Too much discounting could be bad for business

Discounting can be a great incentive for loyal customers, or the occasional holiday special. It's when that discount goes too far south that your customers could start to question the practices of your business, and the industry as a whole.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America weighed in on this best in a December article, when it talked about how Pizza Hut offered $10 for any pizza, and subsequently made customers feel ripped off in the past.

When your business makes an offer customers can't refuse, other competitors in the area may drop their prices in the same fashion. It makes that "offer customers can't refuse" a dime a dozen. It also makes customers wonder why they've been paying such high prices in the past, and when your prices do go back up (and they will), your customers won't want to pay.

Here's how to avoid this business pitfall:

1. Offer service your customer can't refuse.

Just because you charge higher prices than competitors doesn't mean they won't use your services. It's quality over quantity, so to speak. Specializing your services, making your company unique, and guaranteeing satisfaction will all add value to that slightly higher price tag.

2. Avoid temptation.

So what if your competitor practically gives away routine maintenance packages? Stand strong in what you offer to customers, and avoid the temptation to match or go below what your competitor is offering.

3. Play up value, not price.

In your marketing and advertising efforts, play up what you do for the customer, not how much they pay. You can't put a price on great customer service.

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