From Ryan McFarland, Founder, CEO Strider Sports Int’l, Inc.
I’d like to address the purpose of the “60 Day ‘Love it or Return it’ Guarantee” printed on our STRIDER box.
First, a little reality check: In this age of e-commerce and credit card purchasing, products can be returned whether we like it or not. A customer can simply send a product back and dispute it with their card company. Credit card companies are going to reverse charges and side with cardholders in the event of a dispute. Any effort on our side to ‘counter’ their dispute is not productive, and simply costs us more overhead. Even if we would ‘win’, we end up losing based on resources spent in the dispute. So the reality is that we are subject to product returns simply by being in business in this day and age.
So, what can we do? We can either feel victimized by this fact and resist returns, or we can turn it into a benefit by embracing and promoting a simple underlying fact that many business owners won’t talk about and operate in fear of.
The statement “60 Day ‘Love it or Return it’ Guarantee” is the first step in building customer confidence in you and the product prior to purchase. Customers buy when they feel comfortable with the dealer and the product. This simple, bold, upfront statement will increase your overall sales by boosting customer confidence.
When a customer purchases a product, they now have a relationship with you. Having a relationship with a customer is of utmost value and can ultimately lead to years of repeat business for any number of products you offer. If a customer becomes unsatisfied with a product, they still have a relationship with you, and they are counting on you to provide a solution either through advice, repair, replacement, or return. The last thing you want them to do is become unsatisfied with the product AND YOU. A dissatisfied customer is going to post, share, tweet, spam, flame, rant to everyone they know about their negative experience with YOU… if you don’t honor that relationship. The amount of bad press far outweighs the cost of a return. However, if a customer, YOUR customer, comes to you with a complaint about a product, then you will want to resolve the complaint however you can, and solidify the positive relationship with your customer… who may return one product, but buy another from you. The most important point is maintaining a positive relationship with your customer.
Beyond relationship, let’s just look as some hypothetical numbers. Let’s say your business is going to sell 40 STRIDER bikes in the calendar year, and you can increase that by 15% by making this bold commitment to the customer and building their confidence… meaning you now sell 46 STRIDER bikes. With a STRIDER average warranty/repair/return rate running well below 1%, this still doesn’t even equate to a single bike being returned. Yet, you sold 6 extra bikes and built 6 more customer relationships. Even if you suffered an astronomical return rate of 10%, that is still only 5 of the extra 6 bikes sold. You are still one bike ahead and have built 6 extra relationships. If a bike happens to come back on the return policy, simply work it into your display/demo bike rotation. We all have customers at some point that would love to have a bike, but can’t afford the full retail price of a brand new unit. Sell the returned bike as a demo model to that customer at a discounted price, and build yet another relationship with somebody who will be quite grateful for the special deal on the bike. You just made their day!
Bottom line is that STRIDER bikes, aside from being easy products to sell, with great margins, and high customer satisfaction, are great relationship builders. So, go out of your way to point out the unique “60 Day ‘Love it or Return it’ Guarantee” on the top of every STRIDER box and watch your business grow!