Whether they come in following a busy holiday season or steadily in other times, returns and refunds are part of any ecommerce business. While it may sound like returns and refunds mean a loss of customer loyalty and revenue, it’s indicated that 77% of customers who return a purchase are likely to make additional purchases if they have a good return experience.
A straightforward and customer-centric return and refund policy can go a long way in creating brand loyalty and long-term customer value. Let’s look at how you can create a positive return and refund experience and tap into the benefits that come with it.
Make sure your return policy is crystal clear
By making your return policy terms clear and easy to find, customers will easily trust and feel comfortable purchasing from you. You can provide this information on your website, in your sales receipts, and throughout customer communication. If your return policy is flexible, it’s also a great idea to put a return label on every order or make it printable from your website. I recently had a great experience when exchanging a pair of sneakers from On. They included a return label and packing tape so I could easily make the return with the same box!
Remember to define the expected condition of a return. It’s not worth it to receive back used items in tatters, which can’t be repaired or resold. Use words like intact, lightly used, or as new.
Realize the need for free return shipping
Since we already know how much customers dislike paying for shipping on their initial orders, asking them to pay for return shipping almost isn’t an option. Providing free return shipping could actually enable your customers to purchase more products if they have a good experience. A marketing study found that customers tend to increase their spending by up to 457% from brands that offer a free return policy.
With a rigid policy for return shipping, customers may decide to leave a bad review that could affect your business. But that doesn’t mean you must give free return shipping at all costs— always weigh your terms flexibly.
Keep the Terms Simple and Clear
Your return and refund policy influences whether customers buy from you or not. Thus, ensure that the terms are clear and user-friendly. Most shoppers review a retailer’s return policy before making an order and are prompted to make more purchases from the same retailer with clear policies. Avoid complex jargon that can confuse your customers.
Stipulate a Realistic Return Deadline
Although increasing the amount of time before a product becomes ineligible may seem like it would increase return rates, it’s a sure way to reduce them and boost customer experience. Research shows that the longer the customer stays with the product, the more they’re attached to it, and the lower the probability of returning it becomes.
Furthermore, a lengthy return policy serves as a satisfaction guarantee for customers. They’re comfortable buying the product since they won’t incur a great loss if it doesn’t serve them well.
Make the Refund Swift
A delayed refund is annoying to consumers— it’s one of the primary reasons for a bad return experience. When your customer returns an item and requests a valid refund, refund them as soon as possible. An automatic refund to your customers’ credit or debit card is a great way to improve the return experience.
A good refund policy is a 100% money-back guarantee. Satisfied customers utterly outnumber those who’d want to abuse the policy. Simultaneously, this improves customer relations increasing your overall sales.
The basis of a positive return and refund experience is making it customer-friendly and favorable to your business. While that’s a good opportunity to uphold an excellent customer experience and create more brand loyalty, it calls for some extra effort.
If you need any assistance on this and more customer experience strategies, reach out to us. Our fully-dedicated and tech-enabled customer experienced teams are always here to help you grow your business.