From a customer perspective when evaluating a product/service, I want to know if it will fit my needs, solve my problem and is easy to use/learn. If I buy something and if I am not happy with it, I would like to have my problem resolved or get a refund if it cannot be. From the company’s perspective I believe giving the refund is preferable than to have the unhappy customer tell anyone and everyone how unhappy they are with your company. I think if you do not offer a free trial having a satisfaction guaranteed refund is important as it establishes trust that you really do believe you have a great product. If you do your best to ensure that your product is a great fit for the customer and do your best to handle any questions, concerns and problems that come up you will give out few if any refunds at all.
If you do not give a free trial or a money back guarantee, then it will require a lot more work to establish trust with the customer that you will ensure that the product will work for them and you will take care of all problems that come up. If these are existing customers who are happy with other products or services this will not be an issue. For a potential new customer, some things that may help include:
- demos available for the product/service,
- bullet point descriptions on what the product/service does and how they differ from the competition,
- customer testimonials that give specific examples of what they like about the product/service as well as happy customers willing to speak to potential customers.
For brand new customers who are unsure, I believe though it will be a very tough sell without either a free trial or a money back guarantee to overcome the “free trial” objection.