Fine-tune your returns management processes and watch your customers’ smiles – and your profit margins – grow like there’s no tomorrow…
The customer is always right.
Happy customers spend more money and are much more likely to come back. Obviously they don’t care about the ins and outs of your reverse logistics network, but they are hugely influenced by the impact it has on them.
Trends are changing and changing fast. What was considered good customer service two decades ago might be unacceptable these days. Customers are becoming better educated, and information is more readily accessible.
This may sound like bad news, but in actual fact it’s quite the opposite: if you have a returns policy which meets customer requirements you will gain a significant competitive advantage. A benchmark report by the world-renowned Aberdeen Group stated that “recognising the inherent opportunities to improve overall service performance” was the key driving force for businesses to overhaul their reverse logistics networks which resulted in “improved customer loyalty and retention”.
What do your customers want?
Depending on your industry and your target market, customer expectations may vary considerably. In our experience customers appreciate a flexible returns policy, but we strongly urge you to conduct market research to establish exactly what form this should take for your business. Once you have a clearly describable goal, we at Revlogs will customise an intelligent reverse logistics package which will ensure that you meet and exceed it. We will also assess and update the package on a continual basis, so you can rest assured that what was cutting-edge when you signed the contract is still industry-leading five years down the line.
How do you give them what they want?
Implementing the changes to your returns policy will take a bit of time and it will definitely result in some of your employees grumbling. This, however, should not discourage you as your customers will soon be smiling.
Contracting a reverse logistics specialist will minimise any teething problems, as they bring considerable experience to the table and their status as an external service provider will mean that they are able to insist on the new policy being enforced. Soon everything that is returned to every one of your outlets will either be put back on the shelves or be handed over to the 3PL within 24 hours, from which point it will be trackable on their system.
Tell the world
It’s no good having the most customer-friendly returns policy around if you don’t tell anyone about it. Obviously word of mouth is a significant contributor, but you need to sing your own praises too. Whether it be through in-store advertising or on twitter; via your loyalty card newsletters or over the radio, you need to get the message out that your returns policy is a cut above the rest.
Case study: bring complaints down by 60%
Revlogs has been working with one of the largest retailers of general merchandise in South Africa for the past four years. In that time, in collaboration with their senior operational staff, we have completely overhauled their reverse logistics practices. This has enabled them to implement an extremely customer-friendly returns policy, and they have been reaping the rewards ever since. In the time we’ve been working with them the number of customer complaints they’ve received has gone down by a massive 60%!
Follow these 3 steps to to achieve sky high customer satisfaction:
1. Find out what your customers want and formulate a returns policy to match this.
2. Get a company that specialises in returns management and reverse logistics to help you walk the talk.
3. Once everything’s running smoothly be sure to tell consumers how brilliant your after-sales service is.