With these five tips you can optimise the return process in a customer-focused way.

Research shows that 86% of consumers surveyed prefer sellers with a simple, easy-to-understand return process. In addition, 81% of the interviewees indicated that they would choose a different vendor next time after a bad experience with returning a product.

Returns in the shop

Customer satisfaction is essential to the success of your business. A dissatisfied customer can give a company a bad name in no time while a satisfied customer can develop into a loyal supporter of a company. It is therefore important to be as customer-oriented as possible during the entire sales process. From sales to customer service up to and including the return process. 

In this article we give five tips for optimizing the return process. These five tips will contribute to overall customer satisfaction and help convert returns into new sales.

(1) Data collection and analysis

In order to optimise the return process, it is essential to collect the right data and perform regular analyses. After all, the more insight you have into the return processes, the better you as a company can respond to possible points for improvement. And continuous optimization results in satisfied customers and therefore more sales.

Find out on a regular basis: 

  • How many returns you receive on average per day
  • What are the main reasons for these returns? 
  • Which products are returned relatively often and which are not
  • What the customer thinks of your products and services and what can be improved (for example, by reading online reviews or conducting a customer satisfaction survey).

In order to gain insight into this data, it is advisable to use an insightful return dashboard. This gives you insight into all the above data at a glance and you can even receive notifications if a product returns more often than the benchmark, so you can respond to this immediately. Feel free to take a look at our website to learn more about this.

(2) Digitize the return form 

Customers like convenience. The easier and faster the return process is, the greater the chance that a customer will place another order. 

Therefore, consider opting for a digital return form. Instead of printing and sometimes even filling in a form manually, the customer clicks through all the necessary questions in the digital version in no time. Which products are returned and which are not? What is the reason for the return? Does the package have to be picked up or is it taken to a delivery point? At which address exactly does the parcel need to be picked up? With the right software the return request is created within a few minutes.

(3) Real-time tracking information 

Make sure your customers are always aware of the status of their return shipment. Especially with a valuable shipment, a customer wants to be able to find out where a parcel is at any time. Can't they? Then chances are there will be dissatisfaction and customer service will be inundated with phone calls.

That's why you should: 

  • Customers are notified of important updates during the return process. Think for example of the arrival of the package in the webshop or the refund date of the purchase amount. 
  • Customers have access to a return portal on the website. A customer must be able to log in at any time to see where a package is currently located.

(4) Flexible choice

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding. Whereas in the past a parcel was simply delivered to a local post office, nowadays an enormous variety of possibilities is expected.

For example, does the customer want the package to be picked up at his or her home? Then that should be possible. Or does the customer have a preference for a specific carrier? Here too, flexibility is expected.

Consumers have different reasons why they prefer one carrier over another. However, the most important reason for offering various carriers is the accessibility of parcel points. Does the customer happen to have a DHL or UPS point nearby? Then it is nice when the parcel can be delivered there.

Returns in the neighbourhood

Fortunately, a flexible pick-up service is arranged in this way. With the right partner and accompanying software, the customer selects a pick-up address and time of his choice in a handy route portal. The new flexibility offered by this service ensures that return shipments are almost effortless for the customer. And this significantly lowers the threshold to make a purchase.

(5) Turn the return process into a sales process 

Has a customer placed an order but is it not to his liking? Perhaps you as a webshop can offer a replacement product that does meet the wishes. A return does not have to mean a cancelled purchase. Instead, it can lead to an exchange or a purchase of new products. This turns the return process into a sales opportunity.

Set up the return portal in a smart way and always bid for a return: 

  • The possibility to order a replacement product in the return process (e.g. a garment in a different size) 
  • Order additional products that may be of interest to the specific customer 
  • Offer a coupon, perhaps at a discount, instead of a refund

Optimize your return process with Returnista  

Returnista is no longer a pain point. Increase customer satisfaction and reduce your costs. Like Decathlon, Loavies and Asos, do you want a returns portal in the style of your webshop? Ask for a demo on our website.

October 22, 2020

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