Three ideas for handling tough returns without losing customers OR your shirt:
1: TAKE THE ITEM BACK… FOR IN-STORE CREDIT
Your return policy states (or should) that open-box and special order items are non-returnable. If you decide to break the policy, give the customer in-store credit so that they can replace the item with one that works better for them.
2: DON’T DISCOUNT NEW ITEMS
You likely gave a discount below IMAP on the original item purchase. Allow the customer to exchange (or use their in-store credit) for something new, but… no discounts.
Note: I’ve never had a customer complain about this in my showrooms. Most are thrilled you’re willing to work with them.
3: ASK FOR A FIVE-STAR REVIEW
Point out your return policy and then tell the customer you’ll overlook the normal policy if they’ll go online right now and leave a five-star review on Google and Facebook. On average, a five-star review in those two places will bring you three new customers.
TIP: Make sure they do it while they’re standing right there in your showroom. Let them use a computer and show them how to do a review if necessary.
COMBINE ALL THREE
Even tricky returns can be profit opportunities. In my showrooms, we try to combine all three (which isn’t always possible) to offer great personal service, reduce losses, and create a win-win by generating potential new sales down the road.
Jason Petersen owns Hansen Lighting Inc. a lighting company with multiple showrooms in Utah.
Jason acquired Hansen Lighting out of near-bankruptcy in 2004 and turned the company around by implementing outside-the-box systems and ideas. The company is now one of the fastest growing companies in America (#3087 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list) and has been recognized as one of the most profitable privately-owned retailers in North America.
Jason is also the co-founder of XOLogic and Lit Living Inc.