Remember the gleam in their eyes when the customer walked out of the store with your product in hand. You saw their desire to rush home, tear open the packaging, and use the product! What may seem like a job well done becomes a bitter pill to swallow when the same individual reappears to make a product return. Gone is the excitement! There is now a disgruntled look on their face and the angry customer is now demanding a full refund! You can appease him with a 100% refund but the hassle has just begun! You will also endure the repackaging, restocking and reselling costs and by the end of the day, all product returns will affect your bottom line!
Here are two steps your business can take to reduce product returns:
1. Implement online customer care
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is more than a popular idiom. It aptly applies to online customer service. This online CRM application connects visitors to a customer service representative through live chat. Online customer care is instrumental in reducing product returns by proffering support while the customer is shopping. CSRs analyze online metrics such as excessive keywords and webpage duration to understand if a customer is in need of assistance. Online customer service gives customers an opportunity to discuss product technicalities, shipping and return policies. This one-on-one conversation eliminates all quandaries so the wrong purchase decision isn’t made!
2. Limit the window for returns
While, 30 days is the standard window for return, some retailers are implementing a strict policy of 7-10 days to return a product. Make the return policy visible on your website and on receipts to minimize customer confusion. Richard Ignatz (President of Boutique Emmanuel) explains, “As a small boutique that carries a limited number of garments in each size, when a customer brought back an item back 30 or 60 days later, the season was over and I would have to put it on the 50- to 75-percent-off rack. We missed a chance to sell it to someone else two or three times in that period.”