Unconditional Money Back Guarantee. Or is it?
Unconditional Money Back Guarantee (UMBG) Is it an act of desperation in order to lure customers in or the utmost expression of confidence in your product or service? Does your unconditional guarantee have an “*” or any other “conditions” in a tiny font size? The beauty, and challenge, of UMBG is that for it to ‘work’ it must be pure - just bring it back, get a full refund.
Historically, brands that stuck by their unconditional guarantee managed to outlive predictions that it will cause their financial demise. It begs the question, though, whether the ability to return anything without questions or time limits, is the reason why companies like Nordstrom, Omaha Steaks or L.L.Bean continue to do well? Or, one might argue, that because these are also brands with higher than average price points, the cost of returns is built into the price.
There are many reasons to dismiss UMBG. Yet, the real power behind this bold approach has little or anything to do with how much companies charge and a lot to do with corporate culture.
Here is L.L.Beans’s guarantee:
Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.
Our guarantee is based on something as simple as a handshake – the deal that you'll be satisfied with a purchase, and if you are not, we'll make it right. We guarantee that we'll hold up our end of the bargain. It's just how we do business. If your purchase isn't completely satisfactory, we're happy to accept your exchange or return at any time.
Notice the personalized ‘tone’ – you can almost feel their pain when they speak about not delivering 100% satisfaction. This is business at its best – we are in business to serve you. Everything we do is designed to keep our promise of uncompromised service. We want you to come back, over and over again.
Reality teaches us that there will always be customers who game the system. But the loyal, repeat customer, is addicted to the experience of being well-served and the peace-of-mind and worry-free shopping experience.
Before you dismiss 100% satisfaction guarantee, take time to examine why you're in business and who, whether you acknowledge it or not, has 100% control of your destiny.