How to Destroy Future Product Sales

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Scenario: "Dude, here's what I do when I find a customer complaining about something we just sold them: 'Yo, you bought it. No refunds, sucka. Yay!'"


When you create a negative customer experience, you're not only losing that customer -- but you're also losing future sales from that customer's personal network. It's word-of-mouth -- in a disastrous way; and, it can spread virally -- destroying future sales.

Don't Be Like Most Companies

Too many companies think of the first sale. That is, nothing matters but that customer transaction. So what happens? Long lines. Horrible customer service. Non-existent support. Bad manuals. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. The worst offense: Bad products disguised as good products. The common practice:

  1. Manager Mary: Hey, let's sell this defective computer.
  2. Employee Eddie: Yes. Then, we'll slap a no-refund policy on the sucka.
  3. Manager Mary: You're genius. Yes! We'll make $$$!


  1. Customer Charlie buys the defective computer.
  2. He brings it home.
  3. He discovers it's a defective product.
  4. He tries to return it.
  5. He gets handed the "No returns." policy.

What disaster happens next? Charlie tells his friends. Those friends tell their friends. And, so on. (Worse, Charlie probably posts his negative experience to a popular online message board -- exposing your bad service to way more people.) In a marketing study by Wharton's Stephen Hoch:

Almost half those surveyed, 48%, reported they have avoided a store in the past because of someone else's negative experience.

Don't Do a Kramer.

You might know what happened with Seinfeld's Kramer: his ugly rant at The Laugh Factory on Friday that killed his career, forever. Decades of good work -- ruined by one filthy, horrible, disgusting act. A fabulous reputation takes years-and-freakin'-years to build -- and you can ruin it by doing something stupid/unethical/immoral. So, when you're out rocking your business like it ain't no thang, stick to this mantra like white on rice: Take the high road, always. Always. Sure, you might mess up; but customers accept apologies for unintentional mess-ups -- as opposed to intentionally-cheating-the-$@!%-out-of-'em. They'll love you for it.

"How do I start? How do I start?!"

We highly encourage it: Have a guarantee policy. That is, display this sucka -- or some derivative of it -- as prominently as you can: "If you don't like our stuff, get a full-freakin'-refund. We suck. We sorry."

Why Backing Your Products Rocks

Having a guarantee policy helps you in three ways:

  1. You ensure your products fulfill what customers want.

    Johnny pays for your $30 widget. If he doesn't ask for a refund, you know you probably fulfilled what he wanted. Now if he does ask for one, the guarantee policy viciously drives you to improve your products for the customer -- or you'll lose money on refunds every time.
  2. You retain that customer, and the customer's personal network.

    Johnny won't go on a rampage insulting your company like a mofo, driving away future sales. The guarantee policy ensures -- at the least -- a customer who won't go blabbing about how you suck. (Now, wowing the shizzle out of those products belongs in its own article. We'll write that sucka soon.)
  3. You sell more products.

    Because you've guaranteed your product rocks -- or they get a full refund, your customers become more confident in your offering. You've removed the biggest their biggest fears: "What if this product sucks?"

Don't Forget: They Won't Tell You Everything

Remember, you can still have a dissatisfied customer that won't take you up on your guarantee because of the hassle. A simple and sweet method we use: Measuring the number of word-of-mouth customers we get. Customers that love you will tell their friends. If they're not: Uh-oh. But if they are, keep on rockin'.

Like a badass, always build great products like a mutha-$@!$!-white-stallion that you are.

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Posted on November 21

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