If they're not, you'll make it right by providing them with a full refund, replacement, repair, or other forms of compensation. It's one way to show your customers that you value their business and are dedicated to providing services and products of the highest quality.
Why should you offer customer satisfaction guarantees?
Everyone wants to know that their decisions are the right ones. Prior to making any major choices, people need some kind of confirmation, whether it's a friend's approval ("Yes, these shoes are great!") or other people's positive opinions (“I can highly recommend this service provider!”).
A customer satisfaction guarantee works the same way.
People buy from brands they trust. In fact, 44% of customers will spend $500 more per year with a brand they trust the most. Moreover, 29% will spend more than $1,000 extra per year.
This is why customer satisfaction guarantees are so effective. They provide customers with the confidence that their purchase will turn out to be a positive one.
A forever guarantee is very straightforward. If the customer isn't completely satisfied with their purchase, they receive a full refund, replacement or repair, with no questions asked.
This shows that you really believe that you deliver the best quality product, which can significantly improve customer loyalty.
There used to be a perception that such an extreme guarantee is applicable only to top-of-the-line products, but that's no longer true.
⚠️Note: A lifetime satisfaction guarantee is a bold move that carries a lot of risks. It is not something to be taken carelessly. Don't offer too much if you aren't 100% sure that your products are durable.
An example that we love 💌
Patagonia offers a lifetime product guarantee on all its clothing and equipment offerings. What’s more, this guarantee is also strongly aligned with the whole message and core values of the brand.
In its latest ad, “Buy Less, Demand More,” the company even used the lifetime guarantee as a marketing strategy (smart move Patagonia 👏🏻): “Since 1973, we’ve built clothes to endure, so you don’t need to buy new as often.”
It may seem that Patagonia discourages customers from purchasing its products. But, actually, the brand does something totally opposite—people feel that buying these products is a good investment that will last at least a few years. As a result, instead of choosing the competitors, they decide to shop with this American retailer.
#2 Money-back guarantee
This is a type of guarantee that many people take for granted and it’s actually quite effective. Shops don’t have to give their customers money back. They can, for example, transfer the value of the purchase to a gift card instead.
Getting actual money back is just an extra benefit. This type of guarantee is especially beneficial for customers since it shows them that they are in good hands—that the company really cares about their satisfaction and will go out of its way to make sure they are happy with their purchase.
Customers feel safe when they know that their money won’t be lost. And having their trust leads to a higher sales volume.
⚠️Note: In addition to a standard warranty, you can also offer extensions and coverage plans, e.g., in the case of damage, loss, or theft.
An example that rocks 🤘
The money-back guarantee is the most popular customer satisfaction guarantee among eCommerce businesses, and it actually works. Let’s look at Zalando.
The company offers a 100-day return policy—if the customer isn’t satisfied with their purchase, they can return it within 100 days and get a full refund. This definitely helps customers make a purchasing decision faster as they know they can always get their money back.
#3 Best price guarantee
When it comes to making a purchase decision, the broader economic factors matter a lot. And the lowest price guarantee is the solution to the problem of comparison shopping.
With a strong guarantee of the lowest prices, your customer is reassured that they don't need to look elsewhere because you provide the best price.
Many companies offer a refund or an equivalent discount if the customer finds the same product at a lower price somewhere else. Thanks to such an approach, they demonstrate that their customers’ satisfaction is their top priority. As a result, it helps to build brand loyalty over time.
⚠️Note:The best price guarantee does not only apply to products but also to services. The same logic works here: a company guarantees that their service will cost less than the ones of similar quality offered by competitors.
A company that is committed to providing its customers with the best price (or at least trying to) is LOT. If you find a lower price for the same ticket on another website, the Polish airline will offer you the double difference in price in the form of a voucher.
It is an effective way to make a statement that they truly are the most affordable company around and it definitely works.
#4 “Try it before you buy it” guarantee
Sometimes customers are unsure whether they made the right purchase decision—or they just don’t know if they can trust the product.
That's why some companies offer a special "try before you buy" option that could be free samples or some kind of promise that assures customers that their purchase won't be a mistake.
This approach allows companies to get first-time customers to try out their product before buying it.
⚠️Note:The guarantee program works especially well with products that require trial and error as preferences and tastes vary from person to person.
The example that is worth highlighting 🏻🏼
As an example of a company that offers a “try before you buy” option is Casper, an online store that sells mattresses.
Casper offers a 100-night free trial for their mattresses, allowing new customers to try them out and make sure they find them comfortable. In case they don’t, the company will pick them up at its own expense.
#5 Free trial guarantee
Among the most popular customer satisfaction guarantee examples is the free trial period, which gives potential customers a chance to actually experience what they’re getting before committing to a long-term purchase.
The difference between the try-it-before-you-buy-it guarantee and this one is that with free trials, we primarily talk about software.
Free trials for B2B companies are usually not that long, usually lasting 1-2 weeks or even less, but they often give the customer enough time to try out the product. For B2C companies, the average trial lasts at least 30 days.
Companies that use free trials see an average of 66% conversions among B2B users and 57% among B2C. They help customers feel more confident about the product or service. What’s more, signing up for a free trial is much easier than deciding to make a purchase.
⚠️Note: A free trial guarantee is a very common practice among applications and SaaS platforms. Often, it doesn’t require customers to provide their credit card details.
The example that is common practice 👩🏼💻
Canva, an online design tool, is one of many companies that offer a free trial.
For 30 days, users can get access to full Canva Premium features and decide whether they need them or if a free version is enough.
#6 Support service guarantee
No matter what product you’re selling, excellent customer service is a necessity. If things get rough, your customers need to know that they can count on an amazing support team to resolve their problems quickly.
Customers should feel confident that your customer service team is available to answer their questions throughout the purchase process and afterward.
⚠️Note:Many customer satisfaction guarantees can also be mixed, for example, providing a money-back guarantee with a customer service guarantee. The effort shows that the company is determined to provide the best customer experience possible.
Apple provides an outstanding support experience that is worth replicating. When something goes wrong with one of your Apple products, you can go to the nearest Apple Store, wherever in the world you are, and get help fast.
Apple’s highly qualified employees can provide technical assistance and show you how to use your device more efficiently. And if your product needs to be replaced or repaired, they will offer quick solutions for that, too.
#7 Safety guarantee
When giving personal data to a company, customers want to be sure that their information will be safe. With around 2,200 cyber attacks happening every day, they have a reason to be concerned.
A safety guarantee is a type of customer satisfaction guarantee that promises that customer data and personal information will be kept safe and secure.
⚠️Note:To build trust with customers, you must be transparent about your data security measures and should make it easy for customers to understand how their information will be protected.
An example of putting customer safety first 🚨
Take Airbnb and its AirCover for hosts. Hosts can opt-in to Airbnb’s guarantee and have liability coverage for any third-party claims related to injury, death, or property damage that may arise from someone staying at their home.
Airbnb also has a dedicated Trust & Safety team that reviews every booking and provides 24/7 support in case something goes wrong. With this cover, the company ensures that both guests and hosts are protected.
Avoid these mistakes when creating your customer satisfaction guarantee
When developing a customer satisfaction guarantee, it’s easy to fall into a trap of promising too much. You want to provide everything your customers expect and simply overestimate your capabilities.
So, how do you create a customer satisfaction guarantee in a way that will please your customers but you will still be able to keep its promises?
Here are a few things to avoid doing.
⛔️ Not clearly stating the terms and conditions
A customer satisfaction guarantee should be clear and understandable. If customers don’t understand what you offer is or how it works, they won't trust your promises.
⛔️ Not providing any sort of follow-up
Customer satisfaction surveys are important to track how your guarantee is performing. It’s essential to keep an eye out for what customers think to make any improvements if needed.
⛔️ Offering an unrealistic or impossible guarantee
If you promise too much, you set expectations too high for customers (and yourself). You might end up with unhappy customers who can't use the guarantee.
⛔️ Not providing a reasonable time frame
Each customer satisfaction guarantee should have a reasonable time frame. If you don't provide one, customers might decide to wait longer than necessary and won't benefit from the guarantee.
⛔️ Not informing customers of the specific steps
Customers need to know the specific steps they need to take to make a claim or return an item. The instructions could look like this:
Fill out a form on our website
Ship out the product in the original packaging to the seller
Wait for them to inspect the goods and ensure everything is in order
Get your money back
Successful guarantee program: achieved
Today, it can be extremely difficult to satisfy customers. Businesses are expected to go above and beyond to acquire new customers and retain their existing ones.
If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to make your customers feel valued and secure when purchasing from you. Implementing all these tips above will help you to build a successful guarantee program that will keep your customers coming back.
Kinga is the creative owner of Brainy Bees. Kinga has over ten years of experience in marketing and delivering a bespoke customer experience across the B2B and B2C fields while redefining a client-first approach. She knows that insights are everywhere, kindness in business is no longer optional, and simply following trends is no longer enough. Also, Kinga operates at SaaStock as a Country Leader.
NET PROMOTER, NPS, AND THE NPS-RELATED EMOTICONS ARE REGISTERED U.S. TRADEMARKS, AND NET PROMOTER SCORE AND NET PROMOTER SYSTEM ARE SERVICE MARKS, OF BAIN & COMPANY, INC., SATMETRIX SYSTEMS, INC. AND FRED REICHHELD.