Modern shopping offers a lot of advantages for businesses, like the ability to be totally digital and still bring in lots of sales.
However, having any sort of eCommerce platform also means you’ll probably experience a very high number of returns each year. A good returns management team can make a huge impact on your goals of exceptional customer service throughout the returns process, but you need to have an overall plan in mind to really streamline the process.
Returns Management Made Smarter
Returns management is one of the biggest challenges for businesses just like yours. Not only do you have to be able to process a variety of products quickly so they’ll remain valuable, you must do it while customers are waiting for credits and the clock is ticking on how much money you’ll recapture from the incoming wave.
Try not to panic, these three musts of returns management can help you get on the right path:
- There’s a lot you can automate to make reverse logistics easier. For example, using smart labels will allow your system to track returned packages from their origin point to your warehouse with a high level of accuracy. Integrating this into automated workflows and adding bar code scanning to make sorting items a breeze will speed up processing time.
- Although it can take time for your returns management team to grade returns and process credits, it’s important that you take the time to remain transparent to your customers. Keep them in the loop on the process using those same smart labels as well as internal bar codes that update customer returns status as they move through the warehouse.
- An eye for detail. Returns have to be handled in a timely manner and according to a laundry list of regulations. Expired products, for example, can’t go back on the sales floor even if they’re in otherwise excellent condition. Other items may be able to be resold, if not for a recall that requires a repair or upgrade before you can place it back on the market. An eye for detail ensures that none of these nuances are missed as your returns are shuffled around the warehouse.
Your returns management can always benefit from process improvement. After all, there’s a lot at stake with every box that makes its way back to your warehouse. Not only are you tasked with engaging customers with excellent service and speedy refunds, you have the challenge of finding a way to resell that item that will help increase its value in the eyes of a customer, scrapper or bulk reseller. There’s a lot riding on every return, but these three musts of returns management can help shore up your reverse logistics facility.