Look, there’s no bigger buzzkill for a retailer than holiday returns. I’m not dumb. I get this. And I know you get this.
Nonetheless, when January comes, be ready to perceive–and capitalize on– the upside of returns.
Because there is an upside.
In retail, we take it as a given that returns are bad for the bottom line. But here’s the silver–maybe even platinum–lining: A return, at least one that is made in-store, means the customer is in the store!
(You’re a shortsighted retailer indeed if you don’t want a customer to enter your store.)
Sometimes a return even means a chance to introduce yourself to an entirely new customer who received the item as a gift, but in the wrong size or color, and is now showing up at the slowest time of the year, when you really need traffic in your stores.
Don’t waste this chance to wow her.
Work the returns process using those employees who have the best people skills, the best sales skills, the highest scores for empathy and optimism, to help you make the most of this opportunity.
And be sure your employees, as well as your customers, know that you see it as an opportunity. Self-fulfilling prophecies really can be the most powerful kind.
So: What’s the right way to handle holiday returns?
Also (if you want a few more key words):
With an eye on the future and on the big picture.
Micah Solomon is a customer experience consultant, customer service speaker, trainer, and bestselling author.