Everyone knows that sometimes an end is a new beginning, that a closed door leads to an open window.
Sometimes a return is the path to a whole lot of purchases. In fact, after a customer has bought something from you, they’re 27 percent more likely to buy a second time and 54 percent more likely to choose you a fourth time.
How you handle those customers’ returns can definitely influence whether or not they make those subsequent visits, whether you’re an online retailer or are still working the brick and mortar. Because repeat customers spend more than first time buyers, ensuring those first time buyers (and the old ones, too!) are happy with every step of the process is paramount.
Wow ‘Em Today for Long Term Success
It may surprise you to learn that small changes can have huge impacts on how your customers view you, but it’s absolutely true.
Reverse logistics can be rough for your team and costly to your bottom line, but it’s part of being a retailer. Let the process work for you by tweaking your procedures a little bit, rather than fighting it.
Here are three ways to wow your customers during their returns process:
Open up your return policy. Sure, it seems that having a small window in which to send returns back would make the most sense to minimize the practice, but for many online shoppers it’s a serious turn-off. Packages take a while to ship, plus those buyers probably have other things going on that could prevent them from even opening your box right away.
A return window of 45 to 90 days not only takes the pressure off of the customer to make a decision about an item that might not be perfect, it also gives the endowment effect a chance to click in place. Essentially, this means that the customer has formed an attachment to the item because it’s been around long enough to become familiar. So, in essence, by giving shoppers more time to decide, you’re actually encouraging them to keep their item rather than sending it back.
Keep lines of communication open. It should go without saying, but some retailers are very bad at letting the customer know what’s going on with their returns. This process can be simplified by adding a smart label to each shipment. That way, not only will you know where the incoming package is and when it should arrive at your facility, you can give your customer the same information.
Give credits as fast as possible. There are some larger retailers that issue credits as soon as they see that the item in question is in transit. This might not be feasible for your company, but providing a timeline using the data from that smart label you put in the box will keep your customer happy as long as it’s reasonable. You can’t wait weeks to issue the credit, but a few days after the item has arrived will keep most customers coming back for more.
It’s not enough in today’s market to simply be impressive when it comes to forward-facing logistics, you have to do better when it comes to returns. It doesn’t matter how fast your packages reach their destinations if the buyer is left hanging when they need to return or exchange them. Don’t let them down. Wow your customers all the way through your returns process.