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It’s a practice dating back to 1868. Entrepreneur Joseph Ray Watkins created and peddled homemade medical products, extracts, salves, and lotions to local farmers and villagers in Minnesota. He did so, door-to-door, using a horse and buggy. His creations were unknown, and potential customers were hesitant to take the financial risk of making a purchase. So, Watkins designed bottles with a trial mark molded about one-third of the way down. He promised customers if they weren’t pleased with the product before they reached that mark, they’d receive a full refund. Credited with founding the direct sales industry, JR Watkins is also attributed with inventing the satisfaction guarantee.
About 20 years later, Richard Sears, the founder of Sears Roebuck and Company, launched a mail-order catalog business. Because of the perceived risk of ordering something via mail, Sears overcame hesitancy to purchase by offering a money-back guarantee.
Both JR Watkins and Richard Sears, the businesses of which are still operating in some capacity to this day, recognized and addressed a significant obstacle to success in selling…the perceived risk…the gamble of trying something new and being stuck with it. What JR. Watkins, Richard Sears and thousands of subsequent businesspeople realized is that by offering a money-back guarantee, the source of hesitation, or the risk, is removed. This makes the decision to buy immeasurably easier.
In addition to easing the way for a consumer to try something new, the money-back guarantee is a business practice that also benefits the seller.
The business has the opportunity, via the satisfaction guarantee, to reach consumers that they might not otherwise have the chance to serve and/or diminish the timeline in a transaction. For instance, consumers are more likely to procrastinate on deciding to buy a bigger ticket item, putting it off as long as possible. Knowing, however, that they will be able to receive their money back and that that they won’t, in fact, be ‘stuck,’ goes a long way to moving the process along.
The satisfaction guarantee also promotes the business maintaining its highest standards. Furthermore, as the consumer is engaged with the product, they may make suggestions for further improvements. The companies that listen and respond to recommendations will be even more successful moving forward.
Friendship Senior Options senior living communities, Friendship Village of Schaumburg and GreenFields of Geneva, are excited to introduce our new “Friendship Satisfaction Guarantee.” No other community in the Chicagoland area is offering this type of unique program. Since we are so proud of the lifestyle, services, and accommodations with which we provide our residents, we are confident that seniors will find that life is better here…along with a future that’s secure. Our Friendship Satisfaction Guarantee Program helps people interested in senior living to move forward, feeling confident they’ve made a great decision in choosing one of our beautiful communities – or we will refund 100% of the entrance fee within six months of moving in. There’s absolutely no risk, only the opportunity to live within an engaging, vibrant community that you’ll absolutely love. We guarantee it!