— October 24, 2017
To offer refunds or not to offer refunds, that is the question.
The fear with adding a money-back guarantee to products is the possibility that buyers will take advantage of you.
If you sell products online like ebooks and courses, someone can benefit from your information and then ask for their money back essentially getting the goods for free.
I believe that you should find a happy medium where customers feel confident and returnaholics aren’t able to gyp you out of money.
After all, refund policies or personal guarantees give customers peace of mind and hold us online business owners accountable.
Here’s how to make the process of offering a money-back guarantee less stressful:
Set an “I Changed My Mind” Time Limit
Probably the best way to control the refund process for your digital products is setting conditions for how long the refund offer lasts. This strategy can work particularly well if you provide online courses where you drip information out slowly over time.
Someone may realize that after seeing a portion of the product that it’s not the right one for them.
Honoring refund requests within 48 to 72 hours will mean they only get a taste of what you created. Then you can simply remove them from your teaching platform, so they get their money back and no longer get access to your product.
Be Cautious With Your Copy
Spend extra time qualifying your clients in the sales copy to avoid tons of refund requests. Sales copy should tell your customer exactly what the product is about and whether it meets their needs.
Keep in mind that colorful sales copy that overstates what the product delivers may covert like crazy. But you will likely get a stampede of customers asking for a refund if the results don’t match the hype.
If you take time to create a product that thoroughly solves a problem and then describe it in a fitting way, you will encounter far less stress when offering a money-back guarantee.
Accept a Loss Once in a While
There will probably be instances where you end up giving products away for free if you offer payment refunds.
It’s pretty difficult to get an ebook back from someone if they ask for their money back. Depending on the deliverables that you offer with your online course, it may also be difficult to retrieve that back from customers as well.
Although I’ve never been asked for a refund, the possibility of giving work away for free is something that I’ve come to accept and refuse to get stressed out over.
I have a pretty liberal refund policy with my digital product because I don’t want someone to be dissatisfied. If I do get a request, I plan to honor it without hesitation and using it as an opportunity to ask for feedback.
Your reputation may be worth more than going back and forth with someone about a digital product refund. It’s these types of service interactions that leave a good or bad taste in your customer’s mouth. And in the wise words of Warren Buffet:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Why Offer a Money-Back Guarantee
In a digital world where anyone and everyone can make products, having a money-back guarantee can set you apart. It can sway customers to your product because they assume less risk.
If you’re hesitant to offer a money-back guarantee, ask yourself why and what concessions you are willing to make so your customers feel comfortable about the purchase.