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Differentiate Yourself with a Guarantee

February 11, 2013

Let's start by looking at the definition: guarantee - a promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that assures a particular outcome or condition

When a customer buys a product or service, they are typically buying it to get a result. People don't buy a drill because they want a drill. They buy it because they want a hole. The same is true of most any product or service. You don't buy life insurance because you want a policy, you buy it because you want to protect your family.

So, how can a guarantee help your business? It can help you demonstrate to potential customers that they will get the outcome they want with your product or service. Let's take a look at some different guarantees.


Game-Changing Guarantees

Domino's Pizza

One of the most famous guarantees of all time comes from Domino's:

"Fresh, hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, or it is free"

In the 10 years following the introduction of this guarantee, Domino's grew from 1,000 to 4,000 outlets. It is easy to see why. They made a guarantee to customers to deliver what customers wanted. Note that there was no guarantee of
"delicious" or "high-quality" pizza. It was simply fresh and hot. And that was enough for people who ordered from Domino's.

In addition, because of their guarantee, Domino's built their business around speed. Pizzas were to be in the oven within 2 minutes of receiving an order, and they were to be baked and boxed within 8 minutes. What other pizza shop moves
that fast?

While Domino's has discontinued their guarantee, because of the concern it was leading to unsafe driving, it is still a great example of how a guarantee can change the game for a business.


ASEPCO

ASEPCO makes $4,000 valves that go into super-expensive tanks that manufacture bio-active medicines. A problem with one of these valves, which would lead to contamination of the medicine, can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, people are understandably conservative about trying new things.

To solve this problem, Tom Hoobyar, who was the president of ASEPCO at the time, developed a guarantee which is still in place. This guarantee helped ASEPCO go from just a small share of the market to over 90% in 15 years.

Here is just a portion of the guarantee. You can see all three parts at http://www.asepco.com/pages/onHome/guarantee.php  

Performance As Promised Or We Pay You!

If it is proven that a properly assembled ASEPCO valve is not CIP/SIP in use:

  a) We'll buy back our valve for a full refund

  b) We'll buy you the replacement valve of your choice

  c) AND we will pay the cost of replacing it in your ASME tank!

Note: We figure this is a safe bet, since we have not had a claim of contamination in our entire history.


Me-Too Guarantees

For a guarantee to work, it needs to differentiate you from your competition.
For example, have your heard the following guarantee:

“We will match any competitor’s price”

While this may have been innovative when initially created, it is now used by Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Fry's, and many, many others. When you are creating a guarantee, ideally, you want it to be hard to replicate. Or you may
only be able to use it until your competitors start copying it.


Risk Reversal

When you ask a customer to use your services or buy your product, they are taking a risk. A good guarantee reverses the risk, so that you are taking the risk away from the customer. They are guaranteed of the results they want and you must deliver those results. You need to promise results and not just a procedure or product.

Adding a guarantee helps your business in two distinct ways:

 

  1. It helps you stand out from the crowd. In a market where many businesses may
    look alike, a guarantee will catch people's attention.

  2. Causes you to be more selective in the customers you accept. If you are
    guaranteeing your service or product, then you are only going to want customers
    who you are sure you can help. And by being more selective, you will be more
    focused and provide better results to your customers which will help your
    reputation grow.


What Can You Guarantee?

Think about the results you deliver and not procedures you undertake. It requires you to focus more on what your customer wants and less on what you do.
Some ideas for guarantees include:

  • Additional revenue

  • Cost savings

  • Speed of delivery

  • Specific outcome


And don’t be afraid to define the parameters required for success. For example, you only guarantee results if your client makes the changes you recommend within a 60-day period. This makes the client accountable for doing their part as well.

Consider adding a guarantee to your business. It could be game changing, or, at the very least, help you differentiate yourself in your marketplace.


What Does Factor Four Consulting Guarantee?

We now offer a performance guarantee on Google Adwords campaigns. We will improve your results by 20% or more within 3 months or you get your money back on all PPC management fees (what we charge to manage the accounts). For companies spending $5,000 or more per month, that typically covers the cost of management fees.

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