Offering a warranty on your work is a great way to land customers and keep them. You have to be a little careful about how you write your warranty and exactly what you warrant and how you respond to warranty claims. This financial agreement is regulated by the government (the FTC) and you must comply with their rules.
When I was in the deck restoration business, we offered a warranty to our customers. It was a Limited Warranty that was pro-rated (much like a tire warranty). We warranted our workmanship (labor) and product (our sealer) for three years to our customer and their assignees. That, in layman?s terms, meant that, if for ANY reason the property owner became unhappy with their deck restoration at any time during a three year period ? we would come out and re-do the job at a straight line pro-rated price. If the customer was unhappy at the 12-month point, we would re-do the job for 2/3 off the price they paid because they did not receive 2/3 of the service time we promised. If they waited 18 months to be unhappy, they got the work for half off the regular price. If they waited 35 months to have the work re-done, they paid 35/36?s of the price.
Why did we do this? It accomplished several things for us. First, it gave a natural flow to handle any complaints. In the past, we had gotten a few calls from customers that they had not received the value in duration they expected from our services. In other words, they wanted us to re-do the work for free. This warranty gave us a mechanism to charge the customer fairly for what they had received. Secondly, it made the sale to a new customer much easier. They get a Warranty in writing that protects them. The warranty is fair. No one else offered a warranty, so we were unique as service providers. We could demand a higher price because obviously we were offering a superior product and service ? so superior that it was warranted.
Next, it was transferable. That meant that if the customer sold the home the Warranty papers went with the sale to the new customer. That alone was worth between $50 and $100 to my company. It guaranteed a new customer every time a house sold before anybody else could get to the new owner.
Finally, it kept competitors away. Why call anyone else, even if you are unhappy with how your deck looks today? You will get the job re-dome for less by calling us back. Pretty cool way to save a customer we might have otherwise lost.
For ideas on how to write warranties check here: http://www.smallbusinessnotes.com/operating/legal/warranties/readable.html
For information on what the FTC wants your warranty to comply with, read here: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus01-businesspersons-guide-federal-warranty-law