The pre-Christmas craziness might be behind us for another year, but small business-owners like you are far from seeing the end of the season. In fact, exchanges and returns are as intrinsic to being a retailer as are sales. The question is, how can you make the other side of the coin as smooth and trouble-free as possible? Here are a few tips that can ease the pain:
Clearly Write and Display Your Return Policy for All to See
Prominently post your return policy in your store: on the walls, by the cash register, and your front counter. If possible, print it on your receipts as well. If you have a website, be equally thorough in making customers aware of your policies online.
Remember that your customer is not any happier about having to return the product than yourself. Nevertheless, both of you will be more satisfied if details are straightforward and the process is easy.
Don’t Agonize About the Cost
If the customer has purchased products with a credit card, you will probably be required to pay the merchant account processing fee. Instead of fighting the inevitable, comfort yourself in the knowledge that it is five times more expensive to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing one. According to a Newgistics poll, ninety percent of U.S. consumers cited a convenient returns and exchanges policy as one important consideration when buying products.
Train All Your Staff in the Return Process
One of the advantages of signing up for a merchant account is that it allows customers to receive their refunds without you needing to have a huge stash of cash on hand. Make sure that each and every employee understands the nuances of the return process to ensure that it goes off without a hitch. That means giving them a full understanding of the technology and training them in the details of providing excellent, calm and friendly customer service no matter what.
Returns and exchanges are a fact of life in retail. Make the process as painless as possible by spelling out your policies, training your staff and making the most of your merchant account technology. Customers will notice and be more likely to reward you with return business and referrals.