As a store owner, whether you have a physical store, an online store, or a dropshipping store, you probably don’t like returns. They take time, can be a sign that a customer is unhappy, and cost your business money. But as a store owner, you can’t stop this from happening.
Statistics show that 30% of things bought online and 9% of things bought in a store end up being returned. A return can be made for many reasons, like when a product is broken or when a customer buys more items than they need with the intention of sending back some of them. But keep in mind that if your customers like the way you handle returns, 92% of them will probably shop at your store again. This means that a smooth return process is important if you want to stay in business in the retail market, which is very competitive right now. When you have a physical store, it’s easy to handle returns. But for an eCommerce store, it is a must to have an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) system in place.
What does RMA stand for?
An RMA system helps you handle returns from the time you get a customer’s request until you either replace the item or give the customer a refund. An RMA system gives you a way to receive and look over the return requests from your customers. Depending on your return policy, you can choose which products you’ll take back and give them each a unique RMA number. An RMA number is important for your business because you can use it to figure out why people are sending back items and it will help a lot with the logistics of the process.
Why is it a good idea to have an RMA system?
When you have an RMA system in place, it makes it easier for you to talk to the customer about the return and helps you figure out how to solve the problem by looking into it further. If you decide to accept the return, you can give the customer an RMA number or form, which should be included in the return shipment. With this RMA number, you’ll be able to keep track of why you’re getting returns, which is useful information to have at any time. It will let you sort out the main reasons for the return and take the right steps, like changing your supplier, packaging, or warehouse. Also, an RMA number or form will help you manage the logistics of a return by making it easier to keep track of all the steps until the return is finished. So, let’s look at how an RMA system can help you at every step of the way.
Asking your customer for information
Before you can figure out how the product in question is doing, you’ll need to get enough information from your customer. If you never accept returns or run a dropshipping store and need to make sure your return policy matches that of your supplier, you need to know what your customers want to return and why.
You can put a list of acceptable return reasons into your RMA system, from which your customer can choose. You should also make sure that their claim comes with pictures. This will not only help you figure out how good or bad the item is in real life, but you can also make sure the person doesn’t fall for any scams. Also, a clear photo can help you file a claim with your courier partner if your customer got damaged goods. Once you have all of this information, you can decide whether or not to accept the return and how to handle the situation going forward.
Make sure you are available to help.
If you decide to take the return, your customer will probably want to talk to you until the process is done. Customers usually want to know how things are going and when they can expect to get their money back or a replacement item. When this happens, you should be able to answer their questions right away to show that you are a serious business. When a customer calls you out of the blue, your RMA system will be a huge help because it will have all the information you need, like the tracking number, order value, amount refunded, and so on. This will help you and your customer service team stay on top of returns and keep your customers happy.
Issue your return label
Whether your customer wants a refund or a new item, they will have to send back the first one first. 79% of customers expect their return to be free, according to statistics. This means that if you offer free returns, you can easily beat out your competitors and get more people to buy from your business. But when you run a dropshipping store, your return policy is closely tied to the return policy of your supplier. Because of this, the question of whether or not free returns are possible would need to be discussed further.
You can set up your RMA system so that your customer can automatically make a return label. This will not only speed up the process, but it will also make it easier. If you decide to offer a free return, you can make sure the package is packed and the item is sent back with the courier of your choice. When a customer says they sent the package, but it never shows up at your door, it’s the most frustrating thing ever.
Check the item you sent back.
When you get your returned item, you should look it over carefully so you can decide if and how you will give your customer a refund. You would never want to skip this important step if you are dropshipping high-priced brand-name items. It’s important for your business and profit that the customer returns the exact item you sold them, in its original packaging and with its original tags, and not a cheaper copy of it.
Let your customer choose a different item.
People return products for many different reasons, so when a customer wants to return something, you need to be flexible about what they can do. Don’t just assume that the product is broken, because that’s only the case about 20% of the time. Your customer may have ordered or received the wrong thing, but they still want the thing they wanted. Make sure that they can choose to get a replacement item instead of getting a refund automatically. This will keep your customer happy, and you’ll still make a sale, so you’ll still make money.
As soon as possible, give the money back or send a new one.
If you check the returned item and find that everything is fine, you must process the refund as soon as possible to keep the customer happy with your store. With an RMA system, it’s easy to keep track of which customers are due for refunds. This makes it easy to see and manage everything. If you offer store credit instead of a refund, your RMA system can automatically make a code or voucher that your customer can use for a future purchase. If you’re sending a replacement product instead of a refund or store credit, your RMA system can help you track the new shipment and make sure the customer got the new item before you close the case.
Gather information about your return and look for ways to improve.
An RMA system also makes it easy to collect and analyse your return data and find problems or places where you can do better. If you want your business to do well, you have to listen to your customers. Check to see if there is a certain product or supplier that is giving you trouble, and make the necessary changes. You might just need to change or add to the product description or add higher-quality pictures of a certain item. Other times, you might even have to switch suppliers if you get a lot of items back from them. Also, keep an eye out for items that are broken or damaged. It might not be the courier’s fault, but the packaging. If you can figure out what is causing the problem and fix it, you will see a drop in the number of products that are sent back.
Having an RMA system gives you many benefits that can help your business and make it better in the long run. Also, when you have a return system that is easy to use and works well, your customers will be happier with your business. This can help you get customers to buy from you again, even if they sent back their first purchase. Because of this, you should make sure that the online platform you choose for your business lets you integrate RMA or has it as a default option. Read our last article on how to deal with unhappy customers if you want to make your return system even better and make more customers happy.