Managing Product Returns and Refunds

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Shopping-892811_1920Product returns and refunds are a huge drain on profits.  First, you have to return the money to the customer.  Then you have to repackage, restock, and resell the item.

But making it hard for the customer to return products is a huge mistake.  Studies show that when customers know that they can return anything they buy for a full refund, no questions asked, they will buy much more than the customer who worries that they may be stuck with a product that doesn’t work for them.  They are also much more likely to refer their family and friends.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t manage your returns.  You must understand what factors are driving returns and adjust accordingly.  The biggest reason products are returned is that they simply don’t meet a customer’s needs.  This is a failure by your sales staff.

Train your sales staff well and provide them with a series of questions designed to help them recommend the best products to each customer.  They should be able to determine exactly what problem the customer is trying to solve, and what product is the best solution.  This one step will greatly reduce product returns.

Product returns are even higher if you sell your product online.  But the reasons for returns are the same—the customer purchased something that doesn’t fit their needs.  Many companies have been able to reduce the number of returns by creating videos demonstrating how the product works and how it will solve the customer’s problem.

Don’t just complain about product returns; start managing them.