As a seller, there are two things that you wouldn't want to get from a customer: bad feedback and Amazon returns. Without question, dealing with the latter has always been troublesome. That's why you must get things right the first time around if you don't want to be in this position.
Processing and shipping the right and best product for your customers are ideal. However, given all the details and challenges of achieving these goals, you can't guarantee you'll be meeting expectations 100% all the time. Making mistakes along the way is inevitable. To stay on top of this situation, learn how to deal with customer returns the right way.
No seller is perfect. Erring every once in a while for whatever reason is nothing short of ordinary. At times, these errors may result in customers becoming dissatisfied, which unfortunately may lead to his/her returning a purchase. When this happens, be proactive. Here are the steps you should take to resolve the issue, ensuring that everything goes well.
Amazon will usually send out a return notification email when a customer decides to return an item. For Prime customers, Amazon will immediately process the refund for the item, even if it wasn't returned by the customer yet. You'll only be notified through your email that a refund was requested, and the amount was refunded from your account. Make sure that you keep records of these return emails. This move will help you check whether or not the customer sent the item back to you.
If you have not received the item within the 45-day return limit, contact Amazon right away. It is highly recommended that you only contact Amazon for returns when this situation happens. Usually, sellers make the mistake of approaching them early on during the returns process. At this point, Amazon cannot do anything about it. Instead, save your energy and wait it out.
Typically, when a buyer requests a refund, he/she will also leave you feedback. To verify if he/she has given you a bad review, get in touch with him/her. Either way, you already know that they were not satisfied with the product. The point of connecting with them is to tell them that you value their satisfaction and opinion and are willing to make amends if necessary. This way, despite his/her disappointment, you still have a chance to rebuild a relationship with them and salvage or maintain your brand's good reputation.
When reaching out, mention a short apology in your letter regarding the whole experience. You can also specify how the refund is going to be processed by Amazon and remind them of the 45 days. With this, ensure them that you will do everything in your power to resolve the issue and that you will remain open to their concerns regardless.
Returned products are directly shipped to the Amazon warehouse. From there, assigned employees will inspect the products in question. They will determine whether the items are "fulfillable" or "unfulfillable."
Items that are labeled as "Customer Damaged" or "Defective" are unfulfillable. After marking them, the Amazon employees will place them in your unfulfillable inventory. Items that are considered fulfillable are either unopened or their packaging remains intact.
Even if warehouse employees already checked these products, you should still inspect them. The personnel in charge tend to work in a fast-paced environment, so they might not be able to scrutinize the products thoroughly. You may be able to spot defects or questionable features they may have overlooked by inspecting it yourself.
It's undeniable that dealing with returns is always a hassle. Even if you think you're already accustomed to handling these concerns, you still have to deal with the stress every return entails. Instead of seeing it in a bad light, try to look on the bright side. Here's how you can turn things around.
If a customer returned your products because he/she didn't like the style, you could use this opportunity to sell your other products. Do suggestive selling! Offer your latest arrivals or other variant alternatives that may suit his/her fancy. There might be a chance that your customer would consider buying a different style. You can also grab this opportunity to offer them a discount when they add in other products that will be included with the new item you'll be shipping to them.
The Amazon returns policy is customer-oriented, and yours should be, too! No matter how stressful handling returns are, stay professional and never take it out on your customers. Regardless of any reason, they are still your customers. The situation is challenging enough as it is. Don't aggravate it by making it hard for them to return the products.
To prevent further disputes, offer your customers a flexible return policy during the holidays. The products bought during November may be given as gifts. That's why it's least likely that you will receive any feedback or returns within 45 days. Your customers will surely appreciate the extended holiday return policy.
One way you can turn the situation around is to ask your customers about their reasons for returning your products. Get information on what they were expecting and ask how you can improve your product quality and overall customer service.
Remember: Returns are not the end of the world. Stressful as they are, they are part of the growth process. Instead of seeing them as a total loss, take the opportunity to get honest feedback from your customers. Use their insights to help improve your business and address issues head-on. With focus, dedication, and determination, expect to deal with a diminishing number of returns over time.
There is always a more efficient way to handle returns. Do you want to know how you can manage them properly?
Talk to an Amazon account specialist today! Send Likitha an email at [email protected], and she'll gladly help you out with all your seller account needs.
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