Last year I purchased some credits with iStockphoto for their royalty-free photography. I made the purchase because I needed a particular picture for a client’s website I was creating.
Since then, a year has passed and I haven’t used any more of my credits. In fact, I hadn’t even visited their site in months. I may have forgotten them, but did they forget me? No!
The credits I purchased came with the caveat that they would expire after one year. At least 60 days from my credits’ expiration date, I started getting reminder emails stating:
This message is a friendly reminder to you that iStockphoto credits expire within 1 year of the date of purchase. You have credits in your account that will expire in the next 60 days if not used.
Communicate Expiration Policy
If your business chooses to follow a similar policy to iStockphoto and expire credits or products you must clearly communicate this, as they did, to the customer before the purchase. Indicate how long the credits are valid and any other restrictions that apply.
When customers visit your website or receive communication from you, remind them of the expiration date. iStockphoto did a great job of reminding me to use my credits. I received emails at 60, 30, 15, and 3 days before my credits were to expire. Follow their example in contacting customers more frequently as the deadline approaches. The last thing you want is a customer’s credits to expire without them knowing it would happen.
Respect the Customer
Customers have made the choice to spend their money on your product or service. Don’t just take the money and run. Remember to fulfill your end of the deal and help the customer get the most out of their purchase. Ensure they get to use every penny’s worth.
Through good communication and expiration reminders, your customers will be more likely to use up the product they purchased. Once their initial credits are used, they’ll be so impressed with your customer service that they’ll return for more business in the future.