What good

is a guarantee?

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Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

In my last blog, I disagreed with an article which suggested a guarantee was a crazy thing to offer. You can read the full blog here.

But in this blog, I want to look more closely at how useful a guarantee, brand promise or strapline actually is. Lots of companies use grand-sounding phrases, but what do they mean?

Not just a pretty phrase

In the five years since we offered our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee many people have commented on it. Several clients have confirmed it was a key part of the decision in working with us, but no-one has ever asked for us to invoke the guarantee. Of course, that doesn't mean we haven't had issues with client projects, but when we have we've acted quickly to resolve it to their complete satisfaction. That's the guarantee in action: at every stage in every project, we try to minimise any issues and deal with those that arise properly, and promptly.

Offering (and widely publicising) a guarantee is a sure way to focus the mind on customer service at every point

Not just there for when it goes wrong

By always focussing on the needs of the client, our guarantee becomes even stronger…

We realised that we sometimes overwhelmed clients with too many design concepts. Now we show them a shortlist of our suggested ideas for discussion and develop the other ideas at the next stage if needed

Although it can harm our profits when projects over-run, we've always offered fixed-price proposals as standard. This is better for the client as it removes any nasty surprises for them at the billing stag

Unlike lots of other creative agencies, our fixed-price also includes ALL amends needed to complete the project. We felt that charging for 'additional amends rounds' would compromise the value of our guarantee, so we don't do it.

I see design work as a collaboration -  and I always encourage our clients to give very honest feedback (what's the point otherwise?)*.

Absolute focus

Offering (and widely publicising) a guarantee is a sure way to focus the mind on customer service at every point. We don't always get it right, but we're constantly seeking to improve and all our 5-star Google reviews  suggest we are heading in the right direction.

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