7 Ways to Improve The Customer Refund Experience

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Customer Refund Experience

Photo by Unsplash, CC0 1.0

Refunds are a fact of life when it comes to running a business. Every business needs to deal with refunds at some point. They could come during the busy holiday season or the slow parts of the year.

The bottom line is, that you will have refunds if you are selling something. The good news is that refunds don’t mean your business is losing consumer trust. Refunds can be good for your business as long as you are providing an optimal customer refund experience.

With a good experience, you can make it much more likely a customer purchases from you in the future. As many as 77% of customers who return something end up purchasing something else from the company if they have a good experience.

Having a transparent, straightforward, and customer-centric return policy that is followed consistently is one of the best things you can do for your business.

It’s the best way to make returns go smoothly and generate long-term customer value. Customers will continue to go back to your business if you treat them right.

Here are some of the best ways to ensure you optimize your customer refund experience to ensure you are getting high retention from it.

1. Ensure Your Policy Is Clear

One of the most important things you need to do when you are looking to optimize the refund process is to have your return policy crystal clear. It needs to not only be easy to comprehend, but it also needs to be easy to find.

You need to have this information readily available and displayed on your website and receipts. It needs to be communicated throughout the purchasing process to ensure the customer knows what they are getting into.

If you have a flexible policy in place, you will want to provide a return label for your customers. This ensures that you are allowing everyone to return their product frictionless. You will also want to make it easy to print out on your site if they lose the return label.

I had a great return experience with a shoe retailer I recently purchased from. They ended up including a return shipping label along with packing tape to return the shoes in the same box if needed.

2. Define The Expected Condition Of Return

You need to clearly define your expectations for the returned item’s condition. You don’t want to receive items that have been completely torn apart.

You want the items to be returned in good condition so they can be resold in the future. Try to use words like “as-new” in your return policy.

3. Provide Free Return Shipping

This one is very important. It’s important to understand that no customer wants to pay for return shipping. After all, customers despise having to pay for shipping for products they want.

The last thing they want to do is pay for products that didn’t work out for them. Asking them to pay for the return shipping simply isn’t an option if you want to retain them as a customer. You need to provide free return shipping to ensure they have a good return experience.

This makes it increasingly likely they stay your customer in the future. There was a marketing study that found that customers usually increase their spending by as much as 457% from retailers that offer free returns.

Having a rigid return policy that makes it difficult for customers to make their returns, you will find a lot more friction throughout the process. This added friction is going to result in you getting more bad reviews and a lot of negative feedback across the board.

It’s likely to negatively impact your business’s bottom line. While this is all bad news, it doesn’t mean you have to provide free return shipping in every case. Evaluate what your business can handle and go from there.

There could be instances where the customer is expected to pay for the return shipping and it wouldn’t completely ruin the customer experience.

4. Keep Your Terms Simple

Both your return and refund policy is going to dictate whether a customer purchases something from you. Because of this, you want to make certain that all of your terms and conditions are concise yet easy to understand.

The majority of consumers will review a retailer’s return policy before making their purchasing decisions. They are much more likely to make future purchases from a retailer that has clearly defined and consumer-friendly policies.

Try to avoid adding too much technical and hard-to-understand industry jargon to your terms and conditions. This will only confuse your customers.

5. Put a Realistic Return Date

While adding more time for a customer to return something may seem like it’s going to increase your return rates, it’s also a good way to make your return policy much more consumer-friendly.

Anything you can do to boost the customer return experience is going to benefit your business in the long run. There is research that shows that a customer becomes much more attached to a product the longer they have it in their possessions.

Therefore, it could potentially lower your return rates.

Not only that but having a longer return period will give peace of mind to your consumers. This makes it much easier for them to make a purchasing decision because they don’t have to weigh things too heavily.

They can buy it and worry about things later. They won’t have to worry about being stuck with a product they don’t like.

6. Issue Quick Refunds

Delaying a refund is one of the worst things you can do for your customers. You want to ensure you are giving them their refund as quickly as possible.

Whenever a customer returns an item, you want to take steps to process the return and deliver a refund quickly.

Providing automated returns to the customer’s credit card is one of the best ways to ensure you are giving them a seamless return experience.

Always ensure you’re in the financial situation to do just this and can meet the refunds required – company credit checks can ensure you know where you stand.

7. 100% Money Back Guarantee

Offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee is one of the best ways to deliver a great customer buying experience. You are going to end up making a lot of new customers happy with it.

While some may abuse it, the benefits you get from it far outweigh the customers that might abuse it.

Conclusion

The key is making sure you are doing everything you can to reduce the friction for a customer return. You want to make your policy clear and concise.

You want to have a consistent return policy to avoid any confusion. Try to create a customer-friendly return policy that will help you retain customers in the future.

If you require any help or you need help with coming up with effective strategies, you can reach out to us. We have a dedicated team of customer experience professionals to help you scale your business.

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