3 Ways to Make Returns Easy for You and Your Customers.
Product returns are a part of everyday business for an online retailer. It sometimes seems like the reverse of selling. Instead of selling an item and getting paid for it, you’re paying a customer to return a product that you were trying to sell off in the first place. So it makes sense that a lot of business owners (especially in eCommerce) stress about returns and the reverse logistics involved.
What’s important to keep in mind is that, ideally, your business should be focused on meeting the needs of the customer. And if your company isn’t meeting those needs effectively, they’re going to start looking somewhere else. So even though there are costs involved in accepting returns and issuing refunds, it’s ultimately an investment in your customers.
Providing great customer service is part of making customers happy and creating brand loyalty. A well-handled returns process stands to increase brand loyalty and boost revenues at the same time.
Have a Clear, Hassle Free Return Policy
The first step to building that loyalty is by being upfront with the customer. An easy-to-find returns policy that’s written in plain and simple straightforward terms will be much appreciated. Let customers know exactly what they can return, under what circumstances, and what they stand to gain from returning the item (like a refund, or store credit). Don’t hide the policy on some corner of your website, and don’t bog it down in legal jargon. Make it easy to understand, and be gracious rather than strict.
Let your customers know that it is not a problem to return items, and you will gladly do it as long as it qualifies for a return. Spell it out and make it clear!
Make the Return Process EASY for Your Customers
Even if the return policy is easy to understand, no one likes it if making the return is a difficult and costly. For online stores, there’s packing and shipping to be considered. Your customers probably hated paying for shipping the first time so try your best not to make them pay to return or exchange their products. Seriously consider eating the shipping and related costs; you’ll win over many customers when they know that returns and exchanges don’t involve a restocking or return delivery fee.
Let your customers make their return and ensure your returns process was easy and customer service was great. That will bring them back in the future.
Make the Return Process EASY for Your Business
This still leaves you with what to do with the product when it comes back to you. Reverse logistics can be pretty complicated and costly if it’s not handled right. If you don’t feel like your team has the expertise or the time to handle the arduous task, consider outsourcing it to a professional 3pl logistics company. Often, they can do the work faster and cheaper than you can.
Returns don’t have to be as bad as we make them out to be. If you’re willing to work with your customers to do it right and also find the right team to help process returns, you can turn it all into a powerful loyalty-building tool.
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