A few days ago, someone asked me how much we would charge to change his brake pads and service his brake caliper. This is supposed to be a very simple question, but I just couldn’t remember.
‘Uhmm, let me check out our price list’, I said blushing, as I loaded up our website.
After beating myself up for not knowing our entire price list by heart, I realized something. If the price list can sometimes feel too complicated to me, it must definitely feel complicated to our customers.
But it’s not just us. Most bike shops build their price catalogs the exact same way: an endless wall of text and then numbers, parroting the rates for each individual repair, of which there are dozens. No wonder I couldn't remember when put on the spot!
Truth be told, when we organized our prices, we just followed the industry standard, assuming the market already came up with the optimal format.
It didn’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be burning red talking to a potential customer.
Since the market solution failed us, we decided to find a better way to articulate our fees. After all, there’s no point following the norm if it opens the door to missed opportunities - no matter how small.
What's your size?
I'll be honest - in trying to simplify our price list, we didn’t come up with an original solution. We didn’t have to.
Rather, we decided to borrow a system that we already knew worked.
From there, we simply attribute a corresponding value to each individual job. The end result looks something like this:
The S/M/L sizing system is extremely common in our day-to-day life. It’s the dummy-proof backbone of billion dollar industries, found in everything from jeans to cheeseburgers.
And if it works for McDonalds, it can work anywhere.
Also, by adopting a familiar system, we didn’t need to spend any additional time educating our customers. They just get the format immediately - and why wouldn’t they? They use it all the time already.
After making an ‘instant quote’ widget for our booking system, the new price list system will, hopefully, be another important step in our push for pricing transparency.
I truly believe that transparency is key to building customer trust, and something sorely lacking in our industry. Too many shops still ‘come up’ with service prices after the fact, hurting everyone’s reputation in the process.
So the S/M/L pricing system works better for our customers, and helps simplify the industry. As for me, the next time you ask me how much we charge to change your brake pads and service your brake caliper, I won’t have to retreat to my mind palace to remember. Instead, I can safely tell you that’s just one Small (£9.90), and we can get to work.
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