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Let's say you have a normal 9-5 job doing anything, and you do poor quality of work, cost the company a lot of money, do you offer them a money back guarantee? Even when you applied, you did not offer that nor was it part of the application process. If the company is unsatisfied with your work, they terminate your job and get someone else.
[edited by: engine at 2:15 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2002]
[edit reason] no sigs, please. [/edit]
One kind of risk reversal is to allow the client several opt-out points in the process. We do this early on - by producing full documentation, research reports and prototypes for the work we plan to undertake. The client has paid for this upfront, but they are welcome to bow out right there, according to our preliminary contracts.
And, we're sure they've got their money's worth if they do leave - the real brain work goes in early and they can use that work with anyone who understands enough to execute all or part of our early planning.
Staged development has been, in general, a good approach for us and the client. By the way, we've only ever had one client leave in the early stages. And that was because their funding dried up.
Another advantage of working like this is that we stopped doing free proposals - we used to give away our best ideas for free. One time when the prospect was done picking our brains, they dropped us and hired their nephew -- who tried to carry out everything we said should be done.
We guarantee certain results and pay back if we don't make it happen.
Never happened so far :)
But I don't really like this concept and I always advise for straigthforward optimisation without guarantees.
I get all of my work from referrals. I use the website as informational brochure. I guarantee results - but not a money-back policy. If the customer isn't happy with what's been done, I'll work with them to rectify it to their satisfaction. Though, I haven't been asked to do this yet.