10 Tips for Online Merchants to Combat Holiday Chargebacks
The holiday season presents some of the strongest sales of the year for online merchants, but there are hidden pitfalls that can hamper profits. When faced with the influx of returns on the horizon this January, retailers need to keep a smart balance between leniency and policy. Here are 10 tips for maximizing sales and customer satisfaction while minimizing chargebacks and fraud:
1. Make it easy to get information. If you sell online, make sure your customers have multiple opportunities to view your return policy. If consumers can't find the information they want on your website, they're likely to look — and buy — elsewhere.
2. Provide human interaction options. It's important for consumers to be able to find answers on a website, but many prefer to contact a live person when they have questions or problems. Offer online shoppers multiple ways to get a human response by phone, online chat or email.
3. Increase processing resources to limit delays. If you process return merchandise authorizations (RMAs), aim for processing a refund no more than one week after the return was received at your warehouse. Consider that there may be mail delays and allow some exceptions in processing returns.
4. Make returns a stress-free process. Provide an automated return receipt via email once a return is received. For RMAs issued by vendors that pay for the shipping rate, provide a temporary refund to the customer as soon as the tracking number is initiated. If the product never arrives, contact the customer and reverse the return.
5. Avoid "he said, she said" situations with photo proof. If you receive damaged or used merchandise as an attempt by the customer to get a full refund, take a picture of the product and email it back to the customer describing why their return won't be accepted.