Rebates offer a type of discount that comes to the buyer as a partial reimbursement later. A rebate is essentially the promise of a discount that the consumer can only recoup if she follows the provided instructions, usually mailing or emailing copies of receipts and other forms of purchase proof. Rebates can be effective in drawing in new customers; they also help retailers promote new or less popular products without having to discount an entire line or list of services.
Rebates remain popular with retailers and manufacturers because, unsurprisingly,
many people don’t bother to follow through collecting their rebate later. Whereas a
store or online discount is applied automatically, upfront, and to every customer,
the rebate comes later and only to those who solicit it. That extra step of
engagement minimizes the number of rebates a company must pay out. The
process for redemption may also involve capturing customer information like
name, address, phone number, and email address, which may be used to create a
marketing relationship with the consumer for future sales. Rebates may also allow
the business to hold onto the money a little longer and earn interest before it is paid out to the consumer.
Rebates can be effective enticements that benefit business owners and consumers.
However, every business owner is also a consumer, and thus, knows first-hand the
immense frustration customers feel when the rebate process is complicated,
confusing, and time-consuming. And few things will turn customers off more than
having a legitimately submitted rebate claim denied or never redeemed by the
While rebates have proven success in helping stores and manufacturers improve sales, rebate programs have developed a bit of a bad reputation over the last decade or so. Many rebate programs are unwieldy, poorly designed, have terrible customer service and communication, and use fulfillment centers that sometimes try to avoid payment. Low redemption rates lead to high levels of customer complaint, and, in some states, lawsuits, so following through on rebate redemption is imperative for your business’s reputation. When executed properly, rebates are still popular with price-sensitive consumers and are effective at increasing sales of products that need a little help and attention. Making sure the rebate process is easy and smooth on the customer side—and prompt and accurate on the business side—will generate optimal results.
Refunds are reimbursements to consumers for money overpaid. Perhaps a product was returned, or a contracted service was canceled. Maybe a client was accidentally overcharged or something that was paid for later became unavailable. A refund claim can result from errors previously made by either the customer or the business, and in both cases, the refund must be handled expediently. Consumers view a refund as a debt that a business owes them, and they fully expect to receive their entitled refund promptly and without hassle. Delays in receiving refunds cause businesses to lose clients and to receive official complaints, poor reviews online, and, if the refund is substantial, threats of lawsuits.
Do not frustrate your customers with promises of rebates that will never come true. Do not delay sending refunds to clients with demonstratable entitlement. Checkeeper can send rebate and refund checks on your business’s behalf easily and instantly. Whether you have one check to send, hundreds, or thousands, Checkeeper has a template you can use to create and customize your company’s check. Import the customer information and print your checks instantly. Even have Checkeeper mail them for you. All customer and payment data are stored securely and you can keep the records for as long as you need. The process for sending checks to your clients has never been easier.