The directors were lovely – really friendly people who were keen to explain to me exactly how they helped their clients and what excellent after-sales service they provided. Their web-site was also well crafted and created a reassuring feel – these were people you felt you could trust.
Then we looked at their terms and conditions of service.
The clients knew that these might need improving to provide them with greater protection, but what they hadn’t given any thought to was the impression they gave to the outside world of their organisation’s attitudes and behaviours.
To say that the terms and conditions were harsh is almost an understatement. All the language was crisp to the point of being curt, and the document was full of archaic language of the ‘heretofore mentioned’ variety. As a result, any prospective customer reading them would immediately have had that ‘what am I letting myself in for’ feeling – which was absolutely not the impression the organisation wanted (or needed) to give.
A lot of time and thought had obviously been given to ensuring that all their other marketing materials had been ‘branded’ – but they had not seen their terms and conditions as part of their marketing.
In fact, one of the last documents which a prospective customer sees before making that crucial buying decision is your terms and conditions, so they are as much a part of your marketing as your web-site.
All that was needed was a ‘makeover’. We re-wrote the terms, incorporating the extra provisions necessary to provide the greater protection they needed, but also using language which reflected their other branded materials – ie which read in a welcoming, friendly and non-legal way which was still clear and precise where necessary.
The clients were really pleased with the end result, and told us that all of their documentation now ‘flowed’ and gave a seemless view of the organisation.