Product returns are often viewed negatively by manufacturers-seller, which is why retailers sometimes have stringent return policies that somehow discourage customers from returning the products. The goal of making and selling products, after all, is to generate income and product returns does not contribute to that, hence most companies overlook or don’t prioritize returns management.
Manufacturer-sellers see returns as mere cost; however, business experts have seen that proper product returns management and after-sales services can significantly benefit the manufacturer-seller. Here are ways to improve your return policy, and make the most out of product returns:
Best Practices in Return Policies:
Make it Clear.
Some businesses word their return policies in complex and technical terms with a lot of clauses. Such a way may help deter customers from returning items, but for those who would still wish to return products, this type of wording would end up causing confusion, arguments, and overall poor customer satisfaction. A business should accept that returns are inevitable, and should make the wordings of the return policy as simple as possible. It should clearly state the conditions, what can and can’t be returned, the timeline for return, fees (if any), and other important details. It would also help to have translations of the return policy, especially for products that are expected to be sold in other non-English speaking areas.
Make it Simple and Easy.
The returns process should be just as simple and easy as it is worded. A company can have a Customer Service Representative focused on returns that’s trained to explain, guide, and process the return.
Don’t charge for mistakes on your part or logistics.
Customers should never pay for products arriving in bad condition or those damaged by logistics, but your return policy should also safeguard the company, and make sure that the customer fulfills documentation (of the damage or wrong order) and return within a reasonable timeline.
Benefit of Good Return Policies
In summary, having a good return policy makes it easier for both the seller and customer. Although it might not be direct, having a good return policy could potentially increase a seller’s income. How? Well, a good return policy results in a satisfied customer, and satisfied customers are more likely to patronize the seller/manufacturer and even recommend them to friends and family. Additionally, if customers see that returning products can be done easily, they would be more inclined to spend freely. It might not be obvious at first, but a good return policy could definitely help the seller/manufacturer’s reputation and sales.
How to Make the Most of Product Returns:
Collect, Record, Analyze Data and Feedback.
Once a product is returned, check for the customer feedback, and the product itself and generate reports on common and prevalent issues found, as well as other potential product defects orareas to improve on. For example, if a phone is returned to the seller/manufacturer, determine the common issues and apply fixes in the future models. Or if logistics seem to always end up damaging the product, either improve the packaging or find a different logistics company.
Improving Future Products.
One could improve future products by listening to customer feedback, checking on the return data. Knowing the common issues with the products, and applying the learnings from those issues in future products would help the business produce higher quality products and minimize issues that would result in product returns in the future.
Product returns don’t have to be a bad thing. With these information guiding you, you can turn one of the least favored parts of your operation to something quite beneficial to you and your customers.