Three Simple Ways to Minimize the Hassle of Customer Returns

Three TeabagsWhether it be following the holidays or at any other point of the year, the process of handling returns can be a frustrating experience for both business and buyer. Not only do returns cost money and time for both parties involved, but they also lead to negative impressions and experiences for customers. These bad impressions and experiences can result in negative reviews and commentary online, which in turn can hurt your overall bottom line. As such, it stands to reason that reducing the number of overall returns that your business handles is a good idea. Today, we’ll discuss three simple ways that businesses can help reduce the overall number of returns while leaving customers more satisfied and improving the process when it absolutely must happen.

Provide Product Multimedia

The number one reason that shoppers return items they have purchased is due to the common complaint of “this product was not what I had expected to receive”. All too many businesses provide thin content when pinging users with descriptions and details, which create the conditions for a higher than average number of consumers to request a return or refund. The best way to reduce returns in this regard is to further flesh out your product descriptions by providing additional multimedia. High-definition product photos, videos and even user manuals can more accurately give users an idea of exactly what they will be receiving, which can reduce returns by twenty five percent of more. This approach will save you time, money and frustration on a continuous basis.

Modernize Order Processing

Errors on the shipping and packaging side occur more often than is necessary. If your ordering system is sub-par or otherwise reliant on paper records once the customer has placed his or her order, then you are asking for increased returns. By transitioning to an all-digital service that more accurately reflects the orders of customers, you will make fewer mistakes and end up always shipping the right item to customers. Five percent of returns are caused by customers receiving the wrong item: this careless mistake creates the worst of impressions in the eyes of customers, who think that you don’t care enough about them to even ship the ordered item. A combination of paperless shipping and packaging and increased attention can virtually eliminate this error from ever happening again.

Have a Clear and Simple Process

Half of all online shoppers inspect businesses for returns policies before committing to an order. If you do not have a returns policy clearly listed, then you are likely missing out on valuable business. Likewise, pinging users with a straightforward policy can make it easy to resolve any dispute as it arises. By streamlining the process – including shipping labels in return boxes, handling the postage yourself and providing an automated returns process for customers that doesn’t involve email – you can give customers a much more pleasant experience that reduces the likelihood of negative reviews and word of mouth. It will also help reduce stress on your end when returns are absolutely necessary and must occur.

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