The Biggest Source of Refunds and How to Combat It

After a customer has made their purchase and the initial euphoria has worn off, post-purchase dissonance sets in. The customer starts to regret their purchasing decision. Their fears and regrets often include:

  • Worrying that they paid too much
  • Wondering if they have been ripped off
  • Wondering if the product actually works
  • Thinking that they don’t even need or want the product any more
  • … and so on.

This is a completely natural phase that most people go through every time they have spent more than $100 on a product or service.   This is the time when most complaints and refund requests occur.

The solution is as simple as sending a “post purchase reassurance” letter or package as part of your customer loyalty program.

This communications piece goes out a day after they have purchased.

The letter is designed to re-assure customers that they have made a great decision in purchasing your product. It does that by re-inforcing the benefits of doing business with you. And to back up those benefits it might also feature testimonials and case studies from delighted customers showcasing their results.

This helps reassure customers that they have made the right choice.

Another variation of this to use in your Customer Loyalty Program is a “welcome pack”.

When someone makes a purchase they naturally want to get the best possible results using that product. That’s where a “welcome package” can work wonders. It’s a great value-added gift that shows that you aren’t just about getting a sale. It shows that you want to build a relationship with them long into the future.

Customer Loyalty Welcome packs include things like:

  • Care instructions or “how to get the most from your widget” guide
  • Frequently Asked Questions on how to use it
  • Guarantee or Warranty certificate
  • Customer Commitment Statement which shows the measures you’ll take to ensure they receive outstanding service
  • Membership to a VIP Client Privileges Club
  • $$ off or FREE vouchers for additional products and services or for services offered by aligned businesses.

In addition to that or as an alternative, a follow-up phone call works well. This call goes something like …

“ I thought I’d give you a quick call to find out how you like your [product or service], how it’s working for you and to see if you have any questions relating to your purchase.

 (Give the person a chance to comment here.)

I’d also love to find out what you felt about our service. Was there anything you feel can be improved or enhanced so we can enhance the way we serve you in the future?

Last but not least I wanted to touch base with you to let you know that if you are ever unsure about anything relating to product/service], please feel free to give me a call right away —we’re always here to help you.”

WOAH! THIS – Is Giving On Steroids!

“Giving” in business … a few years ago it was a dirty word or at best a “woowoo” kind of thing that either big companies or hippies would do. Today, more and more businesses are recognising that not only does is feel great making a difference in people’s lives, it also makes good financial sense.

As we enter 2012 we recognise that thriving in business isn’t about US vs THEM. Nor is it about chasing the buck at all cost. It’s about truly making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. And interestingly, the more we do that — the more love and compassion we share — the more it comes back to us in many wondrous and surprising forms, including financial gain.

This morning I received an email from an old friend and mentor, Paul Dunn who is the Chairman of Buy1GIVE1, an organisation that puts the business of giving on steroids. When I read his email and saw the level of impact they are having in the world, I was gob-smacked.

Buy1GIVE1 connects small business with worthy causes making it easy for its members to give in a tangible way — in a way where ALL the proceeds go to the intended recipients instead of getting eaten up in administration charges.

One of the really cool things that B1G1 does is it enables business owners to tailor the nature of their giving to their industry. For instance, a restaurant may donate a meal to a starving person in India whenever anyone dines in their restaurant. And the benefits of doing that have a ripple effect. Not only is that restaurant making a difference, but their customers also feel that eating at the restaurant means they’re helping make a difference to someone in need. And – of course, the recipient benefits greatly too.

Check out the email below to see the level of impact that this kind of giving is having in the world.

Hello Kristina,

Because of our B1G1 Business Members and Partners, this is what we did together up to the end of 2011:

  • 122,673 people received a nourishing meal
  • 5,828,164 days of access to life-saving water was given to people around the world
  • 191,436 days of accommodation was given to people affected by natural disasters or extreme poverty
  • 16,655 children received an improved learning environment for a year
  • 467,767 days of education support was given to children in need
  • 11,396 children received computer education for a day
  • 69,360 children in need received learning tools like text books and stationery
  • 170,204 days of education and occupational training was given to disadvantaged people
  • 3,967 children in need received a special gift
  • 4,549 children received a special education program
  • 7,839 days of support was given to social entrepreneurs
  • 2,844 goats and other animals were given to families so that they can have income
  • 550,121 days worth of support was given to farmers around the world
  • 39,900 people received internet or phone connection for a day
  • 344398 days of support was given to improve people’s health and well-being
  • 182,843 square meters of rainforest was protected
  • 14,936 trees got planted or adopted
  • and more!

Amazing isn’t it? Being able to make a difference just by doing what we normally do in business is such a simple yet powerful idea. And it clearly makes a huge difference.

We can onlydo that thanks to people like you who play a part in and spread the word about B1G1.

We’re enormously privileged to be able to do what we do. And we’re truly grateful as we look forward to impacting at even higher levels in 2012 as word continues to spread.

Again, thank you.

With very best wishes for an amazing New Year ahead.

Paul Dunn
Chairman, Buy1GIVE1 (B1G1)

To read more about what B1G1 is doing in the world, check out their website at http://www.b1g1.com/.

6 Sentences That Customers Love to Hear

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the more LOVE you send your customers’ way, the more it comes back to you in all manner of ways.

For a start, your customers will really enjoy the experience of doing business with you. And when they do that, they’ll come back and buy from you more often and they’ll tell their friends about you along the way.

More importantly though, when you truly focus on being of service, when you touch someone else’s heart, you also touch your own. The more hearts you can touch, the  more love you feel in your life. The more love you feel in your life, the more you create a life you love.

Customer experience is everything, especially now that we are entering “The Awakened Age”.

There are all sorts of ways to deliver an amazing customer experience. But – the most profoundly impactful initiatives are often the most simple and cost nothing to do – as simple as a few short sentences.

In fact, here are the top 6 sentences that customers love to hear:

1. “ I’m so glad you called me today.”

And said in an enthusiastic tone with a smile on your face. Always make your customers feel really welcome when they call you. When you do that, you’re showing them that they mean something to you – that they’re important regardless of the reason for the call.

2. “Sure, I can help you with that.”

Again, said with enthusiasm. When customers call, they want to know if you can help them with their problem. Not grudgingly, but willingly. Remember – success in business and in life for that matter is about serving others. The more we “serve the hearts and minds of others, the more we serve ourselves.

3. “We don’t have it, but I can tell you where to find it.”

Remember – serving the hearts of others. We can’t always help a customer with the solution to their problems. Perhaps we don’t know the answer to the question they’re asking or we don’t have the product that they’re looking for. Remember – the key is serving their heart. When you serve their heart you create connection. When  you create connection you build a relationship. Even if your answer to their question means you need to send them to a competitor, that gesture of kindness will come back to you tenfold.

4. “I thought about you.”

One of the greatest things that people crave is acknowledgement.  This sentence shows that they are actively on your mind thinking about ways to help them fulfill their needs. Remember though, it’s about being genuine. Don’t say it if it isn’t true – people can sense insincerity.

5. “This is going to cut your cost by 60%.”

Customers come to you because they want a solution. And – when they hand over their cash they want to feel like they’ve made a great decision in purchasing.  Remind them about the great decision they’ve made and tell them how their purchasing decision will benefit their life.

6. “Thank you.”

… said from the heart and with a beaming smile and shining eyes and amazing eye contact. When communicated in this way, these two simple words can make someone’s day, can mean extra sales from that customer. It could even save a life.

Business success is about building relationships. Relationships with your team. Relationships with your suppliers. And most importantly, relationships with your customers. The more you can bend over backwards and raise the quality of experience that customers have with your company, the stronger your relationship will be. The stronger your relationship is, the more sales you’ll make – as simple as that.

 

The “Hehehe” Factor

You know it – doing business with certain retailers, suppliers or service providers (especially the Government) can be boring. Yes?

But what if there was a way to turn those mundane parts of the transaction into fun experiences for your customers? How would it make them feel? And how would that feeling affect your sales, the mood of your people, and your lives in general?

Yesterday I spoke about “touch points” or “moments of truth”. The way your customer experiences your brand at each touch point has a large bearing on the perception of your organisation and whether or not they purchase from you or stay loyal to you. Make it fun at each touch point and you’re onto a winner.

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