Warranties, Guarantees: Reducing the Barriers to Purchasing (the Good and the Bad)
UPDATE: Right after this blog post published, I got a call from someone at CompUSA. I was told two things:
- That the CompUSA I was writing about went out of business and the NEW CompUSA would never treat customers with warranty issues so shabbily.
- CompUSA had made arrangements for me to get a new TV for all my troubles.
I'll get into more detail on this in my next post, but for now, I wanted to let you know that last week I received a new TV from CompUSA as a peace offering for the four years I spent fighting with its (well, actually the OLD CompUSA’s) warranty company, Assurant Solutions.
Some years ago I worked for a clothing cataloger that offered a no-strings-attached, lifetime, money-back guarantee. Occasionally it received a tattered, well-used article of clothing two years to three years later, but mostly the guarantee worked for the brand. The company at the time was pioneering organic fiber fashion, and wanted to do everything it could in order to reduce risks that could have a negative effect on purchasing decisions.
A solid guarantee is an important part of the selling process. It tells consumers that you stand behind your products and are truly focused on their needs. Prominently displaying your guarantee on your website and/or catalog makes sense, and should be heavily promoted as part of your offer.
In the age of social media, it's critical that you offer the best possible guarantee you can, then back it unconditionally.
Take a look at your company’s warranty. Is it clear, simple and to the point? If not, simplify it. Make it so easy even a child can understand it. Why? The internet, particularly social media, is the great equalizer. Simple things like upsetting a customer with a hard-to-understand guarantee will end up being tweeted, yelped and status updated.