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Of course, from time to time, you will probably get a refund request, people being generally a fickle breed. What to do? Process it immediately - no questions asked! Make it as painless for your customers to get a refund as you do for them to make a purchase. Stand behind your guarantee policy. Flaunt it - cheerfully take care of dissatisfied customers. Make it a pleasant experience, then request a testimonial about your guarantee policy...turn it into a positive part of your marketing literature.
Don't be concerned with losses; they'll be minimal. If you're shipping hard goods, of course, wait until customer returns product before you process refund. However, if you're selling downloadable software or website access, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that you experienced a measurable financial loss even if a customer dishonestly didn't destroy software they downloaded. With a website membership, of course, you should deactivate their password, but whatever you do, don't let pettiness or greed cloud your judgment and delay prompt processing of refund requests.
You should try to seek out comments from dissatisfied customers as to nature of their complaint, so that you can take any action necessary to improve your product, but don't make this a condition of refund. Send refund notification in an e-mail, and then close by politely requesting comments as to where your product failed them.
A word of caution...DO NOT make your guarantee policy complex or vague...the cleaner and simpler, better. Best is: "If you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason, we offer a 100% money-back, no questions asked, refund of your purchase price." It is acceptable to set a time limit if you must, but make it reasonable. If it will take them a month to use and honestly evaluate your program, don't limit guarantee to a week.
Vague, unclear guarantees will place you under a blanket of suspicion, and will do more harm than good to your sales efforts. Leave conditions out...simply accept ANY REASON, or even NO REASON, for customer dissatisfaction.
Don't nitpick in your policy. Even if your credit card processing company doesn't refund service fee to your account, give customer 100% of their money back. Losing a few dollars on a refund is far less costly than losing hundreds of sales with a convoluted refund policy.
The boosted sales that a liberal guarantee policy will give you far outweigh any minimal losses you might incur from processing infrequent refund requests.
There is simply no better way to increase sales than to make doing business with you a completely risk-free proposal for your customers. A guarantee is essential to a sound business plan.
Bob McGrath is the author of the acclaimed new eBook: 'Don't Quit Your Day Job...YET!' He is also the Founder of Web Home Jobs, a unique home based self-employment opportunity at: http://www.webhomejobs.com