Any company exists to satisfy its customers, specifically by ensuring that its products meet their wants and needs. Hence, a customer returning a product that was purchased is typically seen as a negative for the company and can be a sign that the company could fall into trouble. Generally, no company wants to face the prospect of a customer who — by returning a product — is making a statement of dissatisfaction.
However, the rise of online shopping means that customers do not get to see, hold, or test the product they are purchasing before they do so. Because of this, numerous retailers now have policies concerning reverse logistics, which is concerned with the supply chain that starts with the consumer and ends with the manufacturer; the biggest chunk of this involves returns. Technology has also made it easier for consumers to get in touch with the company to communicate why a product is being returned and how to go about it.
These changes mean that customer returns are no longer necessarily the harbingers of trouble they used to be. In fact, today, many companies can actually benefit from customer returns. Here are some ways that this can happen:
1. Spot problems in your product.
If one customer who purchases a product complains about a defect, this is a chance to rectify this before any more complaints arise. By discovering any problems at the earliest possible moment, you get to fix it immediately to ensure that no other customers will end up dissatisfied. Instead, you will be giving future customers an even better product that they are sure to be content with.
2. Study consumer behavior.
With online shopping becoming ever more popular, it is possible that many of your customers will never see the product first-hand before they make a purchase. Hence, these customers can only rely on a limited amount of information about the product. Thus, when they receive the product, they might realize that there are some aspects that they do not like or want changed, but they did not know about this from the product description.
By combing through these returns and the reason behind them, you can get a clear idea of what consumers like. You can then apply this knowledge in future products, in order to ensure that these will appeal to their preferences. This will encourage more people to buy from you, thereby growing your customer base and your business.
3. Show customers that you care.
Every customer loves a company with good service. If you accommodate a customer’s request to return the product, this shows that you want to offer only items of the best quality. This will make them more inclined to purchase from you again, as opposed to a company with no return policy that ignores the complaints of customers. If customers end up satisfied with both the product and the service you provide, that is definitely a positive boost for your business and can even win over new customers.
In the end, your business will not survive without your customers. Hence, it is important to always consider their satisfaction, and having a system of accepting returns of products allows you to do just that. By keeping customers loyal and happy, you can be sure that your business can only improve from here on out.