Are Your Ecommerce Warranty Requests Still Managed Manually?
Uh-oh, your customer says the product they ordered isn’t right. If the product isn’t what they expected and they need a different size, color, or variety, most ecommerce businesses have a system to process returns. Ecommerce businesses that use ReturnLogic can even use customizable email messages, data reporting, and software integration to have a uniquely smooth RMA process. For the most part, ecommerce businesses use technology to help with their returns.
What if it isn’t a return? What if the product is just plain broken or defective? Product warranties can be a different story entirely.
From the point when a shopper lands on your site to the moment they convert, most merchants use integrated tools to support marketing spend, inventory management, payment processing…you name it. So why is it that many retailers rely on spreadsheets and even paper forms to manage warranty return workflows? Most importantly, why is this bad news for protecting retailer profits?
Why do ecommerce businesses still manage warranty returns manually?
Most retailers who manage their warranty claims manually feel they do it out of necessity. In fact, the reasons why they first implemented a manual warranty return process could have been perfectly valid. Maybe they didn’t know there were other solutions available. At that time having a physical/hands-on approach made the most sense. Perhaps there was concern that automation could lead to a lack of personal interaction, and as most successful ecommerce leaders know, customer experience is crucial.
Retailers may also assume that the process of automating their warranty claim processing would be too complicated. If an ecommerce business processes significantly fewer warranty claims than other returns, its warranty process could be an afterthought.
The decision to have a manual warranty process could also spring from concerns of fraud. If a warranty is processed “automatically” could a scammer potentially cheat the system? Especially in instances where products can’t be restocked and resold, a warranty program with automatic processing could make business owners weary that shoppers with bad intentions could potentially take advantage.
All in all, it makes sense why retailers would have fears about automating warranty returns, but the truth is, those fears are a thing of the past. As ecommerce businesses look forward through 2023 and beyond there are certain truths that should be faced. At the top of the list is the fact that managing warranty claims through a returns portal is a simple and effective way of protecting profits.
Top three truths about ecommerce warranty returns in 2023:
We’re going to examine the top three reasons that ecommerce businesses have historically chosen to manage their warranty requests manually and help highlight why continuing to do so is no longer the most effective solution.
1) A manual ecommerce warranty request process leads to a negative customer experience.
If you have ever ordered a product online only to discover it was defective, you know that sensation, the dread, the sinking feeling that you could be on the phone all day. Customers probably begin their warranty journey from a potentially stressed-out mindset, so it’s important that the first step in the warranty returns process starts by solving that problem.
When ecommerce businesses begin the warranty return process through an online form separate from their shopping portal, or even separate from their website entirely, they don’t mean to make things more complicated for their customer. In fact, they probably meant to make it easier. However, requiring shoppers to fill out a lengthy warranty form and wait to hear back from a customer service agent leaves your customer clueless as to when they’ll get their problem solved. This all but guarantees that they will have a negative experience. When the explanations of how warranty returns work and link to how to start the process are as available Immediately, shoppers can begin their warranty claim with confidence. Including an online link with a step-by-step guide explaining your warranty process can mean the difference between a spike in customer churn and a lifelong customer.
As shoppers, we understand that the best-case warranty scenario is that the process will be quick and easy. For example, take my new tent with a hole in it and give me one that’s not damaged. A customer who receives a replacement for their faulty item will be happier and make future purchases with confidence. However, when the process is too complex or not a part of the current returns and exchange program, ecommerce businesses start the warranty journey off on the wrong foot.
ReturnLogic’s RMA management software was built to make warranty returns simple for merchants, and in turn for customers. Our platform gives you the tools you need to process warranty claims using an award-winning returns management system. Merchants can include important details on how to start a warranty claim directly in a confirmation email and on shopping portals — so all your information is in one place and the process is as easy as possible for your customer.
2) Human interaction is a key to automated warranty management
It’s true. As with any aspect of the sales process, quality customer service can make or break a retailer. For a subject as sensitive as defective products and warranties this is doubly true. Having an employee verify warranty claims is important to prevent instances of fraud, just as it is important to find out what is defective and why.
What most ecommerce businesses tend to forget, however, is that processing warranties will require human intervention at certain points, just not every point. Maybe your growing business has designated a single employee to process warranty returns to make sure things stay under control. However, as your company scales and warranty returns grow, it becomes untenable for an employee to manually manage the workload, causing bottlenecks and delays. This is a situation we see far too often.
If you don’t have the proper warranty solution integrated with your ecommerce tech stack you leave your processes vulnerable to human error.
The truth is, utilizing automated warranty processes doesn’t mean a less personalized experience, it means a more efficient, personalized touch. Ecommerce businesses using a platform that integrates warranty claims with their standard return policy can choose which steps in the warranty process need manual verification and which don’t. Manually managing details like confirmation emails, stock alerts, and follow-up messages can take hours. Without being bogged down in the details of manual warranty processes your employees can engage with customers, increase productivity, troubleshoot additional problems, and upsell.
ReturnLogic is unique in that we help ecommerce businesses build warranty return processes that fit their business. Businesses can customize the customer touchpoints of their warranty program. Equipped with these tools, retailers can ensure that manual processes are only deployed where it is necessary, and the rest is taken care of.
3) Automated warranty management is less complex than it appears
If you’re an ecommerce business leader, you likely don’t have time to become a computer scientist as well.
When faced with the prospect of a systematic upgrade business leaders are likely to hesitate. Sometimes upgrades aren’t as simple as your phone downloading new features while you sleep. For businesses transitioning to new systems, it can mean downtime, and downtime means fewer profits.
With the constant development of new technology, it is not always the easiest topic to stay up to speed on. VR, AI, metaverse, and even robotics continue to rise in popularity. It can be hard to determine which new technology will be difficult to onboard and integrate, and which will be easy.
Luckily, ReturnLogic’s warranty management platform takes only a few hours (not days!) to fully onboard. Our platform features an open API, making the process of integrating with other platforms easy. On top of that, ReturnLogic customers have access to a dedicated Customer Support Manager. In the event that you have questions or need help with specific features, our team is ready to help guide you.
The ReturnLogic platform was built for the sole purpose of allowing retailers to process their returns and warranties in a smart and simple way. Onboarding to our platform is fast and specifically designed to support most existing returns and warranty program options.
The truth about warranty returns for ecommerce businesses
The truth is ecommerce businesses need returns management and warranty technology to help protect their profits. With the rise of labor and materials costs, leaders need to be more precise about where to allocate their resources, and how to optimize their reverse supply chain.
ReturnLogic’s warranty management solution is available to help you stop spending time and money manually processing claims and implement a scalable warranty system for growth.
Retail leaders who manage warranties as a return type have a data-driven advantage to be more profitable and scale their business through 2023 and beyond. While the future of retail is never certain, growing ecommerce brands can be confident knowing that satisfied customers mean repeat business and an increase in customer lifetime value. Acquiring a customer can be expensive, so it’s best to keep them once you have them.
ReturnLogic’s Returns Specialists are here to help you start automating warranty requests now.
Schedule a demo today to find out if ReturnLogic is a good fit for your business.