After-sale customer service can make or break your brand image depending upon the customer’s experience, especially if, for any reason, they want to return an item.
The ease of a returning-an-item process can influence whether the customer chooses you again for any purchase in the future, or whether they’ll go to the competitor instead. And in the e-commerce market, a returns process should be treated just as godly as you manage a buying process of a customer during your sales cycle.
However, e-commerce trades have more intricate returning processes as compared to a company with a kitchen appliance storefront, which can implement an excellent return process ( all a customer has to do is visit the store to make a return or exchange the product with a better piece).
Dispensing goods and taking back items from customers all over the region, and probably all over the world, requires extra capital for shipping and additional coordination. Things can become merry if a shipping software is integrated into the business to help you reduce the problems with a returns management process.
Nearly 63% customers checks return policy of an eCommerce store before ordering and if they are more likely to order if they found it as per their expectations.
Now once the customer has received their orders and they dint find the right size or right product, at that time if you have smooth & easy returns management process that can do the branding. Now this is the time where you can convert your neutral or unhappy customers to promoters or brand ambassadors.
When they are happy with the return process, they are most likely to:-
- Leave a review
- Tell their friends & family about the incident
- Post on social media etc
Cost of shipment returns, add extra weight to e-commerce companies to the already existing high forward order charges. However take these cost as an opportunity or investment of doing the marketing. This cost comes as an investment in branding and returning customers if you are able to meet customers expectations right.
What a customer expect when they have received the defective/wrong product that they want to exchange or refund:-
Easy to place return request
For example in Amazon it hardly takes 2-3 clicks to post the return request
Faster update on whether it gets rejected or approved. Make sure your team get in touch with your customer as soon as possible
Free Returns or low charges on return shipments
Since the pricing of shipping is very unregulated, e-commerce distributors have to face a lot of varying shipping costs from different courier partners. Returning costs, on the other hand, add extra weight to this burden to the already existing high forward order charges.
Moreover, if you want to hold on to your customers, you have to provide them with hassle-free returns, which necessarily means to give free returns. But, with high shipping rates, it seems to be an impossible task as ultimately, the e-commerce business has to cut down its profit margins or either limit to delivering fewer customers.
Quick resolution of exchange or refund process
There should be a quick turn around time in between once the customer has shipped the return products to customer has been given the resolution. As there are many steps involved in providing
With things like reverse shipment pickup with Quality check, merchants can immediately provide refunds or process their exchanged items hence almost saving 3-5 days of time when the product actually reachers the merchant.
Automatic pickup of reverse shipment
Gone are the days where the customer has to pack his order, find a nearly courier company and ship they returned items to the vendor.
With lots of innovation and technology coming in, nowadays you can automatically schedule, reschedule a reverse pickup, with all the leading carriers.
Automatic reverse pickups can give your customers Amazon like experience.
Reverse shipment pickup with quality check
With some of the carriers such as Bluedart, Fedex, Shadowfax etc you can do the reverse shipment pickup with Quality check & without quality check.
With quality check you can instruct the courier company to check the products at the pickup location only, so that the return can be rejected or approved immediately
Delivery alerts of return shipment
Customers are tech-savvy and love to have regular updates about their returns and refunds. They usually search for status updates and contact customer service, but that only causes more frustration because of the waiting period and ends up costing you time, money, and resources. Shipping software can be your saviour, but it may seem like an investment in your business. But it has much of a payoff, and it will be something your customers will appreciate. It can even be as simple as providing a tracking link for their shipment and sending an email notification or an automated SMS once their return, replacement, and/or refund has been processed.
Integrating systems and specific automated processes for better returns tracking are also beneficial in many ways. It will be easier to generate reports and in turn, help you better investing in product developments. Better returns tracking interprets way better profit margins with shipping software.