Returns are an essential and normal part of the buying experience, and when handled well, they can delight customers and encourage them to become repeat customers. However, when returns are not handled to the customers’ expectations, they can have a significant impact on the customers’ trust in you as a seller on Amazon .
Below are some best practices for managing return requests. Following these steps can help improve the customer experience, improve your feedback, and reduce your A-to-z claims.
While some customers are willing to take a partial refund to keep the product, or to work with you on troubleshooting, many simply want to do a return. If you suggest options for the customer without first authorising the return, they may see this as unexpected friction.
If you’re able to provide customers with pre-paid labels, we highly encourage it. This creates a better customer experience and helps you better track the return.
Make sure your return policy is at least as good as Amazon’s in every category.
Make sure you count the return window from the date of the item’s arrival, not the date of the order or shipment. If you don’t use tracking, the return window starts on the expected delivery date.
You must respond to a return request within 48 hours from the time the customer requests a return. We highly recommend that you not only respond to the customer inquiry, but also approve or close the request in the Manage Returns page of Seller Central.
One way to get ahead of the Return Dissatisfaction Rate metric is to auto authorise returns. To do so, go to Manage Returns in Seller Central , click the Edit Return Settings link. On the Returns Settings page, you will be able to choose options for how you want to automate your return authorisations. Automated returns are the fastest way to provide the customer immediate resolution. You can always follow up with the customer if they have specific questions about the return.
When refunding the customer, make sure to notify them through the Buyer-Seller Messaging service. If the customers don’t know that their orders have been refunded, they may feel like their requests are being ignored, even though you’ve already resolved their issue.
When orders arrive damaged or defective, the customer wants to be sure they can get a refund or a replacement. Do everything you can to make it as painless for them as possible. It is not their job to file claims with the carrier or deal with the hassles of shipping. Provide a pre-paid label, send a replacement, or issue a refund as soon as the original is sent back.
For some customers, taking and uploading pictures is not easy. This does not disqualify them from receiving the same returns service as everyone else. We understand that seeing the picture of the item being returned can sometimes help you, but remember that our customers shop online because it’s fast and easy. The more friction they have to deal with, the more dissatisfied they will be.