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Steve
03-29-2006, 08:56 AM
Here is some interesting information to add to a discussion Troy and I were having about guarantees.

The Marketing Maven
Have a BIG, BOLD, SOLID Guarantee
Retail Marketing Strategies by Bill Glazer

You should guarantee everything you do… That’s right…EVERYTHING. Now, your first reaction might be, “I can’t afford to do that, I’ll have customers calling me all the time wanting this and asking me to fix that…Or worse yet, they’ll want their money back and they’ll rip ME off!”

This is a natural reaction, but here’s my guarantee to my customers: 100% “NO-RISK” GUARANTEE. Simple, isn’t it? But very solid, very easy to stand behind. Let me tell you why.

A recent survey of consumers across the country were asked the question, “Why do you buy where you buy?” And no folks, the number one answer was NOT “price” (actually “price” was number five). The number one reason people buy where they do is CONFIDENCE.

By the way, after “Confidence” the other reasons in order were “Quality,” “Selection,” “Service,” and then “Price.”

Put yourself in the customer’s role—after all, you do buy things, don’t you? People want to shop where they’ll be taken care of—in the same way you do. And, practical experience continues to prove that (1) a guarantee boosts sales, and (2) the better the guarantee, the higher the sales.

So what does my BIG, BOLD, SOLID GUARANTEE mean? Basically, if the customer isn’t happy with my product or service, I’ll make it right—or the customer can have his/her money back.

Is it bold? YES. Is it risky? NOT AT ALL. Think of it this way…

I may encounter a situation where the customer isn’t happy perhaps only two or three times a month. And if I have to give their money back, it just shows the customer that my store is trustworthy and it gives them the confidence to come back.

I don’t think anyone should be in business if they can’t guarantee what they sell. But still, many do not. And those who do, give a wimpy guarantee anyway. All this does is presents your competition the chance to “one-up” you. Believe it, during these tough retail times, a rock-solid guarantee is an excellent way to set yourself apart from your competitors and it reverses the general lack of trust customers have built in their minds to begin with. Why would you not want the upper hand in this situation?

And here’s the best news…The numbers will always work in your favor to offer a “100% ‘NO-RISK’ GUARANTEE.” It’s less likely that people will take you up on it…and much more likely that lots of people will be convinced to shop with you if you have one. And…(NOW PAY ATTENTION) if you guarantee it…FLAUNT IT! Go ahead and flaunt it shamelessly. Let the world know. You won’t regret it.

From this site (http://www.camcommerce.com/news/archive/march02.htm).

Do you agree/disagree with this point of view and why?

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 03:03 PM
Ok, with the type of business that I am going into, the application side, I think that for me there are too many variables to consider. The weather, how the customer maintains the lawn, whether they water it, etc. I can understand if like I did a 5 year guarantee on hardscapes. Any movement or damage during those 5 years then it's repairs for free.

I don't know, what do you think? I personally think I am just sticking my neck TOO far out there in regards to applying fertilizer.

Steve
03-29-2006, 03:13 PM
If you have reservations about it, don't do it. I wanted to present you with the opposing view to provide you with more information and help you formulate your opinion.

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 03:28 PM
I appreciate the view, it's just something that I will have to look more into

Steve
03-29-2006, 03:28 PM
Keep experimenting and you will find things that work best for you. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 04:11 PM
Right now what is working really good is that 15% off thing. *I have found that to work with almost amazing results. *I have sent it out to approx 75 people so far, that I know TruGreen does applications for, and I have landed 3 accounts in just this week alone. *That is pretty good I feel. *A 4% response rate.

MIRACLELAWN
03-29-2006, 05:05 PM
I have "Satisfaction Guaranteed" on all advertising material, I believe you are right.

tiedeman
03-29-2006, 07:22 PM
What I am going to do is look at not only local companies, but national companies and see if they have a guarantee, and what it covers

Steve
03-30-2006, 12:30 AM
Hi MIRACLELAWN,

Quote[/b] ]I have "Satisfaction Guaranteed" on all advertising material, I believe you are right.
is this for your landscaping or web hosting business?

tiedeman
03-30-2006, 12:38 AM
I have done some checking around:
Guarantees that I found

Trugreen: TruGreen ChemLawn is committed to providing you with the highest quality service. Because your lawn means more to us our team of trained professionals will work until you are satisfied, or refund the amount of your last application. Period.



Scotts: Satisfaction guaranteed. You take no risk whatsoever with Scotts LawnService. You must be fully satisfied with every treatment. If not, simply let us know and we'll make it right. We are never satisfied until you are.

tiedeman
03-30-2006, 12:49 AM
Now I personally like TruGreens.

See the only problem that I have with a guarantee is that I already use basically the best granular fertilizer and weed control product that is on the market. *I have looked through Greenview, Lesco, Scotts, etc. and there was only one product that was hands down the best. *I won't say which one it was, but I pay a pretty price for it.

This is how I look at it: *I don't buy the cheap fertilizer that you can get from elevators for like $10 a bag that covers 15,000 sq ft, I pay on average approx $45 a bag for 15,000 sq ft of weed/feed. *That isn't even the close to the amount that I pay for grub control. You also have to remember my buddy gives me a huge discount through his store too. *

I look at it that I am already buying the best fertilizer on the market for the customer, and purposely not jacking up the prices because I am getting a better fertilizer. *I could charge around $7 a sq ft for fertilizer that costs and does that great of work, but I don't. *I decided not to cut corners like I have done in previous years buying cheaper brand fertilizer with poor results. *

Heck the stuff that I used last year I was making approx 75 to 80% profit margin, but it was poor results, while this year I am using better products and making only a 40% profit margin. *I lost customers because they were not happy with the results of the poor fertilizer. *So I thought that perhaps I better pull up my boot straps and dig in this year to really try to establish a name for myself. *All I did was raise prices approx 7%. *

Right now the way that I want to take the fertilizer business is by providing the top notch product on the market, at a vary reasonable price, but while making still a reasonable profit margin.

Steve
03-30-2006, 01:00 AM
Very interesting. Now what I wonder next is, are you promoting this information to your customers.

You could have a door hanger that shows the pitfalls of hiring a lawn application company. Explaining to them the difference between using the fertilizer you use and what the other companies use. Then you could even show a picture with the difference in using the two different fertilizers.

That would be a really great visual attention grabber.

On one side you could show 'our companies results.' Then on the other side you could show 'the other guys.'

Show one lawn better than the other and how the customer would still be paying a comparable price if not more for a worse service.

tiedeman
03-30-2006, 01:05 AM
That is true I could do something like.

But like I explained above, that is one of the reasons that I am turned off by the guarantee, just because I already have a lot of money wrapped up into the product and service that I am trying to provide to the customer at a very reasonable that I think I would really lose my shirt over it.

Yes, if I was using a poor fertilizer that like one cost me around $15 for a 15,000 sq ft bag, this yes definetly I would provide a guarantee, because the cost of that is so low is won't greatlly effect me

Steve
03-30-2006, 01:26 AM
I can understand.

I was thinking, if you had a photo of a before and after or showing one side of a lawn treated with your fertilizer and one side with the cheaper fertilizer, you could give this to the customer in your bid sheet possibly. It would give them something to really think about.