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Experiences with returns influence future sales

Consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to buy items directly from a home computer or their smartphone, but can also be wary about the quality of the products they purchase.

Online sales have allowed businesses to reach new markets and provide additional products to their clients. Consumers enjoy the convenience of being able to buy items directly from their home computer or smartphone, but can also be wary about the quality of the products they purchase.

A study by comScore found that 63 percent of online shoppers review a retailer's return policy before making a purchase. Consumers are looking for assurances that if the product is not perfect they can easily return it or complete an exchange. Failing to develop an understandable return policy could cost firms transactions, as nearly one-third (32 percent) of online customers consider the quality of service to be as important as price when making a purchase.

Businesses looking to increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty need to support their online sales channels with strong customer service. Employees should be empowered to resolve any issues immediately to keep customers satisfied. Call center incentive programs can be a valuable tool in creating the customer-first culture that provides quality service. These initiatives show workers the importance of maintaining a quality experience for clients from beginning to end. A successful transaction does not always represent the final customer interaction.

Returns are often viewed by businesses as a necessary part of the sales process. It is an indication that something has gone wrong. However, it can also be used to build brand loyalty. Customers who make returns are often willing to purchase additional items if they have a good experience. Recognizing outstanding service by call center staff can help organizations develop a culture that provides consistent quality service every time. Building a reputation for having a good return policy and having staff who are able to resolve problems quickly and easily will help drive sales.

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