Reverse logistics software is a pretty broad term and can mean a lot of different things that go way beyond just returns management (although that is part of it). If you’re shopping for software to help your company manage the entire reverse logistics process better, here are five features your software should include:
- A user-friendly customer portal
- In-depth RMA management
- Data analytics and reporting capabilities
- Automated communications to customers and employees
- Disposition management
Today’s customers increasingly want to be able to manage information and processes on their own with convenient tools. An online portal can be a one-stop shop for customers to initiate, track, and manage the entire returns process.
The portal available from ReverseLogix allows customers to:
- Register products after purchase for convenient returns or repairs if necessary, or to comply with requirements for future returns and warranty requests.
- Contact customer support with questions, which can help your company avoid unnecessary returns in situations where there is a simple fix or solution.
- Fill out return materials authorizations (RMAs) as required by your company’s returns policy.
- Print shipping labels to send products back for returns, warranties, or exchanges.
- Track the product from start to finish through the returns or warranty process.
In addition to providing an exceptional customer experience, the right customer portal can also help your company reduce costs by:
- Eliminating the need to hire full- or part-time customer service employees, or contract with a call center to manually process returns.
- Implementing a comprehensive Returns Avoidance process to eliminate unnecessary returns.
Many companies recognize the value of using return materials authorization (RMA), but not all are able to utilize these tools to streamline and improve the returns process. The main reason that companies cannot or do not use RMAs is simply not having software that can effectively manage the whole process.
RMAs benefit retailers in several ways:
- Verifying purchases prior to a return to prevent fraud
- Allowing customers to find their order, review returns policies, and initiate the return without any phone calls to customer service
- Notifying your team the moment a product is returned so you can be prepared to process it quickly as soon as it arrives
- Providing status updates to your team and your customer throughout the process
- Seamlessly integrating with your retail sales software, online store, and forward logistics software to help manage returned inventory
- Providing data and reporting to improve future sales and returns
Data Analytics and Reporting
Online retailers won’t be able to prevent all returns, and most ecommerce sites should expect anywhere from 15% to 40% of all sales to be returned. But there are things you can do to minimize returns as much as possible. The first step in slowing down returns is having good data about exactly what products are being returned, and why. This information can help you improve online retail stores and the sales process so fewer customers will want to return items in the future.
Comprehensive data and in-depth reports can also help you find inefficiencies in your reverse logistics process to better manage returns in the future.
There are two different types of communication in the reverse logistics process—communication within your organization for the team, and communication from your company to your customers.
Without reverse logistics software your team is probably doing all of this by hand, sending emails and notifying internal teams and customers about what is happening in the returns process. Alternately, you may not be sending these communications at all if you don’t have adequate personnel to do it manually. The former process is time-consuming and costly to your business. The latter is frustrating to your customers. Neither is ideal.
A reverse logistics software platform should include features to automatically send information to employees and customers about the process so everyone is informed from start to finish, and nobody has to send out manual emails. This also removes unnecessary work from your customer service team who won’t have to field customer calls wondering about the status of a return.
Disposition management is another aspect of returns that many people don’t think about, but it is extremely important in the process. Disposition management software helps you determine what to do with the inevitable returned products, including:
- Returning it to warehouse or store shelves, and tracking that as inventory on your website so the product information is accurate
- Marking it for clearance or other sale pricing to recoup some of the costs
- Getting warranty claims to the right internal teams for repair
- Identifying return to vendor (RTV) items that you can send back to your vendors for a refund or credit
- Identifying items that could be refurbished and resold, and sending those to the appropriate place for refurbishing
- Sending it for recycling if it’s made of materials that can be kept out of a landfill
- Sending it to the landfill quickly so it’s not taking up space in your facilities
Getting returned items to the right place quickly helps minimize losses. It also helps keep products moving so they don’t languish in your warehouse or the back of your store when they can’t be resold for a profit or on clearance.
ReverseLogix Offers the Reverse Logistics Software You Need
ReverseLogix is a leader in reverse logistics management, with a SaaS platform to help you manage all aspects of returns, repairs, warranties, and disposition. Find out more about our comprehensive software and how it can make your returns process better by scheduling a demo today.