Is Your Return Process Creating Brand Advocacy Or Sending Buyers Running?

by | Feb 7, 2022 | Blog

Online purchasing now may be the first interaction with your brand…Are your customers just as satisfied with their purchase as they are with their return?

You have a lot of satisfied buyers but do you loose face when it comes to attempting to return purchases? Are you just as easy to purchase from as to return to? Is the last interaction with your brand a negative one because the return process is not customer friendly? Mystery shopping can help find the sniggly bits of your end to end buyer experience.

Most companies are known for having delightful customer service, where every aspect of the buying experience was simple, easy, and fun. The Buyer’s eyes simply sparkle when talking about your company and their most recent purchases. However, those very same Buyers have been known to lose their sparkle when trying to return what they bought. The Return Experience has the potential to ruin a Buyer’s experience with your brand as quickly as you built it with the up front purchase…never mind what those same consumers will do to your brand on social media.

Research shows that if buyers are pleased with their Return Experience, they will be more much more likely to shop with you again and much less likely to take it out on your brand in negative social posts. Since we all know that customer satisfaction is the primary objective of every retailer online or otherwise, then how much of your CX research budget is allocated to the return process?

OK, I agree it is important, but how can I find out what the experience is in my company?

Is Your Return Process Creating Brand Advocacy Or Sending Buyers Running?

What can you do to make the Return Experience a pleasurable one? What research methods could you use to gather Buyer opinions on the overall Return Experience?

Mystery shopping is the perfect research tool to use test the experience of your end to end purchase and return customer experience. Working in tandem with a market research firm that can help analyze your current customer return process journey and turn that into a mystery shop evaluation will get you the right evaluation tool. Then, depending on how many returns your company processes per month, (Amazon in the bazzillioins, AdoreMe in the thousands) a good research firm will help you decide how many of these types of shops are needed to get valid feedback on the process and any areas of opportunity to improve the customer journey. APC can typically deploy a purchase and return mystery shops study and have initial findings within 4-6 weeks of agreement with a client. So in short order, you can achieve actionable insights on this extremely important and often overlooked piece of your buyer’s experience with your brand.

Is Mystery Shopping the only research tool that could assess sentiment around our buyers purchase and return experience?

Mystery shopping is the best tool for really getting at the bottlenecks and challenges that might be happening in the return process because it is developed to ask the customer to answer questions about your exact process, but it is not the only tool. For larger brands with thousands of transactions per month, Social Media Listening is a great cost effective tool to cull through buyer feedback that is left on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Yelp. Buyers who take time out of their busy schedules to offer feedback are usually doing so because they are highly satisfied or highly dis-satisfied with your brand for some reason. With the APC social listening studies, we can cull through all of that feedback and come up with the most often mentioned issues with the purchase and return process. Listening to your customers on social, developing action plans on how to address issues, and then sharing that you have heard your customers and are doing things to address their pain points greatly enhances trust with your brand. When customers feel they can trust you with their money and time, they become brand influencers and strongly loyal brand advocates.

Is Your Return Process Creating Brand Advocacy Or Sending Buyers Running?
Is Your Return Process Creating Brand Advocacy Or Sending Buyers Running?