There are many steps in the returns management process, but perhaps none as important as the return materials authorization (RMA). This is the first step in any returns process, where a customer lets you know they need to initiate a return. Streamlining the entire process from start to finish can help you avoid fraudulent returns, and speed up the time between when someone sends an item back and when you can resell it and issue a refund or credit. The sooner you can complete the returns process, the less it will impact your bottom line and your customer satisfaction levels.
The right reverse logistics software can help you at every stage of the RMA.
When a customer wants to return a product they can:
- Bring the item to one of your retail stores (if applicable)
- Call your customer support center
- Initiate a return through your website
- Initiate a return through your mobile app (if applicable)
The best way to ensure that customers are able to get through the returns process is to have them fill out a return management authorization (RMA). It’s essential for collecting data that you can analyze about your returns – the reason for returns, the prevalence of returns, and more – so you can improve your sales and hopefully reduce returns in the future. Plus RMA initiations (when done properly) allow you to verify a purchase to prevent fraudulent returns.
The best way to streamline this process is to move it online. No matter where a return is initiated, getting the information into a centralized software program standardizes the process for returns, helps you track them from start to finish, and prevents duplicate work or missed tasks along the way.
Once a customer initiates a return, the next steps happen within your company. Each member of your team, from warehouse receiving to accounting must be able to see what is going on so they can take the correct steps to verify, repair, restock, and issue account credits or refunds. It’s also important to have frequent communication along the way so customers (and internal team members) know what’s happening and when they can expect it to be resolved.
Some companies don’t have any process or tools for managing RMAs, instead treating them as an afterthought. In today’s competitive world of online sales and returns, that’s basically a surefire way to lose customers. Using software that allows you to manage and clear returns quickly can help you win customers with great service.
If you are using RMA software, it’s important to have the capability to customize your RMA process for an even more streamlined experience. Every business is different, and how you handle returns depends on a lot of factors like your team size, facilities, and policies. The ability to create customized tasks and workflows for various types of returns helps you manage everything from basic returns and refunds to warranties and repairs.
Find out more about how ReverseLogix RMA module can improve initiation, management, and customization from start to finish in your return materials authorization workflow.