I am constantly amazed at how few people and organizations provide and aggressively promote an unconditional guarantee. Not guaranteeing the intended outcome of anything you do or make or sell makes absolutely no sense to me. Lack of an unconditional guarantee for any program, product or service sends a very clear message to every potential and current customer or client. The message is, “Give me some or a lot of your hard earned money for something I do or make or sell… but I will not give your money back if it does not meet both its intended purpose and your expectations.” In other words, current or potential customer or client, “You take all the risk and I sure hope it works for you… good luck… and if it doesn’t work… sorry Charlie… your money is now mine and I am not giving it back!”
Regardless of the business you are in or what you do, make or sell… what a terrible, destructive, unproductive and frankly stupid message to broadcast to the world. That message is laced with lack of integrity, transparency, quality, dependability and customer focus. That message clearly communicates everything you do not want to be!
Many people and businesses worry that some customers will take advantage of an unconditional guarantee. Of course they will. Unfortunately, the devious and dishonest will always be with us. Get over it. This is a part of doing business. Plan for it, expect it and try to convert exploiters into great customers. If you can’t quickly convert them, move on. Time is precious and they are not worth the time, effort or worry. There are hundreds and thousands and millions of good to great potential customers and clients out there. Focus on serving them with excellence and an unconditional guarantee. They will send you other great customers and clients.
Scores of books and thousands of articles have been written regarding the power of word-of-mouth marketing and advertising. Over time, a consistent no hassle, unconditional guarantee results in very positive word-of-mouth marketing, advertising and publicity. Excellent testimonials and stories are one of the most powerful, yet one of the least expensive communication and business acquisition tools available to any person or business.
Regardless of how you feel about Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, a critical and very successful strategy in building the largest retailer and largest company in the world was an unconditional guarantee. Customers knew they could return any and every purchase, regardless of the reason, and receive a full refund. Tell a well trained Starbucks partner (people who work for Starbucks are called partners) that you are not satisfied with the taste or temperature of your coffee and watch what happens. The partner will sincerely apologize and immediately make you another cup… no questions asked. And, if you don’t like that cup, for any reason, you will receive your money back and another sincere apology. Yes, I know both Wal-Mart and Starbucks have gone through some hard times. We all go through hard times. Put it in perspective… would you like to have the money and success of the founders, even in tough times? Of course you would. Each of Sam Walton’s children is worth only 15 to 20 billion, give or take a few billion depending on the current stock market. That is each of four children!
My policy is simple. If you are not willing to provide a no hassle, unconditional guarantee, I don’t need nor want your program, product or service. In today’s world, using any number of communication and search devices, I will find someone else who is a pleasure to do business with and who will gladly provide an unconditional guarantee for anything and everything they do, make or sell.
And by the way, always try to practice what you preach. Any and all programs, products or services provided by any of my companies are unconditionally guaranteed. It is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do.
Regardless of what you do or what you make or what you sell… an open, honest, uplifting, happy-to-do-it unconditional guarantee is one of the very best, most memorable and least expensive ways to build a highly successful life, business and career. I guarantee it… unconditionally!