You have been there. Needing to make a return, you walk up to the sales counter with your item only to discover that you forgot your receipt. The issue is escalated through a series of managers and supervisors, finally ending with you exiting with nothing but a coupon for store credit and a rushed apology. If only the store knew how to handle customer refunds and returns in a better way.
This is a scenario that gets played out on thousands of occasions daily in retailers across the country, and the numbers indicate that you do not want this scenario to play out under your roof. According to Invesp Infographic, 92% of consumers will return to a retailer if they have an easy return experience, and 68% of customers would be more likely to shop retailers which offer an automated return process. This illustrates the importance of developing a solid, easy to understand refund and return process.
Understanding the Importance of Getting Returns Right
Returns and exchanges are a part of doing business in the retail world. This requires that you understand the “hows” and “whys” of what causes a return and what you can do to best address them. While returns can happen for a multitude of reasons, many of them aren’t all that serious, such as a customer accidentally buying a size too large or getting a product in the wrong color.
While the ultimate goal is to reduce returns, it’s important to understand the customer experience to implement an easy return process. Having an easy way to accept returns reduces friction between you and your customers and makes the process less stressful on them and your staff. A straightforward return policy, when combined with an advanced retail payment software support solution, presents peace of mind to any customer that strolls through your doors, as they know that they can effortlessly make a return or an exchange if any items don’t work out.
This enhanced level of customer experience is only possible if you’re using the right technology. The importance of knowing how to handle customer refunds and returns not only builds a better customer experience but can help you to identify and influence your customer’s shopping trends.
Utilizing a POS Solution to Establish an Innovative Returns Policy
The numbers presented earlier show the reality behind getting your return policy right. Relying on manual processes and staff memorization of return policies can cause significant delays and inaccuracies in the return process. Leveraging the technology available in today’s POS solutions can speed up the return process. From here, you can develop smarter policies, such as only paying out cash for returns requested within 15 days of purchase. Policies like that benefit the business greatly, especially if you’re a seasonal business.
One of the biggest issues with returns is the scenario mentioned earlier; a customer without a receipt. Being able to process a return without a receipt is not just useful, but it is a critical step in building trust with your customers. One thing that a modern POS solution offers is the ability to look up transactions by customer information, such as name or phone number so that a clerk can easily see the item purchased and issue a refund.
The financial aspect is equally as important. You must not only be able to swipe a credit or debit card to return the money, but it is becoming more useful to offer cardless return options via linked refunds, gift cards, or store credit that can be used in your physical store or in your virtual storefront if applicable. Being able to process a partial return is helpful too as it lets you speed up the transaction.
Modernized Returns Give the Bottom Line a Boost
Managing returns can quickly get complicated if you are not utilizing an upgraded POS solution. Each return you process counts as an additional transaction, which may mean extra payment processing fees from your payment processor. To save on these fees, you might want to consider a change in philosophy. Rather than focusing on returns, which count as two transactions, look to steer the customer towards exchanges instead. These can be easily managed by a modern POS system, and processing one less transaction per exchange will result in cost savings on your end while improving customer satisfaction.
You can establish an exchange and return baseline to identify customer shopping and return patterns. Using this data boosts your bottom line thanks to in-depth reporting that allows you to better predict inventory needs. What this means is that your inventory metrics will more accurately reflect the shopping and return habits of your customers. This empowers you to adjust inventory levels to ensure that you only carry the items that best fit their shopping needs.
Understanding How to Handle Customer Refunds and Returns
Knowing how to handle customer refunds and returns is just one piece of a bigger puzzle. In order to remain competitive, your POS system must be up to the task of meeting the return expectations of your customer base. That’s why you should partner with an experienced point of sale provider that can help you learn how to handle customer refunds and returns without sacrificing your business’s integrity.
Enlisting the help of an experienced partner is the key to making sure you have the most effective exchange and returns policies in place, and talech is here to help. We make the effort to roll-up our sleeves to dive into your business to gain a deep level of understanding around your business operations. We learn how to navigate your challenges, so you gain a solution that takes you to a higher level. Reach out to us today or sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS and retail software partner.