You may have noticed that your consumers have gotten a lot more demanding in recent years, and it’s not surprise why. The internet and the ability to shop from virtually any retailer at any time of the day or night gives consumers even more choices than they ever had before. That’s great news for your business if you want to run a small shop out of your garage, but it has a downside to it as well. As more people shop online, the volume of goods that they purchase and need to return will inevitably go up.
It would be almost impossible to compete and attract customers today without a returns policy, so let’s focus on the importance of having a good returns policy and ensuring that even when things come back to your store they won’t affect your profitability in a negative way.
Big Businesses Set Customer Expectations High
Survey after survey today reveals that a returns policy is one of the most critical features when it comes to your ability to attract and retain customers. Part of that is the result of large businesses like Zappos, Walmart, and Amazon, which have set consumer expectations high with free or deeply discounted returns—in the case of Zappos, the window to do so extends for 365 days after the purchase of a product. Even small businesses have to find ways to allow customers to return items if they are unhappy, which might seem like it’s going to impact your ability to make a profit.
Satisfying Customers Without Harming Your Bottom Line
Having a hassle-free returns policy is essential, and it doesn’t have to be a significant source of lost profit, but the key to managing it well is having an efficient and streamlined reverse logistics process. That includes:
- The ability for customers to create an RMA notifying you of their returns
- A software program that can check the validity of the customer’s order before approving the return
- Tracking capabilities from the time it leaves the customer’s hands as it makes its way through the returns process
- Automated communications and notifications that go out to your team and the customer to track the process
- An efficient review process to determine if items can be resold or must be disposed of in another way
- Complete tracking to follow items back on the shelf for resale, or in a return-to-vendor shipment or other disposal
- Quick refunds or credits processing to maintain customer loyalty
If this seems overwhelming, the reality is that you can’t do this efficiently without the help of a reverse logistics software program. Find out more about how ReverseLogix can help you streamline this entire process from start to finish, automating key parts to keep returned goods moving through your system, and help you build customer loyalty through a great returns policy.