I’ve seen lots of “low price guarantees” while shopping recently. The premise is usually the same regardless of the institution: if you find a lower price in 30 days, we’ll match it. Or, if you’re lucky, the business will match the lower price and give you a little bonus.
So what’s the catch?
You have to do all the work.
Yes, you the customer have to diligently track prices across stores or websites and then go back to your original vendor and prove you found a lower price.
This process is tedious, time consuming, and too complicated. Companies promise you a great price knowing full well that you won’t do your homework to prove them wrong.
The price guarantee looks great, but upon further inspection is completely unfriendly to customers.
I mentioned in my Sears fiasco that they should have an automatic price guarantee. Imagine if a store’s price guarantee required no work from the customer. Imagine if the business’ database tracked purchases and automatically compared the original price with same store and competitor pricing over the next 30 days. At the end of the month, a check would be automatically printed and sent to the customers whose products were cheaper any time after the date of purchase.
Seth Godin in his book Purple Cow, talks about making your business truly remarkable. How would you feel to receive a check from a store with a note stating you qualified for their automatic price guarantee? I’d say “wow!” I’d tell my wife, my coworkers, and friends. Why? Because such proactive customer care is remarkable.
If you’re going to compete on price, you need something to differentiate you from the competition. Give your “low price guarantee” some teeth. Revitalize your current guarantee: make it automatic!