Are you struggling to manage returns?
UPS has determined that online retailers like the UPS returns portfolio and the tactics it offers. But UPS has also determined that often online retailers haven’t thought through a returns policy that reflects a specific customer service strategy. Also, since returns impact a variety of departments or functions (customer service, finance, warehousing and marketing) the online retailer may not realize the total adverse effect returns are having on their business. Instead they’ve just defaulted to what they feel most competitors do – 30 day returns, call for a return authorization number, and ship it back.
UPS recommends that online retailers use their returns policy to differentiate their business from their competitors.
UPS asked Forrester Research to study the marketplace in order to develop a structure that helps the online retailer do just that – develop the strategy that’s right for their business. The study shows what online retailers in general think about returns and contrasts that with what consumers are looking for. But most importantly, the study uses those findings to generate a framework that online retailers can use to determine what approach makes the most sense for them. That approach may include different returns policies for different products or even different policies for different customers. UPS has retail customers that employ the standard 30 day process for some products while dispatching UPS to pick up and return more valuable products and even return others overnight. Those customers have put significant thought into what makes the most sense given customer service, product cost, and/or product obsolescence considerations.
And the result is a returns strategy that’s become a competitive advantage online retailers both in terms of customer satisfaction and cost control. If your resulting returns policy gets a little complex, UPS has the options to take care of you. You can
• Arrange, create, and deliver your return shipping label to your customer and have UPS collect the item for return
• Pre-print return labels that can be included with your original outbound goods
• Have the return label mailed directly to your customer
• E-mail the return label directly to your customer
• Create and deliver a commercial invoice with the return label to your customer
• Process single or multiple piece return shipments
• Associate your own reference numbers with the item being returned
• Enable your customers to get approval and print return labels directly from your web site
For a complete review of our returns portfolio just go to UPS.com and look for returns under our business solutions portfolio of services links. If you’d like to download your own copy of the Forrester study just go to whiteboard.ups.com and you’ll find it in the library.