If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Several years ago I had dealings with a business that delivered a service to thousand’s of customers each day.
This was a highly transactional business involving a service that was necessary but not exciting, and there was little focus on building relationships.
This lack of engagement from the supplier should have been the first warning sign.
The other indicator of concern was the pricing adjustment mechanisms used.
Upon commencement, new customers would be given a very low rate, but over time, these rates would be driven up through a bulk price-increase mechanism; sometimes multiple times in a 12 month period; and always accompanied by an impersonal letter that delivered a series of vague reasons behind the increase.
The reality was that these blanket price increases were rolled out when the business thought they could get away with it – there was little-to-no link to real cost increases being incurred, or any other legitimate reason for the prices rises.
The price changes were a simple profit-grab and were delivered in such a way, that before the customers knew it, they were paying exorbitant, inflated rates.
Most customers simply accepted these increases - some pushed back - but the Terms and Conditions (T&C’s) in the service contract were watertight, so most customers stayed under duress.
However, those that really pushed back had the increases waived regularly.
As a result, there were long-term loyal customers on hugely inflated rates; and clients with zero loyalty continued to enjoy low entry-level rates.
The vast majority of customers were small/medium sized, owner-operators, who were highly stressed and time poor.
This was not right.
Treat your customers well – enjoy the interactions and relationships with them - and I guarantee the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term profits obtained through a structure where mutual respect or a fair exchange is lacking.
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