Want a FAST, effective way to ruin your day?
If you have shopping cart software, dig around in there until you find the comments people enter when they request a refund.
Go to your customer support inbox and search for “refund.”
Heh, you're welcome.
They feel like a kick in the teeth—and they almost always come when you're already having a bad day.
Well, here's something to keep in mind about those “gimme my money back” demands:
Refund requests are just another “feedback loop” between you and your customers.
In other words, they're just information—don't take 'em personally.
In fact, a refund request presents a great opportunity for you to learn something about your product and your market.
Recently I got an email from a subscriber named Will.
Will was asking about reducing his refund rate.
He sells a “stop hair loss naturally” info product for $67.
And he has a refund rate of 12%.
That seems a little high to me. For context, many of the info businesses I've worked with over the years have much lower refund rates—usually less than 5%, often just 2-3%.
What's going on?
There are a few possibilities:
– Will could be attracting lower quality customers who have a high likelihood of refunding. This could be a function of the traffic + conversion approach he's using.
Often there's a tradeoff between getting more customers and getting high quality customers.
For example, running clickbait Taboola ads with a “this hair loss secret will shock you” angle might get you more customers overall, in exchange for a high refund rate, vs. writing scientific, in-depth blog posts (fewer customers, lower refund rate).
– It's also possible that the content of Will's product is fine, it's presented in such a way that people aren't finding what they want (even though it's there).
– Or maybe the marketing for the product is somehow misfiring so that what the customer expects isn't what they're getting.
– Or maybe the product truly just sucks. (This last one is how refunds make you feel, but if you've put any amount of work and care into your product, it's not that likely.)
There's no way to know for sure which of these is the case—all we know right now is that 12% of Will's customers are sending him a signal that something is off.
And that's great news—because if he can fix that “something,” he can probably greatly reduce his refunds and get an overnight boost in his business.
Will immediately suggested that his content is good but the presentation is a bit outdated—so maybe that's the place to start.
Yes, that *might* be part of the problem.
I wouldn't start there though.
He'd just be guessing.
The better option is to start reaching out to every customer that refunds and try to find out WHY they're asking for their money back.
When you do this, don't be aggressive or hassle them.
In fact, I'd refund their money first to show goodwill.
Tell them you're looking to improve your product, and ask them if they have any suggestions.
Some of them will ignore you.
Some will probably fire back with something nasty (be prepared for that).
Ignore them—pay attention to the ones who take the time to give you a thoughtful critique of your product.
THESE are the type of customers you have a shot at keeping in the future.
Listen to what they have to say, weigh it carefully, and if it makes sense, go fix your product.
Then smile as you watch your refunds dwindle down and down…