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The 5-Part Refund Reducer Email Series

The 5-Part Refund Reducer Email Series

by kobura02
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The 5-Part Refund Reducer Email Series

Copy and Paste the email series we use to reduce refunds. We’ll show you how to adapt these emails for your business and how to measure the effect.

 

1 – Start Here

Save the Sale or the Customer?

Every business encounters challenge and opportunity every day. Refunds are a prime example of a challenge that presents immediate opportunity: the challenge of an disappointed or angry customer is an opportunity for a raving fan. Somebody demanding their money back tends to elicit a fight or flight response. Most people’s impulse is to either defend the sale and fight to preserve it, or instantly refund to put it in the rear view as quickly as possible.

Both reactions deal with the challenge, but miss the opportunity. You need to engage. The key is to focus on the customer experience and teaming with them for a solution. Whatever your business, you sell solution to a problem – probably more than one. If your customer is seeking a refund, chances are they haven’t solved their problem. Find out why it wasn’t a good fit and offer them an alternative solution. If your customer is eligible for refund*, you may save a sale – but either way you save the customer. In this Execution Plan, we’ll examine the two variations of the communication we use to save customers, give you copies you can adapt for your business, and show you how we measure these interactions and why.

*If you don’t have a clear refund policy for all of your products, you should create one right away.

2 – Two Part Customer Communication

How To Use This Section

Modify as Necessary

While fundamental principles are the same, every business is ultimately unique. The communications we share in this Execution Plan are what works for our businesses. You should take into account your customers’ problems and goals, and the particular solutions you provide when considering what to offer as alternatives. For example, it might make more sense to follow a downsell or even upsell path than an even exchange.

Much of what we sell in our businesses is access to online content, and these communications are geared toward that. However, we sell plenty of physical products across our companies as well, and the same principles apply.

Use the Phone

This template is just as effective over the phone as email. It may be necessary depending on the circumstances of your business and personnel, but be wary of insisting on an exact script. Often times when people read from a script it’s obvious and comes off cold and robotic – which runs directly counter to the tone you’re trying to achieve.

The best result usually comes from using this template as a guideline, and focusing on making sure that your customer service makes the key points with phrasing that is natural for them.

Fix the Customer

The two variations we use for our communication with customers seeking refund are based on whether or not they’re eligible for a refund per the refund policy for that purchase. Their are several key points in each case, but either way, these two key points are the same:

  1. The objective is to save the customer
  2. Fix the problem, not the blame

We want people to speak positively about us and our products, not “win” arguments. Four out of five dentists may agree the issue is with your customer, not you or your product. Congratulations – maybe you can get one of those dentists to buy something. Whether you believe that fault lies with your customer, your product, or yourself, you should be able to honestly say

  • you’re sorry it wasn’t a fit
  • you’ll do what you can to help

As customers ourselves, we’re all so used to the fight or flight refund response that we often show up ready for that fight – so do our customers. Nothing defuses this faster than “I’m sorry. How can I help?”

Communication #1: Eligible for Refund

These are the key points made in the case of a customer eligible for refund. Remember that these come AFTER the two key points made in Fix the Customer:

Acknowledge they are eligible for refund

  • The customer will hear nothing else until they hear this. Make it clear up front so they can be receptive.

Reinforce desired results

  • Reminds the customer they have a problem you’re qualified to solve, and that still needs a solution.

Offer an alternative

  • Partner with the customer to find a solution that’s a better fit for them.

Set timer for automatic refund

  • Emphasizes your sincerity to partner for a solution by discounting their money from your motivation.

You’ll see each of these points made in turn in the following email template:

Hey FIRST NAME, I’m really sorry to hear that [ENTER PRODUCT HERE] wasn’t a fit for you.

Don’t worry, you’re well within our refund period and I’ll be happy to process that for you but first I want you to know that at [Company Name] we care about our customers and I want to make sure you’re not only happy but that we help you reach your business goals.

So no matter what I’m going to make sure you get taken care of.

I’m guessing that you bought [ENTER PRODUCT HERE] because you needed to [ENTER PROBLEM THEY WERE TRYING TO SOLVE HERE i.e. generate more traffic to your site or funnel, launch or improve a blog, write and launch your kindle book, optimize your sales funnel, etc.].

… since you’re requesting a refund you probably still need to solution to that problem right?

So I’d like to try something a little different.

Like I said, its our job to make sure you reach YOUR business goals and I think we can probably both agree that a refund isn’t going to do that (don’t worry if you don’t like what I’m about to suggest I’ll still process your refund ASAP but please hear me out first).

Instead of a refund I’d like to offer you one of our other courses that I think will help your [get more traffic, become an authority, etc]. Here are a list of products that I think might be a better fit for you.

[ENTER PRODUCT NAMES, DESCRIPTIONS AND WHAT IT CURRENTLY SELLS FOR EVERY DAY HERE]

Remember FIRST NAME, I promised I’d get you taken care of and I honestly meant that. So feel free to reply with any questions you have or take a day or so to think it over… either way, I’m here if you need me.

If I don’t hear back from you by [ENTER DAY OF THE WEEK AND DATE HERE] I will go ahead and issue you a full refund.

Oh and if you don’t feel like typing out an email or waiting for answers to your questions, you can give me a call and we can get this all cleared up right now!

You can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXX.

Talk soon,

YOUR NAME Customer Experience Agent

Eligible for Refund Email Swipe File

Communication #2: Not Eligible for Refund

These are the key points made in the case of a customer NOT eligible for refund. Note that they’re nearly identical to the points made for the customer who is eligible – the goal in both cases is to save the customer.

Remember that these come AFTER the two key points made in Fix the Customer:
Acknowledge they are not eligible for refund

  • This underscores the importance of an established and clear refund policy. Get this out soon and don’t belabor it, but see that it’s in connection with fixing the customer. This forecloses refund argument and opens the discussion about a better solution.

Reinforce desired results

  • Reminds the customer they have a problem you’re qualified to solve, and that still needs a solution. Offer an alternative Partner with the customer to find a solution that’s a better fit for them.

Set expectation for their further contact

  • Once you’ve offered the best alternatives you can, it is up to the customer to accept what you’re able to do for them. Giving them time to consider it and get back to you relieves pressure by providing them an “out”, and reaffirms that the ball is in their court.

You’ll see each of these points made in turn in the following email template

Hey FIRST NAME, I’m really sorry to hear that [ENTER PRODUCT HERE] wasn’t a fit for you.

Unfortunately, you’re outside of our [XX DAY] refund period which means I can’t issue you a refund today.

BUT I still want to help and I think I have a solution.

I’m guessing that you bought [ENTER PRODUCT HERE] because you needed to [ENTER PROBLEM THEY WERE TRYING TO SOLVE HERE i.e. generate more traffic to your site or funnel, launch or improve a blog, write and launch your kindle book, optimize your sales funnel, etc.].

Is that a fair assumption? … you probably still need to solution to that problem right?

Since I can’t issue you a refund I’d like to “swap out” [ENTER PRODUCT HERE] for one of our other courses that I think might be a better fit for you.

Here are a list of options for you to choose from: [ENTER PRODUCT NAMES, DESCRIPTIONS AND WHAT IT CURRENTLY SELLS FOR EVERY DAY HERE]

Let me know which of these training you’d like and I’ll swap it out for you and get you access ASAP.

If you’re not sure feel free to reply with any questions you have or take a day or so to think it over… either way, I’m here if you need me.

Oh and if you don’t feel like typing out an email or waiting for answers to your questions, you can give me a call and we can get this all cleared up right now!

You can reach me at [XXX-XXX-XXX].

Talk soon,
[REPRESENTATIVE NAME] Digital Marketer Customer Experience Rep

Not Eligible for Refund Email Swipe File

3 – Measuring Refund Saves

How To Use This Section

Like everything else in your business, you’ll need to test your variations on this template to find what works best with your customers for your products. In order to test, you need to measure.

First, establish a baseline. Look at your refund rates for your products, and start by addressing the highest. If you don’t have already have a process in place for tracking them (beyond your merchant account), now is a great time to start.

Create a Refund Save Spreadsheet

There are many customer management and customer support solutions available, and if you’re already using one or more of them, by all means look for a way to document this refund data in the process you’re using.

You can make your measurement as sophisticated as you’d like, but it’s much better to create a basic measurement that can begin saving customers today. We keep up with customer activity through a variety of systems, but we currently track this refund process through a simple Google Doc:

  • Name (customer name)
  • Product (refund request product)
  • Offered (alternative solutions offered)
  • Response (customer response; copied directly from email or noted if by phone)
  • Ticket Number (from relevant customer management record)
  • Representative (customer service representative responsible)
  • Date (date of initial refund request)

This could be more complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. By focusing on Product, Offered, and Response, we’re able to:

  • Quickly identify trends in what alternative solutions people prefer based on particular circumstances
  • Use customer feedback to improve products based on how we know they’re being used

By then tracking the lifetime value of that saved customer, we not only know how much was saved in a sale, but how much of a difference it makes over time.

4 – Conclusion

Takeaways

Every refund request is an opportunity to flip someone’s experience from ANGRY to being a brand EVANGELIST. People want to be pursued if they Break-Up with someone…why should it be any different for our customer relationship with someone?

It saves and can even make money, but do they appreciate it? Absolutely.

These are just a few actual responses to these same email templates:

“Although I’ve decided not to make use of these offers you propose (I do thank you for mentioning them), I want to congratulate you with such TOP QUALITY customer service.

It does have as an effect that I have the openness and willingness to consider to do business with you again in the future when the appropriate circumstance arises.

Thank you! The way you’re handling my affairs is greatly appreciated.”

“Thank you for your quick response. I took that last few days to ponder your would like to take the Authority ROI course. Thank you again for your efforts. They are appreciated.”

“Wow, this is why you guys are awesome, I honestly have not purchased much from you guys in the past but your email just proved to me why you guys are so big, your customer service is hand over fist better than anyone else I have seen in this industry. I would love a copy of Video Sales Letter Formula

You guys are awesome!”

 

 

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