Your customer has been waiting a long time to get your product in the mail. It finally arrives, but to their dismay, the product doesn’t work out for them like you had hoped. The experience of returns can be disappointing for customers and companies alike. For companies, this experience risks higher operational costs, lower customer lifetime value (CLV), and an overall poor impression.
But what if we told you that you can make the post-purchase experience a positive one? One that fosters greater trust and brand loyalty from the customer? It only takes a few small changes to make a huge impact.
Include a Clear and Uncomplicated Return Policy
Making your return policy complicated or confusing will not only reduce your return rate, but will also lower your CLV. No matter what industry your company is in, if the return process is frustrating people will just buy from someone else. It might not hurt you now, but your future revenue will take a hit.
Make sure that your return policy is clear, accessible, and provides a self service returns portal to provide faster turnarounds. The returns process is an opportunity to communicate your brands voice and customer service — don’t waste it. One of our customers, HoneyLove, does a great example of communicating their voice by keeping it simple, and clear.
Offer a Wide Variety of Exchange Options
When you limit customer exchange options, you also limit your companies ability to adapt and innovate. If you don’t know why your customer is returning an item, you can’t improve your inventory, which ultimately leads to lost revenue.
A returns portal can do more for you than just accept returns. The portal is an opportunity to turn an unsatisfied customer into a happy one by giving them the right item, and even potentially upselling them on another (it’s a win-win situation).
Having a portal that can provide exchanges based on any variant or full catalog exchanges becomes very powerful, especially when you pair it with an exchange incentive. The conversation with a customer should never begin with “Why are you returning X item”, rather it should be focused on solving the problem. Your customer has something they don’t want, and your portal should be focused on getting your customer another item that fits their needs. This workflow is at the core of our mission and is why our customers see 3x more exchanges when opting in to working with Return Rabbit.
Expand Return Options
The returns and exchanges process is not one size fits all — your brand and customers are unique and your returns portal should reflect that. Customers need multiple ways to return items to fit their lifestyle, and while it’s very common to only offer returns via mail, there are other options that can provide a better customer experience after purchase. Things like in-store drop offs, in-store appointments, scheduled carrier pick ups, and label-less returns are some of the many ways to provide additional options for returns to fit your customer’s needs. The trick isn’t just to provide a portal to return something, but to make it an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customer.
Create a Seamless Post-Purchase Experience
At the end of the day, it’s all about a seamless experience for your customers. If your customers have different experiences throughout the returns and exchanges process, it will hurt you in the long run. The more you focus on the customer experience, the more competitive you will be.
Take this as an opportunity to change the mindset of returns being a cost center, to returns being a revenue driver for your brand. Adopting this way of thinking will pay off whether it’s in dollars, customers, or a good reputation — and hopefully all three.
At Return Rabbit, we focus on everything post-purchase and help brands make that shift through our technology, leadership, and experiences. If you want to chat with folks who live and breathe this stuff to bounce ideas off of, please feel free to send us a note. We are here to help.