Having a returns management partner you can trust is truly a winning strategy for your eCommerce business.

Unfortunately, relationships like this rarely appear spontaneously, instead you’ll have to put in some time and effort to get the most out of your collaboration. If your choice reverse logistics company is run by total pros, though, you’ll find that it is more than possible to have a great working relationship.

Building Trust for the Long Run

Trust matters in today’s supply chain, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something.

You have to trust that your manufacturer will deliver a quality product on time and without any unexpected costs. You have to trust that the delivery services you work with will deliver those same products to your customers in immaculate condition. Each link in the chain relies on a lot of faith from the other parties.

But how is that trust built to begin with when it comes to your returns management partner? There are lots of approaches you could take, these three are time tested and highly effective:

Put it in writing. It doesn’t seem like drawing up a written plan is a very trusting act, but the truth is that memories are unreliable and notes, often undecipherable.

Instead of leaving a potential time bomb laying around waiting to explode, make a record of your shared objectives, goals and expectations so that everybody has something to refer back to in the future. It’s still an act of faith to assume that your reverse logistics team will stick to the plan, after all.

Transparency. This one word can make or break any sort of business relationship, but when it comes to returns it’s absolutely non-negotiable.

You and your returns management partner must know what the other is doing at all times so that returns are processed in a timely manner and any changes that you may make to your policies are updated at the same time in your reverse logistics facility.

Plan for the long-term. There’s nothing a B2B company likes more than to know you’re sticking around a while.

When it comes to a scalable services like reverse logistics, forming a long-term plan together is helpful in many ways. It allows your partner to better plan for their future so that they can continue to accommodate you as time goes on. It also helps you both establish new milestones so you know when it’s time to add new workers or make other changes to your workflow.

As you likely know, trust is everything in business. If you can’t trust your supply chain, from the manufacturers to your reverse management partners, you can’t be certain you’ll always deliver. Your returns management partner is a vital link in that chain, quite possibly the one that influences your customer experience the most!