Raising Customer Satisfaction Through Pricing Methods

by Scott Thacker

Scott Thacker serves as CEO of Ivory Consulting and on the Board of Directors of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association as well as its Financial Accounting Committee. He also serves as the co-director of the Research Committee of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation. Prior to joining Ivory Consulting, Thacker was a partner at Accenture responsible for creating and delivering management consulting and software solutions to the North American equipment leasing and asset finance industry. Previously, he held leadership positions with Oracle where he was instrumental in creating the company’s now widely used Oracle Lease and Finance Management application, and with American Airlines, where he was involved in executing aircraft, equipment, real estate leases and other financial transactions.

Ivory Consulting’s CEO Scott Thacker provides advice and counsel to equipment lessors on the best ways to improve customer satisfaction and profitability using pricing.

My last blog spoke about the three elements that most strategic plans have at their core: increasing shareholder value, raising customer satisfaction levels and enhancing employee engagement. Pricing methods can influence all three of these in different ways.

Raising customer satisfaction levels through the use of pricing methods essentially involves moving closer to giving your customers the pricing type and structure type they find most advantageous for their business. For example, many lease and loan agreements never run to completion because of mid-term changes in assets or deal structure. Do your business model and IT solutions support flexibility in mid-term re-pricing and structuring?
More recently, customers of IT service lessors have been asking for flexible consumption pricing models so that they can consume IT resources based upon their usage demands from time to time, and pay for only the resources consumed. In addition, many of the lessees asking for consumption pricing are also asking for a package of services that usually involves multiple vendors, and it is expected that the lessor will assemble and manage the group of vendors.

These consumption models will require advanced concepts in pricing and risk management if they are to be successful for the lessor and, to our point here, make the customer happy. Making sure the pricing models you employ are flexible enough to meet your customer’s requirements and also anticipate their needs (and then exceed their expectations) will ensure that you are committed to improving your customer satisfaction levels.

Next time we’ll look at how pricing can assist in enhancing employee engagement.

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