So how can your customer service center minimize refunds?
Obviously the goal is to help the customer either keep the original product, such as the case of a missing part, or to exchange for another product. But that is often easier said than done. Customer Service continues to get a bad rap in the press, so when customers are making that call they are often loaded for bear, ready to fight to get their return processed. When a customer starts the conversation in a negative mode, they don’t listen well to the options your reps offer.
The SECRET is to START the conversation by enthusiastically assuring your customer that you’d LOVE to help them return that unwanted gift. Take the heat out of the fire immediately. Turn the conversation to a positive mode immediately. Use a simple phrase like “I’d be happy to take care of this return for you.” And really sound happy when you say it!
Now your customer is satisfied and open to a real conversation. This is where your reps can start probing. “May I ask why you are returning it?” “Wrong size? Let me check and see if we have it in another size that I could send out right away.” “Missing parts? Did you know that I can get those parts to you within a couple days?”
You may not save every sale, but you will save enough to make it worth making sale retention a focus this week with your team. Take time to publicly recognize your reps who are successfully managing returns.
And if you don’t already track, put on your wish list for 2016 a report that tracks return and exchange rate by rep. A goal to increase the ratio of exchanges over returns can show how valuable your team is to your company’s bottom line.
I wish you a very happy and successful return season!