5 Ways to Drive Customer Loyalty From Product Returns
Returns are often emotionally charged events. Think about it: Customers return things that don’t fit, they don’t like, can’t afford, don’t need, don’t want or weren’t what they expected. For many customers, returns are embarrassing, filled with disappointment, frustration or, at the very least, a major inconvenience. How you handle this touchy situation could very well impact your customer’s decision to continue doing business with you.
What can you do to get a return customer from a customer return? First, consider changing the way you think about returns. Rather than viewing returns as a problem, think of them as an opportunity. You can solidify your relationship with a current customer or, in the case of a gift return, have the chance to win a new customer. Here are five simple tips to turn the return process into a positive experience:
1. Have a clear and well-posted return policy. One of the best ways to make sure that consumers aren't turned off by the return process is to have your return policy posted where they can see it. It should also be printed on return slips and repeated to the customer at the time of purchase.
2. Empower your employees to do the "right thing." No matter what your return policy — or how well it's communicated to your customers — there will still be situations that fall outside of the policy. These situations need to be considered with fresh eyes. Empower your employees, within set limits, to “do the right thing” by making sure your customers get what they need. If you aren't comfortable empowering your employees in this way, train them. In situations outside of written policy and when employees feel that a customer deserves a break, train them to say “Let me get my manager for you.” Make sure they say that before the customer asks for it.