Power Direct Marketing: The Book
If you want to be the best, you have to separate yourself from all the talk about quality. And put it in writing.
Every company guarantees their product or services. But we dont always talk about it. I recommend you talk about it!
In direct response a discussion about your guarantee is almost imperative. It is imperative in mail-order. A guarantee of satisfaction certainly must be hinted in all services that are offered. And a guarantee can certainly be implied as part of your offer even when youre generating leads, raising funds, or building traffic through your store. Guarantees make people comfortable.
One of the things you dont want to do is to have your attorney write a guarantee. It needs to be written by the marketing people. Simple. Easy to understand. Short words.
And speaking of short, maybe the best guarantee ever is from Lands End. Heres a copy of their guarantee:
Believe it? I sure do! And so do their customers.
The first written guarantee we know about came from Benjamin Franklin:
Those persons who live remote, by sending their orders and money to said B. Franklin, may depend on the same justice as if present.
Benjamin Franklin had a store in Philadelphia. Many of the early settlers struck out across the Appalachians and into the midwest plains. Franklin offered these people a mail-order service. He received their orders and shipped a variety of supplies and products. And he guaranteed his service even to "those persons who live remote."
Xerox finds that selling their fax equipment is as competitive as the copier marketplace. To be set apart from others, Xerox guarantees your fax message will arrive. And backs it with the first and only Fax Transmission Guarantee:
If any fax you send on a new Xerox fax machine doesnt arrive in its entirety, well send you $5 for each undelivered document. No questions asked.
Here is the Baldwin Cooke Guarantee of Satisfaction or Your Money Back Offer:
If at any time you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, simply return it to Baldwin Cooke for replacement, or full and unconditional refundincluding the cost of shipping both ways. Your satisfaction is our sole concern.
Here is a guarantee from a childrens toy manufacturer, Judy Instructo:
Our products are of the finest quality and the highest educational value. GUARANTEED. Return anything purchased from us that proves otherwise. We will replace the merchandise or refund your money as you wish.
Prime Time, a door-to-door airport shuttle service in southern California, offers this guarantee:
Were on time or you dont pay.
A strong guarantee in a marketplace with heavy traffic such as greater Los Angeles has.
SGF guarantees your credit card wont be charged until your order is shipped. A strong guarantee from a mail-order marketer where credit card orders are a major source of their business.
The Company Store tells its mail-order buyers:
If you dont hear a SMILE over the telephone, youve called the wrong number!
They "guarantee" youll be happy with everything from The Company Storeincluding your phone conversation. (To be doubly sure youre pleased, the telemarketer who took your order includes a signed note with your shipment.)
Another interesting guarantee comes from American Demographics magazine. In a recent circulation mailing, in the P.S. on their sales letter they state their guarantee:
Suppose disenchantment sets in later on? Still no problem. Then you can take us up on our explicit guarantee. Cancel any time, for any reason, and well send you a full refund of your subscription price!
A most powerful and complete guarantee.
Lufthansa German Airlines introduced a guarantee program to their first and business class flyers. If the passengers (or their luggage) miss connecting flights and Lufthansa is at fault, they pay the passengers $200.
Whirlpool offers a one-year product replacement guarantee. If for any reason the customer is not satisfied, they will replace your Whirlpool appliance with a new one.
Both of these corporations are putting their wallet where their mouth is.
Seattle-based Nordstrom Department Stores has a customer satisfaction guarantee that is truly hard to beat. The story goes that a man stormed to the service desk of a Nordstroms, steaming mad. He demanded a refund on two automobile tires he claimed were defective.
The store considered his request and on the spot wrote a check for the full value of the tires. The customer left a happy man.
What makes this unusual? Nordstrom doesnt sell tires! They have no auto departmentbut this man was an important customer. And since he thought hed bought the tires at Nordstrom, who were they to argue?
If theyd pointed out they didnt carry tires, the man would still have been madmaybe embarrassed. By refunding the money, they keep a good customer happy.
Few of us can be as generous as Nordstrom. But all of us can guarantee our products and our service. All of us can make a "Guarantee of Customer Satisfaction" offer.
Quill, an office and computer supply mail-order house, includes a pre-authorized return form with every guarantee of satisfaction shipmentto make it easy for their customers to return any item for any reason. Spiegel, the major catalog house, offers free pick-up of merchandise customers may wish to return.
The "Lifetime Reconditioning Program" guarantee of Shopsmith states theyll rebuild or replace their woodworking equipment at one-third or less of the list price at time of repair. A strong "guarantee of satisfaction."
How about this for a guarantee. The initial public offering of common stock from Thermo Cardiosystems is guaranteed to increase in value. Guaranteed! And if it doesnt? The company will buy it back for whatever the investors paid.
My favorite guarantee, seen in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the back of a rubbish truck:
Satisfaction guaranteed or
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.