Most digital marketers agree that refund request rates for digital products have now reached epidemic proportions. For most marketers, there are few things as daunting as refund requests just days after a sale.
With the policies of major payment systems such as PayPal primarily favoring the Customer, the refund epidemic for digital goods is now in full swing and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
You can choose to whine about it, or throw your hands in the air, give up and go find gainful employment, or you can look for solutions to protect YOUR OWN business in this toxic situation.
Here are 7 simple and inexpensive strategies you can implement to reduce your digital product overcharge. Many of them even apply to sales of traditional products.
1. PROVIDE QUALITY PRODUCTS THAT KEEP YOUR PROMISE. This may sound obvious, but most sellers don’t understand that the quality of their products is the first and best line of defense against customer refunds. In essence, with a few exceptions, most refunds stem from customer dissatisfaction. If the customer is satisfied, there is no reason for them to request a refund. Providing excellent products that are truly worth their hard-earned money would remove any possibility of considering a chargeback from their minds.
2. PROVIDE AN EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE SYSTEM. Many online entrepreneurs believe that customer support is unnecessary for an online business. This is a false notion. On the contrary, a customer support system would increase the value of your product and drastically reduce your refund rate. Knowing that their issues with your product and business can be addressed through an easily accessible channel would deter most genuine customers from resorting to refunds.
3. HAVE A QUICK START GUIDE –. Information products can be overwhelming and overwhelmed people often choose the refund option. You open the product and you have all these videos, audios and transcripts and you don’t know where to start. A quick start guide (either audio or written) can give people a place to start and can help them consume the material more easily. Once they have a quick start guide that can help them understand the chaos of their overwhelming product, most will calm down and forget about requesting refunds.
4. HAVE A WELCOME LETTER SENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER PURCHASE- The sale should not be for the purpose of selling the product to the customer. Many customers go through a period of buyer’s remorse. He should send a welcome letter or an extra gift (or both) to reassure them that they’ve made a great decision. A welcome letter should reassure the buyer that they have made a good decision in purchasing your product AND get them excited about finding and using the product.
Welcome letters can also provide you with additional information and resources, or can act as your ‘Quick Start Guide’ and provide instructions on how to get started.
Your welcome letter can also include a little gift, or just a little extra bonus or maybe an additional unannounced report. Whatever it is, it only adds value to the product and helps your customers overcome their initial buyers’ remorse.
5. SET UP A SERIES OF WELCOME AUTORESPONSES. Just as most vendors have an autoresponder email series to convert the prospect into a buyer, it’s equally important to also create an autoresponder series to help your customers get started with your product. These emails can:
• Reassure them that they made a good decision buying your product
• Give them some additional tips for using the product
• Get them excited to dive in and get started (remember, honest people who successfully go through your product are much less likely to return it)
• Ask them for a testimonial or encourage them to refer a friend
• Sell them to the next level
6. GIVE A SURPRISE BONUS A FEW DAYS AFTER PURCHASE -Send them an additional unannounced bonus later, maybe 3-5 days after purchase. This accomplishes a couple of things: your ideal customers feel taken care of, and it also gives you another opportunity to reach out and connect with them again. This is a good way to further build the relationship with your ideal clients. People hardly leave a Seller they have a relationship with without a good reason.
7. USE VIDEO TO DEMONSTRATE PRODUCTS – To reduce the frustration that often leads to refunds, it’s a great idea to have DEMONSTRATION VIDEOS to explain how your product works and visually demonstrate how to use the different features of your product. These demo videos can be used to demonstrate features, ease of use, and can convey products in a way that makes it stupidly easy to use.
No employer would want to receive a refund request. It’s both disappointing and downright demoralizing. But keep your spirits high. Refunds are part of the game. They are something we must live with. And fortunately, they are something we can control.