For one of CPI’s projects we were challenged to find out which of the following methods would be the most reasonable return policy: (A) doing extensive research for every returned shipment or (B) replacing it with no questions asked.
Saying bye-bye to the return policy and replacing everything without questions asked came out as the most sensible, profitable and efficient solution.
We clearly identified a relationship between the number of people involved in managing return policies and negative customer experiences.
More trust, more profit
While conducting customer research we discovered a correlation between a no questions asked policy and the overall yearly customer spending both in value as in volume of orders.
In the same project we drastically simplified the classification of return shipments. Complex workflows, validation checks and negotiations about compensations and claims were replaced by 3 tick-boxes in CRM:
- company error
- customer error
- communication error
To our surprise customer and company error did not occur as much as we expected. Most mistakes could be attributed to unclear communication errors.
Link between return policy and customer typologies
In depth-analysis of those communication errors indicated that these occur predominantly with smaller customers that do not use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) or detailed purchase orders. They often rely on email, telephone conversations with customer support or a word to their trusted sales rep.
This led us to conduct further research into the development and testing of easy-to-use solutions, specifically for non- and low-digital clients.
The results are not surprisingly at all. The number of communication errors dropped significantly. The workload of customer care with smaller customers was halved. Time available to spend with key customers was doubled.
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