How To Write A Customer Return Policy (That Doesn’t Suck)

Marketing god Cole Schafer shared Valco’s customer return policy recently and it’s too good not to re-share. But first, let’s talk about why a return policy (and other reactive tactics) matter.

Proactively, we go out there and do our best work. Most of the time, everybody is happy. Reactively, we receive feedback- good or bad, and have to respond. No business is 100% proactive and 0% reactive. Every business is a mix. Every great business has a playbook for each.

When a customer isn’t having their best experience with your products or services, you have to show up and make things right. Full stop. If you bury your contact info on your website, if you ignore their pleas for help, or if you hide after making a sale, you’re sending a signal that you don’t want to face bad news.

That’s not a service, it’s a disservice. Every interaction is an opportunity.

If you make it hard for your customers to get help, it shows your customers you don’t want to have to react. Here’s where simple things like customer return policies come in to play, and not just as proper reactive tactics – but as actual business differentiators.

Valco is an innovative Finnish headphone company. They get it. Browse their website and you’ll quickly see how they balance the proactive (sales) and reactive (service and returns) with confidence and an absolutely disarming sense of humor. Think about how you’d feel about contacting them after you read this return policy:

We know that our Valco products are the best, but sometimes things may not always go to plan. A neighboring country might invade, a local dictator might ban headphones or you just might regret spending your last money in a drunken online shopping spree. Just contact us via the contact page we’ll solve your problems. That’s it.

Every business has to be proactive to make business happen. But, every great business also has to be reactive to make business keep happening. Proactive gets them in the door. Reactive keeps them coming back.

Treat your customers the way you’d want to be treated. It’s ok to make them laugh a little and take the edge off too. “That’s it.” Well done Valco.

See Valco’s whole website for more subtly brilliant copy too. I actually laughed out loud multiple times going through it. They are not afraid to be funny.

h/t again to Cole Schafer for uncovering this one. If you don’t subscribe to Cole’s work, you’re missing out. Click here and learn something.

Here’s a screenshot of how to write a customer return policy that doesn’t suck.

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