In a constantly changing and fast-paced world such as ours, knowing how to please your customers is an absolute necessity. There are thousands, if not millions, of e-commerce businesses out there, many of whom are your direct competitors. So how do you make yourself stand out against such unforgiving odds?
Give your customers the best possible experience, and keep them coming back for more! We have already covered in a previous article how to enhance customer satisfaction in general. Therefore, today we shall take an in-depth look at one specific facet of customer experience- the returns process.
To narrow it down further, we shall take a look at how to create and operate branded returns portals that not only visually impress your customers but also give them a functionally pleasing experience.
Why exactly would you need a returns portal, you ask? To start off returns management is an incredibly valuable process in the overall e-commerce customer experience. A slow and inefficient returns process is not only inconvenient, but it can also be downright harmful to your business.
If customers find your returns process too cumbersome, they will simply stop buying your products and turn to a business that gives them what they need instead.
Consequently, the very first step to creating a good return management framework is to have a smooth, functional, and user-friendly portal that your customers can use to handle all their return-related needs. Let’s read on to find out more
What are Returns Portals?
A returns portal essentially refers to a systematic interface that allows customers to observe, initiate, and manage all their product returns. It lists all orders that are eligible for a return, along with return procedures and methods. It may also provide information such as order details, payment methods, and relevant dates. In simple words, a return portal is where product returns take place.
Return portals are usually available on the website of the e-commerce business, accessible to the customer after they have placed an order and it has been delivered. Brands can also communicate and inform their customers with timely and relevant delivery updates through their portal.
Why should Returns Portals be Branded?
So now you know the primary function and necessity of a return portal. But here’s a question: What exactly does ‘branded’ mean, and why should return portals be branded? It is common knowledge that a brand is basically a recognizable symbol or element that signifies a particular company and sets it apart from the competition.
Different brands have different needs and different branding methods, and this is especially true for customer-oriented e-commerce businesses. In fact, branding is a must not only for return portals but for your entire website and social media presence in general. Poor branding is a massive turn-off for customers and may drive them closer to your rivals.
Keeping the above reasons in mind, it is easy to see why branding is essential for your return portals. Each brand has its own environment, work culture, and design language that reflects its interests and values. This is why branding should be consistent and not send mixed messages to your customers.
How to create an Awesome Branded Returns Portal
- First things first, your return portal should be easily accessible to the customer. There is nothing more infuriating than logging on to a website and searching for hours for a simple link that should have been available on the homepage itself. Make sure your return portal is clearly visible, and customers do not have to jump through needless hurdles just to access it.
- Next up, set up your returns page keeping in mind all the typical requirements of your customer- add the product overview, order dates and details, reason for return, refund or exchange, and so on. Also, set up alternative options for returns and add in product recommendations based on the user’s purchase history.
- Clearly line out your company’s return policy and by no means try to mislead customers using fine print or technicalities. Not even the swankiest and most attractive branded returns portals can save a poor customer experience. Two-way communication with the customer is an absolute must.
- Establish return rules, tags, and algorithms to determine refunds, return timeframes, and so on. These can also be automated using various logistics platforms, many of whom specialize in post-purchase customer experience, including returns.
- As far as individual branding goes, make sure you implement the above steps in the context of your specific brand or the image you are trying to convey. Set up your own unique colour palette, font, design, and marketing language. Make your portal fun and engaging to use.
- You can also automate the returns processes using logistics solutions platforms such as ClickPost, which also offers an entirely self-service and fully customizable returns portal tailored specially for your brand. Automation saves time as well as effort and eases the burden on your own team.
Benefits of a fully Branded Returns Portal
- A fully branded returns portal makes the customer engaged with your business and allows more time and freedom to establish a connection with them.
- Instead of using third-party software, a return portal on the company’s website itself also allows for retained traffic.
- You can analyze the reasons why customers are returning products and work on those areas to improve performance and minimize future returns.
- A fully-branded returns portal allows you to cut down on resources and manpower drastically. Especially when coupled with automation, which can make the returns process virtually seamless for both the business and customers.
- Put simply, branded returns portals generally make the return experience more fruitful, interactive, and comfortable for the customers, which is always a good thing.
Today, we took a look at what return portals are and why they are necessary. We also learned the importance of branding when it comes to setting up an engaging returns experience. Furthermore, we looked at how exactly most e-commerce businesses go about creating their returns portals and our suggestions for creating an efficient and high-functioning portal. Lastly, we came to know about the numerous benefits you can expect after having created a fully branded returns portal.
We conclude by hoping this article was informative and engaging to read, exactly how we expect your returns portals will be once you implement the given tips. We hope to see you again soon!