Not only are people too busy to wait a week for shipping (link to delivering a better customer experience) these days, but people want their transactions done with the bare minimum of fuss.
Your customers don’t want to get most of the way through the checkout and find that the purple teapot they had their heart sooooo set on, sold out and was the last one available on earth.
Or that the pricing was advertised incorrectly and it’s now 3x the price they expected. That makes for grumpy customers and nasty reviews on social media.
Or that the colour of the dress turned out to be blue/black when it was advertised as white/gold – if you catch my drift – although that one was certainly open to some interpretation.
However, when you’ve done everything in your power to manage expectations, make for a beautifully seamless transaction for your customer and shipped both carefully and in a timely manner, there’s still one final hurdle to overcome.
Returns (aka reverse logistics) – the final hurdle
Now maybe you might have a no returns policy and that’s up to you. But if you do, it could be that one little policy is seriously hurting your conversion rates.
Maybe you’ve not thought about your returns policy or process before.
So, let’s think about what else has to happen if a customer decides that their purchase is unwanted, incorrect, the wrong colour, size, or otherwise not fit for purpose, etc and you decide to accept returns.
First – it has to be as easy as possible for your customer.
They want easy and painless. They don’t want to think, read extra directions, etc. They just want it fixed fast. End of story. They want to be able to email, phone, mail, whatever is going to work best for them.
Second – you need a speedy, accurate and efficient process on your end.
After all, someone else might desperately want that particular item asap – hence you’ll want to make sure the checking and item identification process happens in a specialised returns environment. Otherwise, you might have happen what a friend had happen – she ordered a white linen jacket through an online etailer. Instead she received a previously worn, inside out sweatshirt (apparently it smelled!) with no tags – which was ticked on her receipt as a white jacket. Not a great look for her as a customer. Oh and by the time it was shipped (the first time), they’d sold out of the white jacket. She’s never shopped with that vendor again. Hence you need scanning technology to capture client and item details to avoid confusing incoming returns with outgoing sales.
Third – you and your customers need real time status updates.
As soon as one of your products is logged as returning, and is then received, you want it correctly classified and checked back into inventory (with the corresponding customer refund or replacement), you want their account updated in real time. Customers want to know things are moving on their order. As do you.
Otherwise it’s another thing that you have to worry about. And that’s not the point of using a professional fulfilment service provider.
And that’s where we can help. If you’re looking to create an even better brand experience for your customers and have upwards of 50 orders or more a month and you’re looking to make your customers returns process easier, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.