In large retail stores, it seems as though there’s always someone standing in the customer service line to return an item. Online shoppers, too, seem extraordinarily fond of returns as a recent survey suggest that around 60 percent of people who shopped online sent back at least one item in 2013.
No business can avoid the need to accept returns and exchanges. However, a clear and transparent return policy will make customers happy. In addition, some buyers won’t make a purchase if they can’t return items, so a return and exchange policy may increase sales.
Consider these important steps for satisfying customers with an exchange policy:
1. Keep return policies clearly posted everywhere
Every retail location needs to have a sign posted somewhere that offers details on the return policy. Placing a sign near the checkout counter is a good idea. Some companies may want to instruct employees to mention the return policy during each transaction. Additionally, the company’s online website should also feature a simple return and exchange policy. The link to this page shouldn’t be hidden at the bottom of the website in a tiny font.
2. Investigate credit card processing costs
The fees charged by each credit card processing company tend to differ. Companies that offer merchant accounts should provide a clear list of the cost of returns or exchanges. Some companies may require refunds be processed within a set timeframe. Other companies provide merchant accounts with a low number of restrictions. Shop around and investigate fees and rules to find the best processing partner.
3. Provide follow-up customer service
Customers who return an item inside a retail space often make a purchase after the exchange if their return experience is positive and easy. No business can completely avoid returns and exchanges, so providing customers with the most positive experience possible should lessen customer animosity as well as inspire future purchases. For online returns, try to connect with the customer to ensure their return experience was superior. A company’s genuine concern for customers may encourage a return to the company’s website and more buying activity.
A fair return and exchange policy is vital for creating long-term relationships and repeat customers. Even if a customer has to make a return, he or she will be more likely to make a future purchase if returning an item is a simple procedure. Give customers the best return experience possible and earn their respect and loyalty.