Why You Must Offer a Remarkable Guarantee
Just the other day I ordered a suitcase online. When the product arrived, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Let’s just say that I was one of those “unsatisfied” customers.
The company did showcase a luke-warm “guarantee” on their website that indicated that if you weren’t completely satisfied with the product, it could be returned within 5-days for a full refund. So, I emailed the company and politely asked for a refund.
Here was their response:
If you are going to request a refund, here are the steps that must be taken:
1) Download our “Request for Refund” form.
2) Fill out the 3-page form in its entirety and fax it back to our office.
3) We will determine if the refund request is valid. Please understand that we must receive all documentation within the 5-day refund request time-period. We will email you our decision.
So, I begrudgingly jumped through all of their “refund hoops” and two hours later delivered the signed and dated documents.
Here’s how I feel about that whole experience.
I will never buy another product from that company again. Period. It’s just too much work. And, in the meantime, they destroyed any shred of “good feeling” that I carried for them.
Like it or not, if you’re a small business owner, you are going to receive refund requests. The question that you must ask yourself is: do you cheerfully and quickly honor your refund requests or do you make the process tedious and frustrating for your customers?
Don’t forget that when you offer guarantees that you deliver on begrudgingly, you’re losing a lot more than you realize including your customer’s trust, dedication, and loyalty.
Let’s flip to the other side of the coin and talk about a little bike store named Zanes in Branford, CT.
Zanes philosophy is that their relationship with their customers is infinitely more important than a couple of “refund requests.” And so instead of making their customers jump through hoops, Zanes just makes it easy.
They guarantee lifetime free service, life-time parts, 90-day price protection and 30-day test drive on all of their bikes.
Their motto is: “the only difference between us and our competition is the service that we offer.”
Is Zanes concerned about a few “refund requests?” Nope. Their only concern is losing a potential customer. And so they do whatever it takes to make their customers happy, including offering a rock-solid guarantee that delivers immense peace of mind.
Does it work? Well, this little bike store sells over 3-million a year from one single location.
What can you guarantee about your product or service that will give your customers peace of mind?
Make it easy. Make it simple. Refund your unsatisfied customers cheerfully and swiftly and then watch as loyal customers begin lining up at your door.
WHY DON’T MORE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS OFFER GUARANTEES?
Most small business owners are terrified about providing a small business guarantee. The main reason is that they feel customers and clients are going to take advantage of their generosity.
So, to avoid that possibility, they offer a weak, measly guarantee that is hidden at the bottom of their website in fine print.
Or, worse yet, they simply don’t offer a guarantee at all.
But, guaranteeing your products and services is a proven way to increase your sales.
5 Reasons You Should Offer a Guarantee
1. A GUARANTEE REMOVES RISK
As a rule, your prospective customers are resistant about parting with their hard earned money. When you offer a strong guarantee, you significantly lower the risk that your customer take when making a purchase.
2. GUARANTEES INCREASE REFERRALS
Guarantees generate feelings of loyalty and trust from your customers. And, as we all know, a loyal and devoted customer happily spreads the word about your small business.
3. GUARANTEES SET YOU APART
Many of your competitors offer weak or ineffective guarantees; some don’t offer a guarantee at all. However, when you guarantee your products and services, you prove to your prospective customers that you stand behind them 100%.
4. GUARANTEES FORCE YOU TO GET BETTER
Customer complaints and returns can be a powerful way to improve your products and services. Could you enhance the quality of your products? Do you need to adjust your prices?
5. GUARANTEES INCREASE YOUR SALES
According to Doug Hall, author of Meaningful Marketing, some small businesses achieve a 40% increase in sales when offering a guarantee.
Guarantees create a risk free environment that encourage more prospects to buy, so that you make more sales.
So, the next time you’re on the fence about offering a guarantee, make sure that you understand that a guarantee will actually increase your sales, increase your referrals, and set you apart from your competitors.
Sounds pretty good to me!
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