Chargeback Management: 6 Ways to Keep Customers Happy
Happy customers make for a successful business. However, the quest to make your customers happy can sometimes lead to spending much of your customer service time smoothing over disputes and issuing refunds. Too many disputes will inevitably affect your reputation no matter how well you handle them. And when your team is stuck dealing with conflicts, they cannot work on growth or revenue stimulating activities, such as upselling.
A much better approach is to take every step you can to keep disputes and refunds to a minimum without initiating policies that turn off customers. It would help if you also had the right tools to easily and quickly deal with legitimate and unavoidable disputes.
Have a Clear & Reasonable Return Policy
Make sure that your return policy is clear, easily accessible, and reasonable. A return FAQ page can be beneficial here. If your return policy is too rigid, then you may get an increase in chargebacks (and chargeback fees).
You can also consider automating your return process as much as possible, so customer service agents are not involved in returns unless there is an issue. If you have a blanket 30-day return, you can set up a system that will generate an RMA and instructions on shipping the return.
As much as you may not want to, it’s wise to offer free shipping on replacement merchandise and be willing to eat the cost of merchandise damaged in transit, even if it’s not your fault. Customers will often go elsewhere if forced to pay for a replacement while the vendor insists it’s not their responsibility. Making customers pay for shipping will only exacerbate the problem.
Make Sure You Properly Describe Your Product
Inaccurately described products often prompt returns. Ensure your product descriptions and specs are honest and accurate so that your customer knows what they should be getting. List the accessories that ship with the product, so they know whether they will be getting things like batteries. Conversely, if your product does not include accessories, post that information as well. Images should always be part of your product description. That means use images of the actual product, not stock images.
In the case of apparel, this also goes for sizing. Have an accurate size chart that gives the actual clothes measurements, rather than a vague “small, medium, large.” These descriptors help prevent customers from ordering the wrong size and having to return it, or ordering multiple items and returning those that don’t fit. Many customers don’t think about the impact this has on retailers, especially smaller ones. If they can trust your sizing, they are a lot less likely to do that. Train customer service representatives to answer questions about sizing, accessories, system requirements, and other issues that could cause a return.
Ninety-five percent of returned merchandise has absolutely nothing wrong with it; it just turns out not to fit the customer’s needs when they get it out of the box. Make sure they know what they’re getting before they click the purchase button.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are helpful for your sales and reputation, but they can also reduce the return rate. Reviews often contain information that is useful to the purchaser, and most people read them.
The more reviews, the better. Reviews don’t just tell your customers about the quality of an item; they tell them what problems it has solved for others. Reviews guide the customer to the right purchase decision right away and tend to limit returns.
Provide Online Live Chat
These days, so many sites have an online chat that customers have come to expect it. You can use an inexpensive chatbot for simple inquiries. Chatbots can often handle queries such as, “Does it come in black?” You can always escalate the chat to a human representative when the bot can’t answer a question.
People will call for answers if there is no other way to contact you, but you risk dealing with a more irritated customer when you get them on the line. Email helps prevent a confrontation with a customer, but there is a general perception that email responses are slow. Online live chat allows customers to ask their questions without leaving your website, get the answers they need right away and make the right decision whether to purchase. Your customer service team can also handle multiple chats in a manner they can’t with phone calls.
It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to talk a prospective customer out of a purchase when it is obvious they will only return the product or request a chargeback.
Optimize Packing & Shipping
Many returns happen because of product damage during shipment. If your carrier is damaging too many items, it might be time to look elsewhere. Make sure to use tools (inventory management software) to minimize incorrect shipping, especially at busy times.
It might be worth hiring a couple of extra people in the busy time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, make sure you package your products correctly. Spending extra on packing to reduce damage can have a great ROI.
Deal Properly with Complaints
Even with all of this, you are still going to get complaints. A shipment may be lost, damaged, or delayed. Somebody could order the wrong size for somebody else. Somebody ends up buying software thinking it will run on their computer, only to find that they misread the system requirements. Be sure to train your customer service team to handle complaints properly.
A few tips for dealing with complaints include:
- Don’t challenge your customers’ complaints (even if it’s not your fault)
- Don’t get emotional (even if they are)
- Allow your representatives to be flexible in their responses (sometimes you have to bend the rules to get the right response)
- Follow up to make sure that the problem is solved – especially if you were able to present a solution that avoided a return
- Respond quickly
- Avoid excuses and always apologize
- Log all complaints so you can track trends
In some cases, you may get a customer who is just going to keep complaining no matter what. At some point, you have to decide whether their patronage is worth the hassle.
If you need improved tools to handle disputes, chargebacks, and returns, Direct Payment Group has you covered. Click the button below to find out how our chargeback management system can help you log, manage, and reduce chargebacks and returns.