Unsure how to handle your refund policy?
Have you ever had a client or program participant ask you for a refund?
Have you felt conflicted on how to handle the request?
Have you found that getting asked for a refund sends you into a downward spiral of low self-confidence, doubt, fear or even anger?
As solo entrepreneurs, we are our businesses. When we get asked for a refund, it is easy to take it personally and see it as a reflection of the quality of our work.
Today I am going to share my thoughts on handling refunds requests with grace, plus scripts for your refund policy, and how to respond to refund requests.
Scripts for your refund policy
If you are marketing a program or offering to a large number of people, it is a good idea to include a “guarantee” on your sales page.
The guarantee will make it easier for people to say “yes” to enroll in your program, because there is no risk to them signing up. This is also called “risk reversal.”
There are two main ways to handle a guarantee or refund policy.
Script #1: Give them 24 hours
“I’m confident that when you join me, you’re going to be thrilled with what you learn. Enroll in the program. If you’re not completely blown away by the level of content then simply send me an email within 24 hours of registering telling me what didn’t work and asking for your money back and I’ll give you a FULL refund. That’s 100%, right out of my own pocket, to you. You have my word on it!”
I like this option because it’s time limited. They only have 24 hours to ask for their refund. You also want to make sure they share exactly what didn’t work for them, so you can improve your program in the future.
Script #2: Ask them to participate fully
“I’m confident that when you join me, you’re going to be thrilled with your results. Participate fully in the program. If after attending or listening to all the calls and following the recommendations, you are not thrilled with your results, send me an email on the last day of the program telling me what didn’t work and asking for your money back and I’ll give you a FULL refund. That’s 100%, right out of my own pocket, to you. You have my word on it!”
I like this option because it puts the responsibility on them to commit to participating fully. Again, you want to make sure they share exactly what didn’t work for them, so you can improve your program in the future.
How to handle refund requests with grace
Every interaction you have with a client or customer is a representation of you and your brand.
We often think of branding as our logo, website design, and our tagline. But how you interact with clients is a huge, even more important, part of your brand and how you are perceived.
With this in mind, I want to encourage you to respond to refund requests with love and empathy, though at times this may feel challenging.
When someone asks for a refund it is usually for one of these reasons:
- The program isn’t what they thought it would be.
- The timing isn’t right for them.
- They are experiencing financial hardship.
In none of these cases is the person out to scam you. There probably have been times when you experienced all of these scenarios above.
Understanding why someone is asking for a refund will help you to respond from a place of empathy.
Specific ways to respond to refund requests
How you respond to refund requests will depend on your specific business and the reason the person is asking for a refund.
If the person is simply not happy with the program, you’ll likely want to give them a full refund. In this case I would recommend that you or someone on your team call the person you can make sure you understand exactly why the person wasn’t happy. Then, you can make adjustments in the future.
While it’s never fun to get negative feedback on your work, constructive criticism is extremely valuable. It is this information that will enable you to create offerings that exceed your clients’ expectation.
If the timing is not right, you can offer the person to enroll for free the next time you offer the program. Or, you can offer for them to transfer their investment to one of your other offerings.
If the person is experiencing financial hardship, you may very well end up offering a full refund. Other options are to offer an extended payment plan. If you have an affiliate program, you can offer for them to earn money by promoting your offerings.
Now I’d like to hear from you…
I’d love to hear about a time when you were asked for a refund and how you handled it with the customer. What did you learn from the experience?