Price increases are always difficult and past attempts had created significant disruption. Our Blue Seed consultant was able to quickly identify all key stakeholders who needed to be prepared and engaged them. He then prepared them for the change, equipping them with the necessary information, tools and support required to protect our customer relationships and deliver the financial objectives of the project. As a result, the price increase process ran significantly more smoothly with minimal client dissatisfaction.
Executive General Manager, Marketing
Our client is the Australian operating company for a global enterprise in business and document management services. Offering a broad portfolio of document technology, services, software and supplies, the company provides essential document management solutions.
The project was to increase the price of services incurred by thousands of customers on complex agreements for which hardware, financing and services were bundled. As a result of the complex nature of these agreements, service pricing was rarely changed despite the increases being within the terms of the contracts. With increased pressure on margins, it was essential the business increase pricing for which many customers had never been changed. Previous price increases had resulted in customer complaints, operational disruption and required substantial management focus and resources to manage issues and rebuild relationships. Often reversing the increase or providing other discounts for customers eroded the business benefits of the change.
Blue Seed began by identifying all the stakeholders across all roles and divisions who interact with customers. Detailed plans were then created to ensure that everyone who dealt with customers was well informed and able to respond directly to their queries. This ensured a consistent, respectful and considered response to customers from everyone across the organisation. Furthermore, if staff encountered issues or questions beyond their remit they were redirected to a specialist team specifically equipped to manage and resolve enquiries. Blue Seed identified this specialist team’s learning needs, defined the training curriculum, developed this training and support materials and managed the delivery of the training program in partnership with the team’s direct management.
The project was able to apply the increase without any operational disruption, retained customers and achieved their financial objectives. In addition to managing the change with customers, a repeatable and sustainable process was left in place to apply these price changes on an ongoing basis.