Whether your business is large or small, you want to offer your customers a smooth and efficient experience. This is why you should consider offering self-service returns. Here are some benefits and disadvantages of this type of return system.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Self-service returns make it easier for customers to request a return and ensure that they get a full refund. They also help companies catch product malfunctions and pack errors. In addition, they provide valuable post-purchase touchpoints that can boost customer satisfaction and repeat purchase rates.
Customers want fast and convenient return services. In fact, nearly a fifth of consumers would only purchase from a retailer if they could return items in-store.
A self-service kiosks for returns solution streamlines the returns process and eliminates unnecessary waste. This also helps companies avoid wasting time and money on inadequate staffing and print costs. These features can increase customer satisfaction, improve retention, and improve revenue.
Preventing Returns Fraud
In the US, returns fraud costs retailers an estimated $18 billion annually. But there are several ways to minimize the risk of returns fraud.
First, businesses should identify the best tools for preventing fraud. Modern tools can spot known return scammers and protect against fraudulent return transactions. These technologies are equipped with artificial intelligence to detect and prevent the abuse of returns.
Second, businesses should establish return policies and procedures limiting certain returns. If returns are allowed, these policies should clearly state the maximum number of returns per year. They must also accompany a summary and link to the full policy.
Third, businesses should use multi-layered address verification to weed out suspected fraudulent returns. This includes checking pre-paid return labels and checking the quality of returned items.
Fourth, businesses should require receipts on all returned items. Requiring return receipts helps weed out fraudulent returns, provides proof of purchase for customers and reduces the risk of fraudulent chargebacks.
Fifth, businesses should make return requests easy and accessible. Offering a self-service returns center makes it easy for customers to track their orders.
Allowing Shoppers to Be In And Out of The Store Quickly
Self-service returns are a great way to enhance the post-purchase experience. They are also a time saver. A recent study showed that one-fifth of consumers would only buy from a retailer if they were allowed to return items.
To help reduce bottlenecks at the checkout line, many retailers are looking at ways to offer customers a more straightforward process. The self-service route allows consumers to be in and out of the store quicker while saving merchants the time and effort of hiring an army of customer service representatives.
One of the most popular self-service features is instant store credit. Customers can take a voucher to a local retail store and redeem it on new online purchases. Some RMA systems even allow for a pre-set refund amount.
The most successful retailers have implemented the right self-service technology to provide shoppers with a simple and painless return process. These arrangements save the merchant from the added cost of hiring a bumbling customer service representative or two. Plus, they show customers that they’re appreciated.
Allowing Retailers To Allocate Fewer Employees to The Checkout
In recent years, retailers have begun to invest in self-service returns. These allow customers to initiate the return process from their online purchases. Customers can then retrieve the shipping label they’ll need to return their items. This saves retailers time and money. The process is also quicker and more convenient for the customer.
Many customers want to be able to return items quickly and conveniently. Self-service returns allow customers to initiate the process through a product catalog or website, select items to be replaced and then retrieve their shipping labels. There are also drop-off points, such as third-party networks, where customers can return their products.
Self-service returns have the advantage of allowing retailers to allocate fewer employees to the checkout. However, they also come with a few challenges. For instance, some self-serve systems are less user-friendly than others. Some customers are frustrated by the process, which reduces their likelihood of returning.
Retailers should take the time to understand sales patterns and train their staff to optimize the checkout process. They should also plan ahead for peak times in the business. During noontime sales, for example, retailers should assign more employees to the checkout so that they can be more productive.
While self-service returns systems benefit customers and businesses alike, they also have downsides. For one thing, they can lead to increased costs. Those costs include lost sales, damaged items and lost revenue. The cost of returns in the US is estimated to be anywhere from 9% to 15% of total revenues. Depending on the nature of the returns system, it can also be abused by customers.
In addition, employees may make mistakes. They may also need to become more familiar with the processes of the returns system, leading to problems with the data collected. This could negatively affect customer service. On top of that, there are risks involved with fraud. It is also necessary to ensure that there are multiple points of contact for returns. The returns process can be inefficient if there is only one point of contact.
Companies with a ‘Customer First’ policy must invest in adequate systems for online returns. These must have the capacity to deal with high-volume days and holidays. Additionally, they must have a coherent, integrated approach.