Store owners, especially new ones, often worry about their return policies. Sure, returns cost money, but so do your merchandise, shipping, rent and marketing.
You don’t have to allow returns at your business. However, successful business owners know that repeat customers are key to their success.
The customer should come first: Providing them with the option to return a product they are unhappy with will increase their trust in your company and their likelihood to make future purchases. Failing to do so may damage your customer experience, resulting in decreased trust, which may yield fewer sales in the long term. Here are six tips to implement when crafting or re-evaluating your return policy.
Share Your Policy Publicly
Adding hoops for your customers to jump through is an excellent way to prevent online sales. Make your policies known by including them on a prominent page of your website or in a carousel or banner position. Don’t make your potential customers search around on Google to find out whether you accept returns.
Letting a customer know that you’re dedicated for them to like your product is key ... Being your customer’s biggest advocate is a great way to ensure you have lifetime loyalty.
Never Copy and Paste
This rule applies to almost everything on your website, including product descriptions. Your return and exchange policy likely won’t have a one-size-fits-all application. The page should be easy to read and helpful — it should answer questions pertaining to multiple scenarios and FAQs.
Stick with themes that drive home your commitment to respect, dignity and fairness. It needs to be authentic in order to feel genuine to your customers.
Use Plain English
As a general rule of thumb, content on the Internet should be written at an eighth-grade reading level. The information in your return policy should avoid sounding overly formal to be as helpful as possible. Including terms your audience doesn’t understand can diminish trust and confuse your customers, leading to more headaches in the form of support inquiries and disputes.
Use keywords to reiterate your promises and incorporate real customer feedback. Doing so will help your page rank higher in search engines if your customers choose to Google your return policy as opposed to searching on your site. Remember: You know your audience better than anyone, so write in a way that they will understand.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Tools
There is no shame in turning to outside help if you aren’t sure whether your business’s return policy makes sense — even if that means outsourcing a bulk of the writing. Here are a few tools to consider: AcademAdvisor, Let’s Go And Learn and Studydemic.
Avoid Scary Phrases
There is nothing worse for a customer than coming across phrases such as “we are not responsible for,” “you are required” and “you must.”
Your return policy and process should be as friendly as your brand. If buying your products is easy, returning them should be, too. Returns may already turn customers off of your products and services; increase the likelihood that they give you a second chance by assuming a friendly approach.
Anticipate commonly asked questions and address them at the onset. Doing so will reduce confusion, expedite customer satisfaction and lessen your workload in responding to inquiries.
We hope these tips help you craft your perfect return policy. Remember that the trust between the customer and the company is key. Prioritizing this trust will result in an improved conversion rate over time, even if it means issuing a refund today.
Finally, don’t forget to play fair. Should you change your policy, ensure that orders made prior to the change are honored with the original terms.
What aspects of your business would you like guidance on? We’d love to hear about your journey in the comments below so we can provide you with helpful content.