Who Is Responsible For Your Training & Development?
Teambuilding Games in Nepal

Should you provide a guarantee when offering teambuilding events?

What would happen if you offered a "100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back" pledge with all your teambuilding workshops?

How would this kind of guarantee require you to change the way you do business?

How would it change the way you interact with your client and staff?

John Springer of Four Winds training center recently shared this with me:

For twenty years we have offered every participant in every program this written guarantee:

YOUR GUARANTEE   Our promise is that the Four Winds experience will meet or exceed your participants' expectations – or you will not pay us. 

We've facilitated about 121,000 participants and to date have never been asked to tear up the check.  We quantify that guarantee very simply by asking each participant to answer a 5 question evaluation at the end of the program.  Each question allows the participant to judge the value of their experience on a scale of 1 to 10 - if we have not received an aggregate score of 8, 9 or 10 we simply can't afford to cash the check.

Our favorite aspect of the guarantee is the opportunity to hear and negotiate those expectations that our clients have of us - we think of it as being a 'set-up to succeed'!

Long ago, when I proposed that we institute this guarantee, it generated some thought provoking discussions. 

Staff wanted to know - "if the client's expectations are unmet and they don't pay us, will I still be paid?" 

Staff who are unwilling to accept that level of accountability for their performance choose not to work with us; those that shrug and say "I wouldn't expect to be compensated if I didn't meet or exceeded the client's expectations" are a good fit for our culture.

It was a case of asking staff to share the risk as well as the benefit - which is essentially the definition of entrepreneurship.  It's led us to a recognition that many of the most powerful facilitators have some very entrepreneurial leanings; the Socratic process of discovery through compelling questions requires genuine risk!  It takes courage to ask a question of your group when you don't actually know the answer yourself.  Trial attorney's are schooled to avoid any question to which you don't already know the answer.  Facilitators who fall prey to this view limit themselves greatly, in both the depth and the range of their questions. 

The initial incentive for our guarantee was focused externally, on the client - on building credibility and trust.  It turns out that the greatest value we derived from that process was to our own team -  improved internal  clarity, credibility and trust!

What would happen to your business if you offered the same guarantee John and his team offer at Four Winds?

How would your staff react to getting paid ONLY when the course evaluations result in at least an 8 out of 10?

What kind of customers would you attract if you offered this kind of guarantee?


michael cardus

I have clearly written in my contracts that if the client is not satisfied I return the money with no questions asked. I have returned one customer fee -becuase I was unable to fully commit to the program (I had to reschedule last minute due to a death in the family)
The client and I spoke and I still led the group - and they were fully satisfied, although I still had to return the fee because I could not live up to my side of the contract.

My concern with clients not paying unless they recieve 10's on assessments create a culture where the facilitators let people know that if they recieve below a 10 there jobs are in jeopardy.
I have seen it with delivery men, car rentals, and auto mechanics.
One team of delivery men said, "they are going to call and ask you some survey question, 10 means that we are doing our jobs, our raises and employment depend on these surveys and we appreciate your positive reviews." this developed such guilt in my Fiancee that she gave them all 10's whether they deserved it or not.
Be careful about this becuase if your staff, and they will tell the clients "10's mean I am doing my job, my raise and employment depend on it" the participants will begin to give 10's out of guilt. This is not satisfaction.

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