Suggesting Alternatives to Refunds During COVID-19

Chris Ocker
May 5, 2020

If you were to tell me at the start of this month that by the time the 31st rolled around, the majority of the United States would be told to stay home and there would be a nationwide shortage of toilet paper and eggs, I would have seriously questioned your sanity. And also deeply pondered where all the eggs could have gone!

But that is the world we are living in today. Schools and businesses have closed their doors. Restaurants are serving delivery or to-go orders only. Everyone’s practicing the hottest new trend - social distancing. It’s not all bad, though. My dog Maddie is loving having me work from home!

During this time of social and economic uncertainty, it is tempting to not only cancel upcoming activities, but to issue back refunds to everyone who originally registered. While ACTIVENet allows you to easily do this, I propose an alternative approach. Here’s why: There will be a time when things go back to normal. When that time comes, people are going to need an outlet. They are going to want to hang out with friends, participate in activities and, if their diet has been like mine during this stay-at-home mandate, go to the gym!

Ergo, it is inevitable that these people who were forced out of a cancelled class will be chomping at the bit to sign up for the next one. And how much easier (and dare I say pleasurable) to do this with unused credit from their account or special coupon codes they received in lieu of a refund. You can even add an incentive. For example, an extra 10% bonus added on to the amount of a cancelled class for anyone who elects to receive a coupon instead of a cash refund! 

The other benefit to this refund alternative? Your organization gets to retain these much-needed funds that help drive future innovation. If you believe in the best of humanity, like I do, you could also give the option to convert the cash a patron has spent into a donation! So before sending that somber mass communication informing everyone a class or activity has been cancelled and to expect a refund, let’s give the people the power of choice. Be safe, wash your hands and stay healthy friends!

Set yourself up for success.

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