Is your warranty policy hurting your marketing?

More than ever, the idea of keeping existing customers should be at the top of every marketers critical tasks list. Not only are new customers harder to acquire, but, they now have the power to tell all their friends when you fail to please.

If you doubt me, take a look at Amazon reviews in any consumer products category. You’ll find the most powerful reviews come from either:

  1. loyal customers who have had great customer service and warranty experiences
  2. customers who’ve owned your product and a competitors and have an opinion.

It’s time to pay more attention to keeping existing customers happy.

The other night I was talking over a dinner table with several happy TomTom customers. One of them had just had his TomTom die, and it was just outside of warranty. He contacted TomTom and they said they don’t repair non-warranty units.

Big mistake. The customer service person just released a previously happy customer out to the big wide world of GPS units and suggested he reevaluate the market. All of a sudden, he may think a Garmin or a Magellan is a better choice. It doesn’t take much to come across a comparison site.

For a better example of how to handle this same situation- I had a Sonicare toothbrush die on me after 5 years. I contacted Sonicare, and inquired about a new battery for my first generation model. They offered a sizable discount on a new model toothbrush- in a brown box that kept me a Sonicare user.

Yes, personal electronics may be made for replacement, but wouldn’t you rather customers replaced your product with your brand- instead of a competitors. Good marketers will take this lesson to heart and make sure their policies fall in line with what is best for their company.

It’s said that word of mouth marketing is the best of all- and yes, you can buy good word of mouth, with good warranty policies.