Taking The Risk Out Of ‘Hassle-Free Returns'
Retailers are Adopting Practices to Keep Customers Happy at the Return Counter Without Increasing Risk of Fraud
It's a well known fact that stellar customer service can differentiate one retailer from another. From localized product selection to great personal service to lenient return policies, retailers are continually evaluating innovative ways to keep their customers smiling. But as retailers consider changes to their return policies, it's important to find ways to better manage risk and prevent invalid returns from slipping through the cracks. Through its technology and ability to protect against risk, The Retail Equation has helped retailers implement more flexible return policies, which is keeping customers happy and coming back for more.
"Often retailers lack the real-time data and processes to identify key factors that allow them to provide the appropriate service, with minimal consumer impact, while ensuring the validity of every return," said Robert E. Walters, vice president of sales and marketing for The Retail Equation. "By implementing specific return optimization tools at the return counter, retailers can maintain profitability and please shoppers."
Major retailers have revamped their return policies by feeling confident in their ability to protect against fraud, including:
- Eliminating restocking fees on returns
- Improving return speed by reducing the number of manager approvals required
- Increasing the dollar amount of cash that can be refunded on a transaction rather than put on merchandise credit
- Allowing more flexible return terms for loyalty program consumers
Expert Insights on Optimizing the Return Experience
For retailers to make the return process easier for consumers, Walters offers the following tips for improving customer service at the point of return:
- Provide Fair and Flexible Returns: A recent study showed retailers that don't provide cash refunds on returns or don't accept returns without a receipt, rank high on consumers' list of complaints.
- Treat Your Best Customers As Such: A benefit of implementing return authorization systems is the ability to distinguish good consumers from those committing return fraud.
- Don't Underestimate The Importance Of Proper Staffing And Training: Make sure there is an ample number of staff at the return counter to maintain efficiently and that they fully understand the company's return policies.
About The Retail Equation
The Retail Equation, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., optimizes retailers' revenue and margin by shaping behavior in every customer transaction. The company's solutions use predictive analytics to turn each individual shopper visit into a more profitable experience. This yields immediate financial payback, increasing store comps by as much as two percent, with significant return on investment. The Software-as-a-Service applications operate in more than 20,000 stores in North America, supporting a diverse retail base of specialty apparel, footwear, hard goods, department, big box, auto parts and more. For more information, visit www.theretailequation.com.
SOURCE: The Retail Equation