The Case for Pricing Calculators: Why They Work and Times When They Don’t

Business websites need to be able to convert leads to turn a profit, and there are a lot of elements of a website that need to be considered. You’ll have forms to schedule appointments, service pages and testimonials as a basic.

But we’re seeing a lot of companies also offering price calculators.


Why Price Calculators Make Sense for Service Businesses

Pricing calculators are a great addition to any service website where the cost of the job will vary, depending on a variety of different factors. Sometimes, a job may be priced based on the size of a lawn, or perhaps flooring is being placed in a 200 square foot room.

But even in the 200 square foot room, there may also need to be sub-flooring work and other work that needs to be done that can’t be accounted for properly without a visual, physical inspection.

However, even when not 100% accurate, a pricing calculator may:

  1. Weed out potential leads. A lot of leads are just “kicking tires.” These leads are gathering prices, and they may not be willing to commit to an actual service call. Why? They may not have the budget, so a pricing calculator can help weed out these potential customers and leave your service representatives with the time to spend on actual leads.
  2. Increase calls. Pricing calculators, when they’re based off of estimates, allow you to not only weed out bad leads, but they can also increase calls to your business. When a lead is satisfied with the price on the calculator, they may be directed to call your company and ask for an estimate. This allows you to nurture the lead further and close the sale.
  3. Boost sales. Your sales may increase, too. When a customer is seeking pricing, they will often be looking for a relative price. You may charge $100 an hour to replace broken pipes as your pricing calculator explains, and if the leads are expecting to pay $120 an hour, they are more inclined to use your services.

When you can provide a general price for your services, the pricing calculator may be a great way to convert potential leads and weed out leads that are going to haggle on price and take up valuable time.

A lot of companies offering routine services will benefit from pricing calculators, from basic heating and cooling maintenance to replacing coils for a furnace.

When Price Calculators Don’t Work as Well

Pricing calculators work well for some repairs or services, but they don’t work well for everything. The major issue is that a lot of consumers don’t know the extent of the work that needs to be done.

These individuals often don’t realize that extra work needs to be done.

Flooring, for example, may need to have additional work if the home is old and the flooring has a lot of rotted planks that should be replaced. Mold issues or other concerns may drive the price up further.

And in these cases, pricing calculators may not work well.

Instead, you can list all of the services that can be properly priced with a calculator, such as routine repairs or maintenance where the price is rather standard.

A few ways to get around those times when calculators don’t work well are:

  • List all of the pricing as a base estimate, and have the potential client call or call them to receive more information.
  • List only a few services that can be calculated properly and ask the lead to call if the service is not listed.
  • Add services and pricing over time, allowing you to better gauge the accuracy of the pricing calculator.

In-person estimates always tend to work best, and this will allow you to be able to properly price a job.

But in a world where people want work done yesterday and estimates or prices quickly, a pricing calculator can help.

Always remember to put the appropriate wording along with the calculator to let the client know that while the calculator is highly accurate, there may be times when the prices will be higher or lower.

There will always be those circumstances wherein the job entails more than the basic work that needs to be conducted, and the right wording may help you avoid working excess hours at a loss.