new service during peak season is challenging. Also, receiving a return phone call to schedule your service is almost unheard of these days. So maybe now is the time to possibly re-think the reasons why you may want to end your relationship with your landscaping, pool, or cleaning company. Realistically, what value and customer service are you giving up if you decide to break up?