As more companies sell goods online, the returns process is taking center stage. Streamlined returns processes attract more customers and allow you to minimize losses from returned items, while a haphazard process makes it harder to turn a profit when a significant portion of goods that people purchase are likely to be returned. Even if you work in a B2B industry where return volumes are lower, you still need to keep costs down as much as possible.
Enter the returns portal, where your customers can initiate returns and you can track them from start to finish. While a returns portal is not really new, one of the biggest challenges that companies often encounter in this process is ending up with a cookie-cutter returns portal that isn’t customized to your needs. Here are just a few of the reasons this is a problem.
Designed Around Your Products
The exact procedure for initiating and accepting a return often depends on the product. Is it a high-value item that will require inspection when it arrives? Is it a large item that you need to coordinate a pickup at the customer’s home instead of sending a shipping label? Is the product something that is likely to be unsellable when it comes back? All these factors determine how to move through a returns process, so the ability to customize your portal allows you to include the necessary steps, questions, and checkpoints to streamline it for customers.
Changes Based on Your Workflows
The exact process for a return is different for every company, and a lot of that is based on your own workforce, established workflows that you have refined over the years, your facilities, and your products. All these things can factor into how you accept and process returns. When you get a returns portal that can’t be customized you have to try and fit your own workflows and needs into the designs of someone else. With a customizable portal, you get to choose the process, the notifications, and the look and feel.
A Branding Opportunity
While you might think that returned products are a cost to your business, when you do it right they could actually be a benefit. Communications about returns allow you to get in front of your customers’ eyes multiple times from the point they initiate the return until the transaction is complete. A customized portal can include branding messages and information, including personalized offers that can turn a return into a profit with additional purchases.