Imagine walking into an upscale restaurant on a Saturday night. You’re willing to spend $75. That should include an appetizer, an entree, two drinks and maybe a dessert if it fits within the budget. There’s only one problem: the restaurant’s menu doesn’t have any prices listed.
Based on reviews you’ve read, it would seem the pricing is arbitrary because patrons are reporting paying different prices for the very same dishes. Apparently, the only way to estimate the cost of each item is to have the waiter and chef consult on a “fair price” for each guest that evening.
This is a pretty frustrating scenario, isn’t it? Of course it is. But it should also sound very familiar. This is the experience that most customers have when looking to remodel their home. It’s unlike virtually any other purchasing experience they will have.
We live in an age where any information you need is just one Google search away. As a result, the consumer experience has now become entirely transparent – when a customer is looking to purchase an item on Amazon, they can clearly see the price and customer reviews for any product Amazon offers.
We see this change happening in the financial world, where consumers demand to know any and all fees associated with a financing option or a mortgage before they choose one. More and more consumers are looking to comparison shop to find the best financing options.
As difficult as it may be to create, consumers want the same experience from you. Before they request an estimate, they want to have a good understanding of how much it will cost them. Remodeling is scary to a consumer because it is 1) a big commitment both in terms of time and cost and 2) difficult to translate a vision into a price without the help of a professional.
So why should you attempt to provide definitive cost ranges of projects on your website, given that there are an infinite number of variables that go into an estimate? Here are three important reasons:
- You’ll win more business through trust: Given that this is likely a first-time customer, they are overly cautious to make sure they are not getting ripped off. By being upfront and transparent, you are showing that you have nothing to hide and will be honest throughout the entire process. This will drive more sales and make a customer more willing to commit to a higher budget.
- They’ll make faster decisions: If a customer has a good sense of cost per item ahead of time, they will spend less time weighing options with your sales team and feel more empowered to make the yes/no decision at the end of the consultation.
- They’ll be more satisfied: According to the McKinsey Global Institute, Banks have reaped the benefits of improved customer satisfaction and increased sales by making data available to customers online. The effect will be the same for your business if you make costs and other information readily accessible to the customer.
It is clearly impossible to estimate an exact cost for any project without hearing more from the customer, but your customers will understand and reward your efforts by giving you their business. You’ll be surprised – a little transparency will go a long way.
Opinions expressed by PowerTips Contributors are their own.