By setting your customers’ expectations for warranty returns, you can get in front of a host of potential problems and head them off at the pass.
Unfortunately, too many companies skip this important first step. And, as a result, customers get frustrated, fingers get pointed and you risk losing a customer and damaging your brand.
If you look at the warranty returns process from your customer’s point-of-view, however, you can quickly begin to see why it’s critical to set expectations – and to do it at the earliest possible moment.
What’s the Big Deal About Expectations?
If you book a hotel stay at a Four Seasons resort, what are your expectations about the experience? It’s fair to say you might expect luxurious amenities, exceptional service and a hefty bill at checkout.
Imagine if, upon your arrival, the lobby was rundown, the staff was MIA and your room looked more like Motel 6 than Four Seasons? If you were expecting Motel 6, you might not think twice – but you were expecting the Four Seasons.
The point here is that customers will only be unhappy if they don’t get what they were expecting. So, if you set their expectations – and live up to them as promised – you’ll be the company that took quick, decisive action to solve the customer’s problem.
Expectations About Warranty Returns
When a customer discovers a problem that they believe is covered by your warranty, the clock starts ticking.
It’s already a potential problem that your product failed (or the customer perceives that it did). If they have to take time to dig for your warranty returns policy and the procedure necessary to get the issue resolved, you instantly compound their frustration. If your customer service team has to field their angry phone calls or emails, your warranty-related labor costs can skyrocket.
You should begin to set your customers’ expectations about the warranty returns process before they ever make a purchase, if possible. Barring that, you have to show them a clear path to resolution the moment they discover a problem.
The sooner this happens, the better you’ll be because this is where you’re going to set your customer’s expectations of how the process will go. You’re going to show them the light at the end of the tunnel first, and then you’ll show them the path to get there.
Great, right? But how, exactly, will you do that?
The Practical Aspects of Returns & Customer Expectations
When you make a sale, how will you communicate the returns process to the customer, should they need to use it? The right answer for you will depend on your business model and customer profile.
You could include a warranty card with the product but nobody keeps track of those. Their most likely course of action will be to head to your website to see what comes next. Make that easy to find for them – and easier still to accomplish – and you’ll start to regain their trust.
The next step is to provide status updates whenever the customer wants one. That doesn’t mean you have to field daily phone calls from them – not if you have a comprehensive warranty management program in place. Provide them with a way to check the status of their repair or replacement online.
However you decide to manage this process, the bottom line is this: You can’t simply issue your customer an RA and move on. That’s only half of the big picture. You set the customer’s expectations about the returns process by showing how the process works and providing them a window into the progress of their repair or replacement.
Now, all you have to do is live up to those expectations.
The ReverseLogix returns management platform provides all the tools you need to streamline and automate your warranty returns process. Our industry-leading SaaS platform provides a one-stop shop for your customers to register their products, initiate a warranty return, print shipping labels and track the status of their repair or replacement. You will look like a hero in the eyes of your customer, as you set high expectations and live up to them.
Contact us today to learn more about ReverseLogix or to request a demo of our powerful, affordable returns management software.