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Wednesday, 07 August 2019

Returns are YOUR fault, NOT the Customers! Featured

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Wake Up: Returns are YOUR fault, NOT the customers

My friend had a cat that peed all over the house and it smelled terrible! I thought what a disgusting cat.  Hey wait a minute , it wasn’t the cats fault it was my friends, he never took the initiative to learn how to change the behavior of the cat.

How  can you blame customers for returns when you have not done everything possible to change the behaviors of not only your customers but of the MGT. In your own company. 

If you think you have a handle on REDUCING returns (which I know you don’t),  take just 3 min. And honestly answer these questions based upon your own knowledge and without doing any research and without asking anyone else for answers.

1. What were your company’s return rates the last 3 years?  2018 ____  2017_____  2016 _____

2. What were the dollars of returns for those same years?    2018 ____  2017_____  2016 _____

Check off the people, from the list below, in your company that would know just 25% of this information off the top of their head:

RETAILER: CEO, CFO, SVP sales, SVP Store Operations, VP online sales, Marketing, Buyers, Regional VP, DM, SM, ASM, Dept. Mgr., Sales assoc., Customer service associate, Cashier, Repair center, Shipping and receiving

MANUFACTURER: CEO, CFO , SVP sales, Divisional of sales, VP of Online Sales,  Marketing, Product development, Product Design, Call center , Customer service, Technical support, Packaging, Logistics

                        (At your next executive meeting ask the people in attendance those two questions. This will open a lot of eyes and minds.)

3. On a scale of 1-10 ( 10 being best) rate each of the following:

A) Level of communication about return rates and dollars between all of the positions listed above? ________

B) You hold a Returns Reduction mtg. With all the positions listed above attending to address solutions? ______

C) You hold regularly scheduled Returns Reduction mtgs with each of the the individuals / individual groups listed above? _____

D) YOU  have a written strategy for reducing returns? ______

E) YOU have set returns goals just as you do for sales? ______

F) YOU shop your website/store to see how it is helping to create returns? ______

G) YOU shop your competitors website/stores to see what they do to reduce returns? _____

H) YOU’ve used your online chat or tech support line, as a customer, to determine what can be changed to better reduce returns ______

 

This article, has just scratched the surface as to how to evaluate your company’s Returns Reduction strategy and I hope that it has opened some eyes.

IF you company is the norm, less than 20% of your company’s executives were able to answer these questions and you never rated higher than a 4 on the rating questions. What’s even more interesting is that if you asked the same questions, but about SALES, you would have gotten a  much better responses! A return is nothing more than a sale in reverse. It’s a potentially lost customer that may never shop with you again. It’s a customer that may have lost faith in your Brand and may discourage others from shopping with you.

Returns are not a cost of doing business, they are a cost of doing business incorrectly and its costing your company profits.  More importantly to you personally, its costing you a raise or bonus not to mention a promotion.

 

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Bill Stuart

Bill Stuart is CEO of Stuart & Associates, a retail consulting firm specializing in Sales and Margin Growth Programs and Returns Reduction Programs.

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