When I purchased Seth Godin’s book, ‘It’s Your Turn’, Seth issued a challenge to post a story a day. Every day. For 7 days.
I took up the challenge. And chose to share insights into the values that influence the way I live. And the way I run my business, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.
This is Day 3.
Do You Guarantee Your Work? If Not. Why Not?
I’m Carol Jones. And I’m the purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.
Let me ask you this. Do you guarantee your work? If not. Why not?
Or are you still lurking in the category of ‘all care and no responsibility’.
If you’re giving advice. Creating a piece of advertising. Designing a product for someone to use. Providing a service of any sort.
And you know that what you’re offering is the best, you should have enough confidence in your work to guarantee not only that it works.
But that it does what you say it will do.
And. That it gives the results you promise.
And if it lets someone down – who has paid for your work – they should be compensated.
Once ‘your work’ hits your own hip pocket, you start to pay very close attention to what you put into – your work.
And once you make the decision that a customer or client is justified to be compensated for an omission on your part, you simply become better at what you do.
The pain of digging deep into your hip pocket for financial compensation drives the quality of your output.
When my partner and I launched The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies in 1994, this ironing board cover was – if not THE most expensive cover on the market – at least in second place.
How do you get the public to buy a product that’s 10 times more expensive than a supermarket cover? When they are used to popping super cheap supermarket covers in their trolley every month?
Looking around, we made note that no one. I mean no one. Was guaranteeing an ironing board cover.
Not even faulty workmanship.
So in 1994 we attached a 5 pronged guarantee to the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover.
1. It’s guaranteed to be colourfast to trim fast stage. No colours bleed onto your garments. Ever.
2. It’s guaranteed to fit YOUR board like a glove.
3. It’s guaranteed against wear and tear – which goes much deeper and further than faulty workmanship – for twelve months.
4. The tension cord, which is the secret ingredient that makes the cover fit snug and taut, is guaranteed for the life of the fabric.
In other words, it if loses its pull before the fabric wears out, we will replace the cover.
5. And you have to love it. Or send it back. No questions asked.
The guarantee is a choice.
A full refund.
Or a replacement product.
A full refund includes what you paid for the product. PLUS your postage and handling. And if we want the cover back, we pay to get it back.
In other words, if you don’t want your cover for any reason, we’ll compensate you for every penny you spend to send it back. You’ll never be out of pocket with us just because a product failed. Or you don’t like it.
Since 1994, how many refunds have we given?
Because we pay attention to the small details.
We choose the best 100% cotton fabric that’s so durable and sturdy, it will hold up to 12 months wear and tear with a hot iron.
This cover has 13 different accessories. Any one of which can break down and cause a failure.
We choose the best quality for each accessory – especially the interior elastic and the tension cord – because of its durability.
The price of each component reflects the superior quality that we choose to provide.
But when the cost of sending out a new cover. And/or getting a faulty ironing board cover back via Australia Post is in the range of $10, an extra few cents for better quality is immaterial.
And then of course, there’s the cost to us of a customer’s disappointment that their product failed.
That. Is. Priceless!
When the price goes up on our components, we raise our prices. It’s a far better choice than substituting inferior quality accessories to keep the price down.
But we can do that. Because we are an online business only. With no retail presence.
We don’t have shopkeepers threatening to discontinue our products unless we make them cheaper.
How do I know my customers are happy with their cover? How do I know they just don’t trash them if they don’t last? And whinge to their friends about their disappointment?
Being an online business I have a database.
Every month I send an email to those men and women who purchased their cover 11 months ago.
I tell them their twelve month guarantee will expire in a month.
And ask them if their product is living up to their expectations. If it isn’t, now’s the time to tell me. So I can fix it.
What’s the attrition rate from this email?
I probably replace no more than six covers a year. For faults in the fabric.
Then there’s the positive feedback. I get about an 80% reply rate to the emails. Because buyers don’t expect to receive them. And feel compelled to tell me the good news. As well as the not so good news.
This guarantee keeps my customers reassured that we care about their humble ironing board cover.
And gives them the confidence to buy again.
As well as.
Refer us to their friends and family.
And when I’m in the market for a product. Or a service. That kind of a guarantee will make me sit up and pay attention.
By the way.
We no longer corner the market for guarantees on quality ironing board covers.
It’s now a given that a quality ironing board cover offers some type of a guarantee. The most common being against faulty workmanship.
But we still corner the market with our 12 month wear and tear guarantee.
I ask you again.
Do you guarantee your work?
If not. Why not?
And if you don’t, could/should we assume that what you’re offering is simply NOT your best work?
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
PS. You can read ‘Our Story. How We Built A Worldwide Business From Broke’. Here.
And this is the link to Seth’s Book, It’s Your Turn. Highly recommended.
I Am The Purveyor Of The Tantrum Free Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
Made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability.
It’s not for everyone.
But it’s definitely for you if you’re fussy about the cover you iron on.
And if you love to support Australian made.
And want to put something back into the community when you make a purchase.
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover cover has more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries. Because it lives up to its name. It ‘Fitz Like A Glove™’ every time you iron.
And these are the ‘Other Goodies’
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Have a question? Email me.
Or phone me, Carol Jones, in rural Australia on 02 63 588 511.
Photos of my rural property are courtesy of me, Ironing Diva – who is also known as Paddock Paparazzi – and taken at sunrise every morning.
Duck Swimming In The Paddock Dam
PS. And I have a fabulous newsletter ‘A Smidgen Of Gossip’. This is what a subscriber says about it. “Carol. Just had some time to read it and found that it is, as with everything you do, rather wonderful. A great read. W” You can subscribe to it by clicking this link. It’s FREE! This is not a lifetime commitment. You can Unsubscribe at any time. Don’t miss out. Click this link now!
Dramatic Butterscotch Sunrise