When providing customers with an indication of what price they might pay for your product or service, the use of a quote vs. estimate is an important distinction.
When to use an Estimate
Occasionally when dealing with leads and inquiries, it might be difficult for you or your agents to provide an entirely accurate price for your customer. In this situation, when you are unsure of the cost to the customer, it would be better to send your customer an estimate instead of a quote. By sending an estimate, any changes to the price that might occur after the estimate has been accepted will have been accounted for by the range of the estimate. When sending an estimate make sure that your customer is aware of the potential change in price and if applicable, the reasons for its variance. Sending an estimate in this situation prevents any confusion between the customer and your business regarding the cost of the product or service.
When to use a Quotation
Conversely, when dealing with leads and inquiries you might have an accurate price for your customer on the product or service you are providing. In this situation, using a quotation would be appropriate as there is no potential for variance on the price that you have quoted. When sending a quote, again it is important that your customer knows that there cannot and will not be any variance on price.