More Product Return Automation Tips
Tis the season to get ready for post holiday product returns. Most retailers just spent the last few months manically trying to ship all their products out of their warehouses…well, over the next 40 days or so, many of those products are going to be coming back to the warehouse.
Some returns will be perfect, some will be damaged, some opened, some missing, and many will likely be confusing. Shipwire is trying to take the complexity out of the product return season.
- Read our press release on tips to tune up your returns policy.
- Want more tips to handle product returns? Check out our most recent blog post “Time for Product Returns” on practicalecommerce.com
- Working with customers to streamline returns
- How to work with your warehouse to ensure timely returns processing
- Some pitfalls to watch out for
Ready for more helpful hints and tips? Read on…Every Shipwire merchant gets a free “Delight” tool called a customer service portal. Once you enable this in your Shipwire account you can begin to push the burden of scheduling returns onto your buyers so that Shipwire merchants need less interaction with returns handling.
When dealing with returns, it’s important to see the “forest through the trees”. What is the value of the product being returned? How much will it cost to ship it back to yourself? Can you gain more by letting the customer keep it? Should you ask the buyer returning the product to insure the product coming back against damage (expensive products). Think before you automatically schedule a return.
If you do allow the buyer to keep the product, get some good karma credit with the buyer. Let them know the value of the product being returned. Make them love you.
Easy returns are great to build customer loyalty. If you make it too tough to return a product the buyer will likely not be back. Take a play out of Zappos and Nordstrom’s playbook…make returns a positive part of the experience. Consider hinging something of value to an easy return – maybe a newsletter sign-up or subscription to your membership or fan page. You can sometimes get something small that has long-term residual value to your sales pipeline.
Finally, in your quest for customer satisfaction you should also stay alert for returns fraud! Some people will say something is not the right size, color, fit, damaged, etc…just to get free returns. Worse is when a buyer complains that something is missing from an order when it isn’t. During the holidays, if you sold at a discount, some buyers may try to return, after you raise your price, to get a return at full value. So, keep an eye out and set up internal checks on outbound shipping and packing to reduce the chances of errors.