Many retailers and manufacturers focus on managing returns through their reverse logistics process rather than preventing returns in the first place – which can be a costly mistake. After all, a return isn’t just a lost sale and extra handling costs – It’s also an indication of a poor customer experience and very possibly a lost customer for life.
Having a solid process for dealing with returns is a necessity, but getting fewer returns in the first place is a competitive advantage.
An overlooked opportunity for preventing returns is intervention at the “point of crisis,” or the moment when a customer is thinking about making the return.
The goal is to prevent the return by alleviating the issue causing the customer to contemplate making a return.
Being transparent and accessible to customers at this time is essential. Providing the help and answers they need is even more so. One way companies can do this is through an omnichannel customer support and return experience.
Omnichannel support networks provide support for customers regardless of where their purchase was made via social media, website FAQ, live chat, or live customer support.
In the moment of “crisis,” consumers want to talk with real people who speak the same language and understand the product. Each platform can be an effective method for getting customers the support they need and preventing a return.
Problems for customers once they’ve begun to use a product are inevitable and can lead to returns – this is a fact of selling.
However, strategically positioning your customer support efforts to intervene at the right time and in the right way is an effective way to prevent returns and improve the customer experience.
Image credit: Raul Lieberwirth