Are you changing your membership or services in the autumn? Your toolkit to communicate about service changes while keeping your loyal customers. 

Every service entrepreneur needs to change things up every now and then, and what is a better time to prepare for it than the summer break?

In the summer, you have more time to work on your business instead of working in your business, and the fresh start of autumn creates the perfect moment to introduce new services and packages or introduce an improved membership model. 

Even though you know the changes are designed in the best interest of your clients, with the aim of supporting them better in reaching their goals, communicating about changes makes many entrepreneurs feel jittery.

What if clients hate the changes and make an exodus?

Will creating all these materials take up most of your much-needed summer break?

Will people understand the value of your new offering?

All these questions shouldn’t keep you from making the improvements you know are ultimately good for your business. Nor should the fears lead to choosing the “silent communication” path and hoping the changes go unnoticed. 

(If you’re up for a cautionary tale, read more about how I almost abandoned my gym after a decade because of lazy and lousy communication of changes.)

Here are five questions I’ve received from clients and community members on this topic. Learn from what I’ve shared with them and adjust your membership or service selection while serving your clients better than before. 

“My membership started as a low-price point offer but it’s grown to be very popular and now includes more valuable features. How do I explain to my clients why making changes is necessary?”

Changing up a service or membership your clients are used to is delicate: How to adjust the prices so they reflect the value you deliver without putting off people you’ve been working with for a long time?

Fortunately, I’ve got two secret weapons in my back pocket that work (almost) like a magic potion in service change situations. 

Insert these two phrases in your messaging and you can’t go wrong:  “Thank you for your loyalty” and “In order to serve you better…”

Thanking your clients acknowledges their role in co-creating your offer with you and strengthens your privileged relationship.

Focusing on the added value the changes bring them helps them see how the changes are not all negative for them. When done well, change communication can make them value your offer even more.

“How should I communicate about the changes? I mean practically: which channels to use?”

When planning your communication campaign and choosing the channels to use, answer these questions: 

  • How do my clients like to consume content?
  • How am I typically communicating with them?

It’s important to use channels your clients are used to, to remove any additional barriers from your important message reaching them. 

However, keep in mind that people consume content differently and try to create variety in your communications. You can combine a video walkthrough about the changes with a written checklist for those who prefer reading. 

And that’s just one example: Be creative when planning your campaign!

“I’m changing my service structure quite a bit and I suppose some changes might be perceived as negative. How can I address negative changes gracefully?”

No one likes change, so the chances are that even positive changes can face resistance. The bigger the changes, the more important clarity is. 

Be very clear about what will change and what that means to clients. If you update your service tiers and the content of the subscription changes, make this change tangible to your clients through a comparison document. 

Again, you can use various formats from spreadsheet tables to infographics.

Secondly, acknowledge that the change might feel uncomfortable or raise questions. Offer ways to provide feedback and ask questions, either via live calls, messages or other ways that are effortless for your clients. 

Whatever you do, be open and opt for overcommunication rather than under communication. Don’t wish that the negative changes will go unnoticed. If your clients work with you, it means they are smart and they will notice. Honour them and be transparent. 

Read more: Serve your clients so well they’ll never go away!

“Should I keep the conditions unchanged for my existing clients and only apply the changes to new ones?”

Loyal clients are the backbone of any service business, but long-lasting client relationships shouldn’t be a reason to withhold changes you want to make. After all, your motivation is to serve your clients better: both old and new ones.

To make the transition period smoother, you can consider offering loyal clients an opportunity to keep the old pricing for a while before moving to the new system.

Be creative with extra benefits: offering a discount is not the only way to pamper your best clients. You can also offer additional features or perks the newbies won’t get access to.

“Do I need to prepare a lot of communication materials to communicate the change?”

People consume information differently, so it’s good to create some materials in different formats.

However, it’s equally important to keep things effortless for your team, so lean on your and your team’s natural strengths. 

If you’re at your best in live situations, host a live Q&A session to answer members’ questions and share a transcript with members who prefer reading. Or if you’re a visual thinker, design an infographic and have AI convert it to a written summary. 

Don’t let fears keep you from making changes

Making changes to your services feels scary, I get it. Rely on the strong customer relationships you’ve created with your clients and on strong and clear communication to get your message across.

Communicating about service changes is like any other business endeavour: It will teach you what works, what doesn’t and what you’ll want to try the next time. If you feel paralysed by the uncertainty of the situation, get external support. 

Book a call so we can talk about successful client communication and how content can do wonders in tricky business situations, or download the Outsourcing Map to figure out where to call in the cavalry. 

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