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Tips for Your Small Business Return Policy
Did you know that 67% of consumers will review a company’s refund and return policy before making the ultimate decision to purchase?
With so many potential customers eyeing return policies before they buy, it makes sense to craft and put forth a well-defined small business return policy.
With a well-crafted refund and return policy, you can explicitly state to your customers (and prospective customers) how you handle unsatisfactory experiences and the standard procedures you’ll use for making those customers experiences better.
Discover the benefits of a small business return policy, the best practices for creating one, and a framework for return and refund decision making, below!
The Basics of a Quality Return and Refund Policy
Return and refund policies effectively outline what actions your business will take for potential customer experiences and situations across the board. And these policies also communicate those actions to your customers and prospective customers.
Every return policy should include four basic elements:
- Policy Duration
- Breadth of Coverage
You’ll need to first identify your policy’s duration, or how many days does the customer have to return for a full or partial refund. Next, you’ll want to scope out coverage. Determine what products or services will be included in your return policy. From there, you’ll need to identify who is responsible for covering the costs associated with the returns and refunds. In establishing liability, you can outline who will pay for fees like return shipping costs or restocking fees. Finally, you’ll want to create a standardized process for refunds and returns. Consider what providers will be used to return (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.) and you want the refund to be processed and received.
By including these four elements in your refund and return policy, you’re one step closer to having a clear and quality return policy.
Benefits of Refund and Return Policies
As we mentioned earlier, return policies can be a significant deciding factor for consumers when they are purchasing online. But having a well-defined return and refund policy can also help you attract new customers or retain current customers.
92% of customers say that they will continue to purchase from a business that has a smooth return experience. Making your return policy clear and effective for consumers can turn a one-time customer into a repeat or even lifetime customer.
These policies also acquire new customers by acting as a signal of trust for consumers. Having a policy that is well-thought out and fair can set you apart and cause customers to choose you over the competition.
Moreover, these policies also work to build your business’s reputation online. Taking the time to clearly communicate your dedication to the customer experience can give you a reputation for excellent customer service.
Return and refund policies can also increase your business’s positive reviews and ratings. If you have a policy that is fair, straightforward, and designed with the customer experience in mind, customers may be motivated to share their positive experiences with your business through reviews.
When to Refund a Customer
It’s not always clear whether or not a refund is in order.
When considering your options, remember to weigh the pros and cons of the situation. Consider the impact of not taking action to resolve a customer complaint as well as the costs associated with an influx of returns and refunds.
If you’re stuck, it’s helpful to have a decision-making framework to ensure that whatever your final outcome is it’s fair and effective.
Check out this basic framework from Housecall Pro to get started with your return and refund decisions!