Sales were a lousy $12,000 a month when I bought my pizzeria.
Three years later...
1. March sales $149,204.74
2. First quarter $391,148.15
3. First quarter gross profit $199.995.07
Now... look at "Refunds." First quarter refunds were $140.75.
That is an infinitesimal 3.6/100th's of 1%.
Here's the shocker...
Look what was on EVERY menu, mailer, flyer, door-hanger and radio ad:
"If you should ever be disappointed, if we should fail you in any way or let you down for any reason – please let me know. If I can’t make it right – I’ll give you your money back – every penny!"
That guarantee was the centerpiece of my marketing and the main reason for the rapid growth.
Let’s break it down… word-for-word:
(this immediately makes it about them).
(“should” means it’s unlikely but possible. “…ever” means today, tomorrow, any time, any transaction).
...be disappointed, if we should fail you in any way or let you down
(restated three times. In advertising parlance, this is a triad. It amplifies how serious I take my responsibility to deliver you a perfect experience).
…for any reason –
(again, about them. Not a reason I choose, but an unconditional promise that they decide what complete satisfaction is).
…please let me know.
(the use of "please" conveys that I WANT them to contact “me” the owner. I consider YOU so important that I want to escalate this all the way upstairs right out of the gate. Most customers will never ask for you… they will simply tell the employee that they have an issue. Empower your crew to take care of issues on the spot – and to also document all details).
…If I can’t make it right –
(perception of pulling out all the stops and getting white-glove treatment from the top dog. "right" puts the control with the customer).
…I’ll give you your money back – every penny!
(they have absolutely zero risk in doing business with me - the first time... any time)...
There are no weasel clauses. There are no conditions. I stand behind their experience and expectations - 100%.
Here's what I know... you will attract new customers faster - and grow sales quicker with a strong guarantee because it instantly places you above competitors who are afraid to do the same.
By default - it elevates you above the noise.
People think: "Jeez, with a guarantee like that - this place MUST be good."
Guarantees come in many forms, but here are the two most common:
1. Unconditional Guarantee
Starbuck's will remake your drink until you are completely satisfied.
2. Conditional Guarantee
If you can’t guarantee the entire experience, guarantee something!
This is what Domino's Pizza did with: "Hot, fresh pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free."
They didn't guarantee the best tasting pizza... just hot, fresh and in your hands within 30 minutes.
Can you guarantee lunch on the table in 7 minutes?
Our Repeat Returns guarantee is conditional. We guarantee success within 90 days (your definition of success)... but you must actually "try" the program. This simply means you need to enroll customers. (Duh).
We added that one, single condition to weed out sloppy owners so we can focus on success-minded owners.
Conclusion: Would you rather attract 100 new customers easily with a strong guarantee and give say - 10 refunds? Or attract 20 new customers and give no refunds?
You will gain far more from a strong guarantee than you will ever lose with the occasional refund.