Returns Management Authorization (RMA)
One of the best ways to avoid a loss in customer loyalty during the reverse supply chain is to stop a return from happening in the first place. A returns management authorization (RMA) system is the first place to start. Under an RMA policy, customers must call a service representative to discuss the return before receiving authorization to make one.
The customer service representative can walk the customer through the returns process, and perhaps even find a solution to the problem, obviating the need to return the item. By simply implementing an RMA process as part of your reverse logistics strategy, you may be able to cut down on returns, see increased profits, and retain loyal customers.
Strong Return Policy
Your return policy can be the thing that makes or breaks your company’s overall profit margin. Policies that are too loose or too tight will affect how a consumer feels about a product. A balanced policy that fits your customers’ needs as well as your own can help reduce consumer returns and increase your profits.
A return policy that is neither too lose or too tight will ensure your profit margins do not take a dip. The balanced approach is where the interests of your customers as well as your company are aligned. For example, a 30-day return with receipt or an RMA is a balanced compromise.
Positive Return Experience
- Be transparent about shipping costs and policies. Customers that have unexpected costs with the return will not be happy. Your returns policy and shipping costs should be clearly stated on your website as well as included with every product you ship.
- Offer a replacement. If you sent the wrong item by mistake, and you are now out of stock on the original item the customer ordered, you will have an issue. A solid RMA strategy will deal with situations such as this and pacify angry customers.
- Refund in a timely manner. Give the customer enough time to make the return, but refund or send a replacement as soon as possible.
A customer who feels valued by customer service is more likely to develop loyalty to your company even if they do have to return an item. Returns are part of the sales process. How your company uses reverse logistics can directly impact customer loyalty.