Remember that your clients are always taking a certain risk when purchasing a product from your estore as they cannot examine it in person. Taking this into consideration, your customer service should be way more than just satisfactory. There can be dozens of reasons why a buyer would want to return a product; the reason does not necessarily have to be poor quality of the product.
Sometimes it is the shoe that does not fit or simply a wrong color of the dress… Your duty, as a seller, is to minimize the risk factor for your clients and show that you can proudly stand behind your products by offering them complete RMA service.
A quality customer service with thought out and easy RMA process is what is going to earn your company customer trust and solid online reputation. This will automatically turn your one-time visitors into repeat customers that you need so desperately.
While Return Merchandise Authorization may not seem like an important component of your success on the online market, it can actually make or break your business over the long term.
Understanding the cores of RMA
RMA, or a Return Merchandize authorization defines the general exchange or return process of the store. At walk-in stores everything is easier; the customer returns with the products and a store manager can handle the process right there, right now. Online process for RMA is basically the same, with the difference that everything is handled electronically. Therefore, organization of the process is a little more troublesome for the merchants if they do not have the right bases and extensions.
Every platform has different way to manage RMA; some of them do not manage it at all. The ecommerce platform is actually what dictates how smoothly the process goes. While Magento does provide RMA management, the feature is not as smooth as we would like it to be. However, there are special extensions that can perfect your RMA service in no time. More on that later…
Thinking how to build the perfect RMA system? Here is our guide to help you grow your customer base with the most important RMA features.
1. Let the customers handle the situation:
One of the primary perks of the online shopping is self-service. If the customers have no trouble going through the whole shopping process without any assistance from the merchant, then the same should apply to the return or exchange process. Returning a product should be as simple as purchasing it!
A perfect option would be to allow buyers, both registered ones and those who use guest checkout, to initiate an RMA process using your website. Let them specify the reason for the return (size, color, not as described…) and a preferred resolution (refund, exchange). As obvious as this is, many of the top platforms do not have this feature in their basic versions. The shoppers are required to email or call the store in order to start an RMA process.
The survey has shown that 78.4% of retailers who participated in the survey prefer self service return tools. By offering one, you not only please your customers, but also cut the workload on your customer service department by 33-43%. As a result, you reduce the cost of returned merchandise.
2. Make the exchange process smooth to avoid returns:
Allowing customers to pick exchange items through a simple form will encourage them to do so instead of simply returning the product and claiming back the money. Your RMA form should offer size, color and any other options selection related to the product and allow clients to specify which item exactly they would like instead.
Once again, without such feature the customer service would have to address the case on per customer bases. This is just as unproductive for the merchant as it is for the customer. If a phone call is inevitable, consider making a call once the exchange has been processed online.
3. Solve the problem in advance:
How many times have you torn apart a package and thrown the bag away only to find out later that there was something important in it. In most of the cases it is a return label. Most of the online retailers include one in all of their orders, but the customers may not pay much attention and loose it eventually. In such case, he should not have to go through his bin to find one. A perfect RMA will include a printable return label directly through a web form. Implementing this feature can be quite tricky, but your customers will definitely value it. Tight integration with carriers like FedEx, UPS, or USPS is required to offer this feature to your buyers. In some cases, merchants are required to take additional certification steps.
4. Price difference should not be a problem:
You have probably already asked the question “what if the exchange item has a different price?” when reading through this article. Well, here we are now. Customers should be able to choose an exchange item with a different price and settle the difference online. Consequently, if a customer stops his choice on a more expensive item, he should be able to pay the difference when creating the RMA. And likewise for the less expensive items: exchange with a partial refund or a store credit is an option here.
Platforms without such feature require the merchants to contact the customer on phone or via mail and go through steps that would only take a moment through an online form.
5. Make it easy to track:
Those who have exchanged or returned the item in a shop would notice that it was all associated with the original transaction and use a single transaction number. Your RMA should be designed accordingly. Every further action to the purchase should be an extension of the original transaction. This makes the whole process easier to track.
6. Know what’s going on in your store:
Your ecommerce platform should allow you and your team to monitor all kinds of actions regarding exchanges, refunds, returns. A quality RMA will notify you about every step of your customer (initiation of the RMA, label prints, etc). This will give you an opportunity to look at the trends and decide on your further action.
Once you decide which of these features are the most important for your eCommerce, you should get to action! Luckily, the action is overly simple; all you have to do is find the right extensions. We suggest you our RMA Magento extension. It is one of the most powerful tools on the market for managing the return and exchange of items purchased by customers in your store. It allows them to request and manage returns and exchanges directly from your webstore.
RMA module can automatically generate all the necessary operations and make it easy to handle every aspect of the return, ensuring an item visibility and tracking it until the resolution is completed. It allows customers to select an item they want to return or exchange, reason for return, preferred resolution, etc.
Some of the features of RMA:
- Every customer can create RMA request.
- Registered customers have access to all their RMA requests directly from their user account.
- Customer can choose a single object on RMA request out of a several-product order.
- Customers can print RMA shipping label.
- Customer can track the history of messages and RMA status changes.
- Flexible notification system.
Smooth RMA process is a necessary component of a great customer service. Customers tend to buy from those vendors that offer a flexible return policy. This is exactly the kind of service that your loyal and potential customers expect and highly appreciate.
“Customer is always right” – this is a policy that most of the retailers have adopted nowadays, therefore, customer should be able to return a product that they do not want. A company that manages to achieve a perfect RMA can definitely wear it like a badge of honor!