I think we can all agree that when it comes to customer service, instant gratification is upping the ante for everyone across the board. Whether it’s ordering an online product or picking up a latte at your local Starbucks, customers want what they want on the spot, no questions asked.
And if the product or service they buy isn’t up to their exacting standards? The only way a company can successfully make up for a mistake – or a dissatisfied customer – is to be equally expedient in addressing the customer’s needs. Ecommerce leaders like Amazon have become the benchmark for driving this part of the instant gratification agenda, with its no hassle return policies, money back guarantees, and immediate access to customer service if and when a product needs to be returned. There are many online retailers that have followed suit in simplifying returns processes, from shoe stores to electronics suppliers – and the list keeps growing as the stakes get higher.
The reality is, capturing the consumer’s attention is only the first step in the customer service process. Anyone shopping online, whether by desktop computer or mobile device, needs to feel comfortable that should they make an impulse purchase, there’s no penalty – or headaches – associated with changing their minds, whatever the country of origin of the retailer.
Even postal services are getting into the act. There’s an interesting initiative being piloted by Canada Post – a new 24/7 concept store called the Drive-thru Parcel Centre – where consumers can pick up their ecommerce orders, use the on-site fitting room to try on clothing purchases, and repackage and return any or all of their items using a self-service shipping station.
Happy returns indeed.
Do return policies influence your online purchase decisions?
By Werner Sievers, CEO