How to Have an Effective Reverse Logistics Plan
The ideal reverse logistics program provides customer satisfaction and encourages brand loyalty. The goal of a great reverse logistics or product returns is to make the process quick and minimize confusion. Ideally, in order to keep the customer satisfied, the time for a refund should be equal to or less than the time it took to make the initial sale. The ability to expedite returns is crucial to keep your customers happy and loyal.
Create a Return Policy
Your return policy should be clearly stated on your ecommerce site. It should be created with the goal to provide a smooth experience should a return be needed. A liberal ecommerce returns policy, empowers the customer to purchase a product with confidence and peace of mind. Your customer will know they have the option to return it later. For example, offer an extended number of days in which a product can be returned. This may seem counterproductive, but in reality, by offering additional number of days, the customer may postpone to initiate or even forget to return the item.
And of course, everyone in your organization should be familiar with the current policy in your online business to reduce confusion or customer frustration.
Proactive Fulfillment of Returns
In addition to providing a fast return or refund, an ecommerce seller can take some easy steps to reduce the number of returns in the first place. As a seller, keep in mind that there is always the potential for customer returns. With that in mind, your package deliveries should include a return label and other information needed to issue a return with every order you fulfill. This speeds up the return process for the customer. There is software available that can assist in address validation to greatly reduce shipments of incorrectly addressed orders.
It also helps to ensure that the product is returned to a designated location where it can be tracked in real time, further speeding up the return of the product. From the perspective of the customer, you can issue the refund or replace the item faster. And this will help you can quickly determine if you can list and resell the item on your site.
Partnering with a 3PL
Many ecommerce sellers find that it takes a lot of time to organize a solid reverse logistics plan.
This is especially true during times of growth and during busy holiday periods. Fulfillment providers offer reverse logistics that are optimized to focus on your returns policy and customer service. They have a combination of cutting-edge information technology and the facilities dedicated to your returns. Many 3PLs also have software in place to determine your return percentage rates for any product you sell. By keeping track of product returns, you can plan manufacturing order schedules that can reduce overhead storage fees of surplus or unnecessary inventory.
It is important to understand that a poorly-handled return can have a negative impact on your company’s reputation that is hard to recover from. Ultimately, the best way to maintain customer satisfaction with a returned product is to simply accept and process the return quickly and hassle-free. This can be accomplished