No matter how great your products are, return requests are inevitable. As a seller on an eBay, Amazon or Walmart marketplace, this is not always easy terrority to navigate.
What are the main reasons why customers want refunds?
- Defective product
- Item not as described
- The customer bought the wrong item
- Merchant shipped the wrong item
- Return Fraud
How sellers can lower return rates:
- A well-written Return Policy: The more detailed your return policy is, the more customers will be satisfied, as it helps to ensure there are no surprises. Make sure your return policy is airtight so you can challenge a dispute to the extent there is an illegitimate chargeback. Make sure your refund/return policy is stated in multiple places and that you clearly explain whether or not you will charge shipping for return items.
- Encourage returns instead of chargebacks: By encouraging returns rather than chargebacks, you lower your risk of customer fraud.
- Improve your customer service: Customers may be asking for refunds because your customer service hours are too restrictive or and their queries go unanswered. Many customers become annoyed with automated answering systems so consider increasing human-to-human interactions. Thank your customers for contacting you and listen to their feedback without becoming defensive. If your company has made a mistake, acknowledge it and offer to help. Excellent customer service also drives positive reviews, ranking, and feedback scores.
When should I offer a 100% refund?
If the customer doesn’t like your product and they are eligible for a refund according to your return policy, offer them a refund with a smile and make sure to tell them how long it will take to process the refund. To the extent, the item is returned to you damaged, or they have buyers remorse, consider charging a 20-50% restocking fee. Most importantly, offer a complete refund if the item never shipped.
Treat your customers with love: The better you treat your customers, the more likely they are to give you valuable insights about why they are returning the product. Unhappy customers are a unique opportunity to improve your business.
Send thank-yous and ask for feedback: Whenever you give a refund to a customer or process a return, make sure to thank them for giving you/your company a try and ask for feedback. This will help you improve your services and product.