After the high-stress, money-making, magical holiday period, the last thing e-commerce business owners want to hear is the word “refund”. I get it. Returns disrupt your numbers AND they are quite an inconvenience to process, plus, a lot of times the products cannot be resold. Not the way you want to start the year.
But, hey, if you feel like you are receiving too many returns, you are not alone. 25% of the total annual returns take place after Christmas. Return season is in full effect and it’s just part of running a business. Take the good, the bad, and the ugly, right?
It doesn’t have to mean the worst for your business. As she, queen of the slay, of the House of Yoncé, has taught us, you make LEMONADE.
You can turn those returns into something positive and at the very least, they won’t have a huge impact on your revenue for January.
Understanding the returns
Generally, customers don’t return products just to make your job more difficult (however much it may seem that way). Returning products is pretty inconvenient for them too. Especially if the post office or drop off location is out of their way. It’s time and effort most shoppers would rather put into something else.
Post-Christmas returns usually happen because the person already owns a product that was gifted to them or they don’t like it. Sometimes they simply don’t understand how to use something. It’s critical to listen to your customers.
Customer Service opportunities
As bad and aggravating as returns can be, don’t lose sight of the most important thing and that is to foster strong relationships with your customers. Every interaction with your customers is an opportunity to offer great customer service, but especially when it comes to returns. Customers want things to be easy and stress-free so offering exactly that at this time will definitely make loyal customers.
Don’t lose money
This is common knowledge but it should be mentioned again. Every return is an opportunity for an exchange, whether online or in a brick and mortar store. It’s important that your customers are familiar with your exchange policy. Be sure to make that information easily accessible and offer a hassle-free exchange process. If there’s one thing customers don’t like is to be hassled.
Ultimately, returns and refunds can’t be avoided. Difficult as it may be, don’t focus too much on the negatives and make the best out of it. Customers are what keep a business going so always keep them in mind.
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