Most guarantees put a limit on the time customers have to return a product after its purchase. That enforced timeline creates a transaction-based relationship with customers, as they measure happiness one purchase at a time. Zane’s Cycles in Branford, Connecticut decided to guarantee the happiness of the customer relationship instead. They threw out the clock. The Zane’s guarantee says: “We are going to live up to our promises, no matter what the timing, no matter what the product or service.”
The Power of a Promise – and How it Grows Your Business
Founder Chris Zane knows that each customer who walks through his store’s door brings $12,500, on average, to the business over the lifetime of the relationship. The intention behind this guarantee is to earn a new customer by eliminating any reason for not considering Zane’s Cycles. So Zane’s guarantee includes everything: lifetime free service, a 90-day price guarantee, a lifetime parts warranty. With these promises, Zane’s says to customers: “Why worry about price when our price is guaranteed? We will live up to our promise.”
This promise guides decision-making throughout the lifetime of every Zane’s customer. For example, a customer who wants to return a $500 item is gladly given the refund. It is not worth jeopardizing the future value of that relationship. Zane’s employees embrace that: It’s not $500 at risk; it’s a $12,500 customer.
Does Your Experience Have an Expiration Date?
Companies who understand their customers’ lives grow their businesses, and earn the right to customers telling their story to everyone they know. Zane’s earns the right to their customers’ stories with their decision to guarantee bicycle ownership. In a world where there is so little that customers can count on, this promise delivers “wow” in a world of customer service vanilla.
By eliminating fear and worry from the buying experience, Zane’s ensures customers are less prone to negotiating a bike’s price, because in the long term, they know they’ll be covered by the Zane’s guarantee. Zane’s can maintain its margins because price is never the determining factor in a customer decision. Customers know, “If I buy it and I don’t like it, I can bring it back.” Zane’s customers look forward to the ownership experience—also guaranteed.
What part of your experience can you guarantee? How do you make sure your customers sleep well at night, knowing you’ve got them covered?
Go Try This
Evaluate How you are Delivering Peace of Mind to Customers Today
- How would you rate your intent and ability to guarantee happiness for customers?
- How would your customers say you are doing?
- Do customers rave about their relationship with you?
- How do your decisions on policies and procedures compare with this beloved company?
- Do your decisions to live up to your promises earn your business “beloved” status today?
Take Action to Earn Raves From Customers (and Employees)
- Try to identify one part of your customer experience that you can guarantee to give customers peace of mind.