Blame on you, customer!
Not long ago, we had a broken tap. I don’t want to go into detail, it was broken. The plumber within myself decided to substitute the tap himself. The digital convert within decided to order it on the web. Ordering spare taps is not like — say — buying a book from a*****. You have to find exactly the right one. We did our best, looked up the serial number from an old offer we had filed … and finally I was sure I had found the right one (at some specialised plumbing-spare-parts-online-shop). Then we waited weeks and weeks and weeks … . Finally, the package arrived. You already anticipate the result: it was the wrong tap! All blame on me, the offer I had looked up wasn’t the one we had actually ordered.
“Well, no problem! — Just return the thing”, the digital convert claimed. I wrote to the service desk and got the following message: We allow you to return the piece and refund the price of the tap, if and only if you send it back within the next five days. Delivery and return costs will not be refunded. Ouch! (I save you the rest of the story but I won’t by any spare tap online evermore)
The point is attitude!
Also not long ago, I bought a piece of software for this humble website. The supplier claimed “Full money-back guarantee within 30 days”. I actually didn’t care too much, thinking I would use it anyway. In the end, I didn’t want to spend the time to make it work. It’s an amazing tool but I struggled with this site’s theme … and my private effort-benefit analysis indicated that I should not use it. This was the time, when I remembered that money-back guarantee. I went to my account, pressed the return button, was asked one question about my reasons (with not specifying these being an option on the list). Done. A second later I received a most friendly mail that the money was underway. No questions, nor hassle. Just that. As soon as I find time, I’ll buy and try that thing again!
You can argue about reasons and conditions, the one being a tangible thing with handling costs attached, the other being purely digital with only marginal transaction costs … but that’s not the point. The point is attitude. There are companies that are willing to share a risk with their customers and others that try to load all that risk onto their customers (There are worse ones still, that try to lure you into something you actually don’t fully know. But that’s another story). The prior ones are the ones that are confident enough that their product is excellent but that still something might not work out.
I pondered what that experience should mean for “No-Nonsense Consulting”. I’m going to establish a money-back clause in my contracts.