Does An Action-Oriented Guarantee Guarantee Action?

Here at myG we’ve seen that our program has the potential to move you toward your goals at top speed. But success is ultimately a factor of how much participants engage with and execute the program. As with any service-oriented offering: education, consultation, coaching, even nutrition, the magic secret sauce happens when content and tools meet with execution.

So many times the question becomes, how to ensure the kind of engagement that makes the magic happen?

I was intrigued this week by the introduction of an engagement-inducing money-back guarantee offered by premium job-hunting site TheLadders. If members don’t land a job within 6 months they will receive a full refund of the $2,495 (!) price tag for their Premium service.

So far, fairly vanilla.

But the action-inducing spin is this - the guarantee is only effective if the job-seeker holds up his/her end of the bargain.

“TheLadders guarantees that you will receive a job offer within six months or less if you participate fully in all components of the Program at the level indicated below. In order to be eligible for this Guarantee, within the first sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must complete:

  • Attend 7 scheduled sessions
  • Complete Steps 1-5 of the Roadmap
  • Apply to 6 well-fitted positions (as described in the Program Roadmap)
  • Complete all follow-up activities assigned

In addition, in order to continue to be eligible for the money back guarantee after the initial sixty (60) days of your six month subscription period, you must attend a minimum of 75% of your scheduled sessions per month and apply to 6 well-fitted positions per month…”

Participants have to truly give the program a good-faith effort to end up with either a job, or money back in their pocket (which they will need, because – no job.)

This leads me to a few questions (and I’m hoping you’ll provide feedback with your answers).

  1. Would an action-oriented guarantee like this make you more invested in taking the right steps?
  2. Is it fair to require a customer to work for a refund?
  3. If, after enrolling, you felt like this process was not right for you, would you work through it diligently for the full 6 months in hopes of earning back the fee? Or walk away from the money?

Comments (3)

  1. Thanks for the comments – good points! I agree with both – I’d be hesitant to pay that much for someone to hold my feet to the fire. Maybe the fires burn brighter there? But if I DID pay, I’d do everything in my power not to invalidate the guarantee. If I didn’t get a job, I’d definitely want the money back!

  2. Kristen –
    I wonder what their refund rate is? What percentage of job seekers are not able to find a position after they complete all those steps?
    I think the high price tag and requirements for the refund create a high bar of expectations, and the participants are going to be highly motivated because of it. So my answers?
    An action-oriented guarantee would motivate me to take those steps. It would not, however, motivate me to pay that price.
    I do think it’s entirely fair for them to require participants to work for the refund.
    It wouldn’t matter if the process wasn’t a good fit for me: after making such a significant investment, I would make it work.
    Nice article Kristen!

  3. Hmmm, this process looks familiar. Match.com’s 6-month guarantee of which they have no doubt had to eat their words on many times.

    This is a much higher stake price point which leads me to feel convinced that they actually could produce what they promise. However, my first thought is — what would happen if I applied that roadmap to a regular search? Are they guaranteeing that the jobs I’d be applying to I couldn’t find anywhere else exept on The Ladders.com?

    Bottom line any job search is going to require the type of effort they’ve outlined, so my question is, why am I paying them to hold my feet to the fire?

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