Altering the prices in a tattoo studio without losing customers
Adjusting the prices of services in tattoo studios is a natural process, as with time the costs of materials goes up, and the artists' and piercers' working time lengthens. In addition, rent and utility bills are also rising. Regardless, the increase in prices should be handled by the shops' owners and managers in a delicate way, so the customers won't get scared of new prices.
Although it might seem a bit scary at the beginning, raising your shops' prices can be actually beneficial. Thanks to this, you boost the attractiveness of your tattoo studio for those who often avoid the cheapest offers and who subconsciously believe that more is better.
At the same time, it's important to understand how not to estrange your regular customers with such changes.
In this article, we will explain why a price increase is inevitable, how to properly justify it, how to inform customers about it, and how to limit possible negative responses in order to maintain the customer base and their loyalty.
Increasing the prices in a tattoo shop - is it really unavoidable?
Each company, including tattoo studios, operates according to a specific economic model. The profit is calculated by subtracting all fixed and varying costs from the income.
Fixed costs include those that don't depend on the sales volume: fixed part of employees' compensation (without the bonus part), rent, utility bills, alarms, CRM system, taxes, and fixed costs for advertising, SEO promotion, etc.
Variable costs are costs that depend directly on the number of sales. Variable expenses include the cost of purchasing consumables for the provision of services, the premium part of your tattoo artists' salaries (the so-called percent) seasonal marketing promotions etc.
As fixed and variable costs continue to increase over time, tattoo shops have two ways of maintaining profits: raising the price of customer services or lowering the costs, e.g. by switching from expensive materials to cheaper ones, or lowering employee wages.
The second method is the direct path to going out of business, as your customers are sure to notice that the service and work quality has deteriorated, meaning they will be looking for a different studio and eventually head over to the competition.
One important aspect to consider when setting new prices is that when your clients come to the studio, they expect to receive the service at a certain price they know in advance. If the price list changes suddenly overnight without explanation or warning, you risk putting your customers in an uncomfortable position. Therefore, it is essential to properly build communication and warn customers about potential price changes in advance.
How to prepare your customers for the price increase?
As mentioned above, we recommend that you inform your customers about price increases well in advance, preferably one or two months before doing so. If, for example, a new price list is to be introduced in March, tell your regulars about it in January. This will allow them to plan their expenses and decide whether they will still go to you or need to find another studio.
Unfortunately, you have to accept the fact that one way or another you will lose some of your customers - there will be those who cannot spend more than a certain amount on this type of service. However, do not worry in advance - people who appreciate your value and regardless of the price will probably want to get a tattoo with you. Usually, it's loyal customers who bring the main income to the shop.
To notify about this type of change in the studio, use all communication channels with clients:
- social media
- your website (if you have one of course)
- SMS messages
- talking to your customers in person when they visit your shop
Be sure to let your customers know you want them to stay with you. Guarantee them that as prices increase, they will receive the highest possible level of service. Also, be prepared to answer all of their questions and reasonably justify price increases in tattoo studios.
If you don't pay enough attention to these points, an unprepared customer might take this the wrong way and he will remember this for a long time and believe us, he will not want to come back.
How to raise the prices for your services without the unwanted side effects?
Take into account the following practical tips on how to raise the prices in your tattoo shop and not lose clients.
First of all - raise prices gradually. To avoid a price shock, keep in mind the main principle - the smoothness of increasing prices. Review your price list at least once a year. It's better for prices to rise 10% a year than 50% every five years. Additionally, it will be much easier for customers to get used to the thought that tattoos are now costing a little more so that the quality of the service does not deteriorate.
Offer an incentive. Think about how you can raise prices in the shop and still please your loyal customers. Perhaps your tattoo studio can offer them tattoo care creams. This will show that you value your customers and also will make the price increases less painful.
Improve your service. For example, you can refresh the interior a bit, put on an intriguing element of decor, order new business cards or buy a coffee machine. It's a good idea to order samples of tattoo creams and give them out as a small gift to each customer after their session. Rising the prices won't bother them so much if the see that they are paying for more and more comfort.
Justify the changes. You can't tell your customers: "We decided to raise prices just because we want to." Be sure to explain the price change, don't forget to say that this is done in order to maintain the quality of the service at the same level, because you do not want to lower the bar and you're not ready to give up proven materials, products, and perfectly qualified artists.
The price increase must have a good justification which must be adequately communicated to customers.
How to properly justify price increases in studies?
Price increases can have internal and external causes. It's a good idea to explain these to your customers.
Internal causes are what is happening in your studio. For instance, let's say you recently sent your tattoo artists to seminars, retraining courses, or they attended a prestigious tattoo convention and won an award there. Each new certificate and diploma that appears on the walls in your studios is a good reason to increase the prices.
Every tattoo artist who regularly improves his skills and learns new techniques wants his work to be appreciated. And not only in the form of gratitude from customers but also in the form of increasing salaries. It is the owner's job to maintain the tattoo artists who provide the largest number of the shops' regular clients.
External causes mean what is not up to you. You can justify the rise in service prices by the high purchase prices of materials that tattoo artists use.
Another good reason for rising prices could be rent increases. If the premises are well located, have good access to them, or free parking, your clients will definitely not want you to move anywhere else.
When is the best time to raise prices?
To be honest, you can change the prices in any month, the most important thing is to warn your visitors in advance and use marketing techniques to increase their loyalty. For example, you can inform your customers of an upcoming price increase via your mailing list and offer them a small discount. It's a smart move that serves two purposes at the same time: you fill up your calendar in advance and build a loyal customer base.