Sales are great. We love them. You love them. Everyone gets excited when money is coming in.
Unfortunately, for some of us, that money might be going right back out the door in the form of refunds and/or returns. Your sales only matter if they stay that way. You can’t spend money that’s no longer there.
How can you convince people to use your product, keep it, and then say nice things about it to their friends or online communities? We’ve got seven great ways.
7 Ways to Get Users to Use Your Product
There are plenty of situations where there is nothing you can do to salvage a relationship with your customer. But there are also plenty of times when your business could have done something and didn’t.
The only controllable variables are you and your company. So here are some things to encourage users to use your product, be happy with it, and help you with word-of-mouth referrals and other types of marketing.
1. Use Influencers
Do you know who is really good at explaining things to their specific audience? Influencers.
YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok influencers know exactly what their tribe wants. Delivering what their audiences want is what keeps these influencers from doing things like getting a traditional office job. So they’re going to put in maximum effort to keep their hustle bringing in maximum revenue.
Here are a few things that have been proven time and time again:
You can make some people happy all the time.
You can make all people happy some of the time.
You can’t make all people happy all the time.
Cue the influencer model.
If you can build a team of influencers on different social platforms that talk about your product, use it, and show this use to their audience, you can drastically reduce your refunds and churn.
Hiring influencers is a process. For a start, there are four different types of influencer:
Nano-influencers—Less than 10k followers
Mid-tier influencers—50k–500k followers
Macro-influencers—More than 500k followers
Focus on nano-influencers and micro-influencers when you first release your product or service. These people’s followers include friends, family, and extended networks. Essentially, their followers are people they know “IRL,” as the kids say.
Not only do they have the best connection to their audience, but they’re also usually cheaper than other levels of influencer.
Reach out to these influencers and find out if they’re interested in collaborating with your brand. You can also stay on the lookout for people who find your product and talk about it to see if they’re interested in any kind of sponsorship opportunity.
2. Be Available
There is no substitute for great customer service. The only people who are more tired of hearing that than you are your employees. But it’s true.
If you want to reduce your refund rates, then your customer service has to be exceptional 100% of the time.
So how can you maximize your customer service availability?
The first thing you need to do is the most obvious. Your department’s availability should be posted on your website and in-store, if you have one. A contact us page is a great place to give this information and is a vital part of any website.
Other pages on your website can be equally helpful in resolving the customers issues in a swift manner. At times that means answering the question directly in a FAQ section, or in other cases you may be able to redirect them directly to a more relevant departmment or in some cases, 3rd party services.
For example, in our paid courses, customers rely on a 3rd party hosting provider. It makes much more sense for them to raise a hosting problem directly with the hosting provider than with us, and so we direct customers directly to the provider.
Next, it’s helpful to set up online chats. Bots are nice, but at the end of the day, you want actual people working on the chat. This will greatly reduce your return rate. People usually use chats for quick questions and general help.
Most people who request a return or refund will call or email. It’s critical to properly train your customer service staff to handle all requests quickly and to do everything they can to convert a disgruntled person into a happy customer.
It’s vital to remember that the world is becoming increasingly accustomed to “Q Commerce,” and the expectation of instant answers and service is only set to become more important.
One thing to keep in mind when offering a self-serve support option such as a FAQ question is that it should really only provide answers to frequently asked questions. Not just every question you can think of. FAQs are most effective when they provide a focused selection of questions that aren’t hard to scan through.
3. Be Honest
They say honesty is the best policy. This is especially true when it comes to customer service and building a brand.
Let’s take a moment to review some fundamentals of creating a business and building a brand around it.
One of the first things you want to do is create a buyer persona. This is a representation of the person/people who are going to want your product or service. Some marketing teams like to give these people actual faces, hobbies, income levels, and so forth…
What matters most is figuring out your buyers’ pain points. How does your product or service solve their problems?
Once you’ve accomplished this goal, you can do some cool stuff. One of these is setting customer expectations. Now that you know how you’re going to solve people’s problems, the next goal is to explain your solution and help people understand it.
If people know and understand how to use your product as intended, you will reduce your rate of returns and refunds. Educational content, provided either by you or by an influencer, is one of the best ways you can accomplish this goal.
Sometimes that requires brutal honesty.
For example, we know one of the key sticking points of our product is that people want results quick. Something our product doesn’t offer.
Instead of sidestepping the topic we tackle it head on in our sales page to set expectations from day one.
4. Engagement is Key
“Welcome to X. How can I help you?” Customer interaction starts here, but this isn’t where it should end. Ideally, you should be engaging with the customer throughout the process of moving down the sales funnel.
You should treat your onboarding sequence the same way you would a marketing automation funnel. A surprising number of people fail to do this, but time and time again, audiences have shown they like a personal touch, even if you don’t think they will. They feel the company or brand actually cares about them and their opinion after the sale.
How many times have you been to a restaurant and had great service? This honest answer is probably “not that often.” But when it happens, you feel good, right?
Your server is pleasant and helpful. The food comes out in a timely fashion, it’s hot, and it tastes great. And then a manager of some sort comes around and shows your table some personal attention.
“How was your meal?”
“Is there anything that wasn’t up to par?”
“How do you think we can do a better job with that in the future?”
Mind is blown, right? We’ve all experienced this kind of fabulous service on some level. And it always makes us feel good.
You should definitely focus on engaging on this level, no matter what your business is doing.
But what about after the sale?
You can still engage with your customers by doing things like sending newsletters, creating message boards, and performing social media outreach when people mention your product online.
To give you another example, let’s say you’re trying to help people make money online with a combination of blogging content and courses. If you’ve done everything right so far, you should have blog posts and courses designed to hit people in various parts of the sales funnel.
So there should be blog posts and courses for people who are just getting started. This is a great time and place to help them find the best affiliate programs for beginners.
As they become more experienced, these users can be helped with content that helps make their websites better, such as how to use or recover from an unexpected Google update or how to sell their profitable niche website.
Stay with these folks every step of the way. If you do, not only will you reduce your refunds, but you will give them a positive experience that they’ll continue to pay for and talk about with others in their community.
5. Know and Understand the Whys
When a customer calls and demands a refund, most customer service agents say something like, “Yes sir/ma’am, I can handle that for you right away.”
On the one hand, it makes sense. You want to offer your customers fast and reliable customer service. But, on the other hand, why not have a conversation?
Ask them why they want a refund. Ask them what you and your company could have done differently. Essentially, “Where did we go wrong?”
If you offer a self-serve refund process online, set up a field asking them for their feedback.
Best case scenario, you can use this information to offer assistance. Perhaps it’s clear they didn’t use the product correctly and need assistance.
Or in some cases you might be able to offer an alternative product or service which is better suited to the customer.
Worst case scenario, you can collect valuable feedback which can be used to develop your product.
6. The onboarding process
Remember how we spoke about customer engagement? Well, the best chance to do this is during the onboarding process.
Use this as a chance not just to tell your customers about your product, but also connect with them and set the scene for the service you’ll be offering.
The easiest way to kick start this is with a short onboarding survey.
We ask all our customers a series of basic questions, including their level of experience and what they’d prefer to be called.
Here’s where the real magic starts though. You can use said information to provide targeted onboarding messages that carry meaning.
Let’s say, for example, you’re offering a meeting scheduling tool. You could ask your customers what their primary industry is and log that information.
You can then set up individual welcome segments for each industry. For example, those working in marketing agencies would receive tailored advice on how to set up consultation calls with clients using your tool.
Or perhaps someone working in the medical industry could receive tips and tricks to use the tool securely to store patient information.
The possibilities are really endless here. And it all starts with a few simple, but impactful questions.
7. Give a warm, personalized welcome
There are tons of ways to personalize your welcome sequence.
But first, it’s important to understand exactly what that means. It does not mean “Hi [Name], Welcome to the course!”. No, it means much more than that. One strategy we use is to send a personalized welcome video to every single customer using a platform called Bonjoro.
This personalized touch is always met with absolute delight by customers and creates an incredible first impression.
While this may seem like a logistic impossibility to owners of products that take large volumes of sales, consider this: how much could you save on refunds and returns if just a handful of these personal messages prevent your customers from leaving you?
7 Ways to Get Users to Use Your Product—Our Conclusion
When you can maintain a positive relationship with people, even when they want a refund, you should do everything you can to make that happen.
But the best way to fix any situation is one that keeps money from leaving your business. Go out of your way with fantastic customer service to keep customers buying, keep them happy, and keep them talking.