When you get that dreaded email that says, “I don’t like this, please refund my money…” what do you do?
Most marketers make the refund and forget about it.
But what you might not realize is that a refund request can be the perfect opportunity to create a customer for life, if you handle it correctly.
Remember, your objective is to save the customer, not necessarily to save the sale. If you can do both, then that’s terrific.
And your goal is to fix the problem, not the blame. That is, don’t blame your customer or yourself. These things happen for a myriad of reasons. And you want people to speak positively about your products, not ‘win’ arguments.
Here’s what you need to be able to say, regardless of who is ‘at fault:’
- You’re sorry it wasn’t a good fit
- You want to do what you can to help, because that’s what you’re there for – to help the customer
There are two variations of communications to send out to customers seeking a refund, based on whether or not they are eligible for a refund according to your refund policy.
Throughout the process, keep in mind that your customer is likely in ‘fight or flight’ mode.
Think back to when you wanted a refund and you’ll understand the feeling: You’re ready to fight to get that refund if you have to.
But nothing defuses that fight or flight response faster than…
“I’m sorry. How can I help?”
Now then, let’s say you’ve received a refund request, and you’ve determined your customer is eligible for a refund based on your policy and the timeframe of when they ordered.
Here are the key points to keep in mind to keep your customer:
- You’re going to acknowledge that they are eligible for a refund. Until you say this, your customer isn’t going to hear anything else you say. So lead with this, and they’ll relax enough to read the rest of your email or listen to you if you’re on the phone.
- You’re going to reinforce their desired result. Your customer bought your product for a reason – likely a problem they need solved. They still have the problem, and they still need a solution.
- You’re going to offer an alternative solution. You’re now teaming up with the customer to find an effective solution to their problem. You’ve gone from being adversaries to working side by side as partners to fix their problem.
- Lastly, you’re going to set a timer for an automatic refund. This emphasizes that you are sincere about that refund, and that you are more interested in helping them find a solution than holding on to their money.