The craziness continues weeks after the holidays as people return gifts and retailers are busy processing them. But this craziness doesn’t have to be so crazy because a well-managed returns program can actually benefit a retailer.
How can returns be advantageous?
First, a good returns policy makes your customers happy and encourages purchases both now and in the future. To illustrate, take my recent online Christmas shopping for my family in Charleston and Charlotte. Beyond looking for the best deals, I spied the retailers with the best returns policy. This is my security blanket. I want my family to be able to return a gift if needed – does not fit, wanted something else, etc. A straight-forward returns policy makes it easier to hit the “submit order” button.
Next, as returns can impact the entire organization – marketing, finance, customer service, warehousing and more – managing them effectively can save $$$. So how do you know if you have a good returns process in place? Step back and conduct a check-up on your current program. Are you feeling aches and pains in your customer call center from calls to return merchandise? Is your warehouse worn-out from not having enough staff to handle the returns? Are you suffering headaches from customers abandoning their shopping cart due to “how to return” worries?
After your check-up, take the steps now to make returns benefit your company and avoid causing a financial drain to your cash flow. Here at UPS, we understand the value that returns can have for a company. That’s why we’ve developed the most extensive returns offering in the industry. With UPS, companies can include pre-paid shipping labels with orders. They also have the option to instruct customers to create return shipping labels online or e-mail labels directly to their customers. Providing an online return label keeps customers on your website to potentially order more items.
In 2007, we extended our returns capabilities to more than 98 countries. And now, we’re piloting UPS Returns® Flexible Access which enables companies to provide special pre-paid returns labels to customers that open up over 160 million locations for return package drop off or pick up — including mailboxes. And since we know the benefits of returns, we are constantly making improvements. This month, we extended the visibility within Quantum View® Manage for returns. Our visibility solutions enable calls about refunds or exchanges to be reduced since the information is available online. And more capabilities are in the works for later this year.
Returns can positively benefit your company. If you don’t believe me, check with the experts. Forrester Research published a study on returns as a competitive advantage. There’s also a great article from the Wall Street Journal titled “Get Smart About Product Returns.”
Many happy returns.
|Tags:||customer service, package, retail, returns|