The classic objection that is made when dealing with pricing surveys is that nobody answers a high price for any product or service, that would be stupid! Everyone will answer for free or zero or in any case less than what they would really be willing to pay.
An objection as superficial as it is frequent, but without getting into the polemic I will dwell on what should be the upstream objectives of the investigation and the expectations in terms of the results obtained.
It is clear that the price cannot be by the market alone, consumer opinion is an important indication but it is not the only one to take into consideration. The management will have to interpret the inputs received from the market and weigh them according to the objectives and the corporate strategy as a whole.
Furthermore, before even thinking about what to write in the questionnaire, it is important to clarify what you intend to survey: do I want to know exactly what the reserve price of my consumers is or do I just want to understand the propensity to spend? They are different topics that ask for different questions and that will produce equally different outputs in terms of results.
For my part, I can bring you some personal statistics that confirm the usefulness and potential of a good pricing survey.
- 90-95% of survey respondents answer price questions;
- 15-20% of those who answer questions about the price are happy to back up their answer with a free comment, giving further food for thought;
- 5-10% are the free extremists, the cunning ones who try to give the lowest possible price for any product or service (free or almost free).
When defining a price it is always a good idea to check
the opinion of the reference market as well, i.e. ask my consumers, potential or actual, what they consider to be the right price for that product and, even more interesting, what is the their reserve price, i.e. the maximum price they are willing to pay for that particular product or service.
- NO to direct questions and NO to the use of the second person singular “YOU”: if the question is “How much are you willing to pay for this product?”, the answer will certainly be a price (as happens in questions about salaries). This is because this wording triggers the association “I have to pay, if I answer zero or as little as possible I will pay less” in the reader’s head.