How Delivery of Bonuses Affects Refund Requests

Buyer’s remorse is a natural phenomenon, making refund requests a normal part of doing business. One unique, easy and highly effective way to reduce refund requests is to change when you deliver bonuses.

lower refund requestsWhen you are selling something to people, they’re in an emotional state. After a customer purchases something or does business with you, on some level they start questioning, “Did I do the right thing? Should I have spent the money? Could I have gotten a better product or service or deal elsewhere?”

In other words, they don’t trust you or their decision anymore. To reduce your refund rates, you must address this lack of trust.

One way to build trust is with frequency – and one of the most effective ways to do it is with a Bonus Gift Request Form.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you order a home-study course. When you get the course, the bonus gifts are not included in the box.

Instead, you have to open up the box and the course. In the pocket on the inside cover of the product binder, you find a Bonus Gift Reply Form. It says, “Bonus Gift Request form. Fill out this form and fax it back to” and then it gives a fax number.

The copy on the form says, “Yes, rush me three free bonus gifts I’m entitled to receiving via priority mail. Sold separately, these bonus gifts are worth $650. But as a student, I’ll receive them at no charge.”

You fill in the form and fax it back. Then I send you the bonus gifts.

You might be thinking, “Alex, what a pain. Why make your customers jump through another hoop?”

Here’s the secret: Frequency builds predictability, which in turn builds trust. The more frequently you interact, the stronger the stick is. Your strangers become best friends, and they become evangelical buyers over and over again.

I don’t want that box to stay there on the floor. How many times have you done that with courses you’ve purchased from seminars, teleseminars or just from the Internet?

I like my customers to open the box and consume my course, at least the first page.

Customers must fax the form back, so they’re working for the bonus gift, which means they want it, which means they opened the course. The fax tips me off that someone has opened the course.

Once they fax the form back to me, I send them all the bonuses that I’ve promised in a priority mail envelope. They also get the bonuses via email, just to make sure they get it.

When I see a bonus gift reply form coming out of my fax machine, I know two things:

  1. That this customer’s not going to ask for a refund. The refund rate is almost zero for customers who go through the effort of faxing back the Bonus Gift Request Form.
  2. That this customer is going to be worth two and a half times more than any other client I have. If you get customers committed to consumption by opening your course, then chances are they’ll read the next how-to course. They’ll consume the next supplement, whatever you give them, or the next service that you have to sell.

Most entrepreneurs and experts deliver bonus gifts when they fulfill an order because it’s more convenient to do it all at once. But if the extra “hassle” of communicating with your customers again reduces your refund rate significantly, isn’t it worth it?

Do you use the Bonus Gift Request Form? If so, how has it affected your refund rates? Share your observations below! ~ Alex

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