Any retail establishment will eventually encounter dissatisfied customers, but religious jewelry retailers have several extra considerations since they’re dealing in high-value commodities. As a relgious jewelry retailer, it’s highly likely you sell several different brands, meaning you’re juggling long-term business relationships with different distributors. This is only half the battle when it comes to unhappy customers.
Returns may be caused by dissatisfactions over quality or the representation of goods, and those situations may require you to take a closer look at your distributors. In other cases, a solid return policy is going to save you several headaches when it comes to customer issues. Your return policy should leave little to the imagination, but also needs to center on keeping your customers happy.
Know Your Partners
If you’re noticing a pattern of returns that result from dissatisfaction with the quality of your jewelry, it’s time to take a closer look at your vendors. If your operation allows it, dedicate a department of your business to managing vendor relationships, and consistently evaluate the quality of the goods you’re buying. If a particular product line keeps falling short of customers’ expectations, it may be time to find a new distributor.
Strong communication is going to help your business as well as your vendors. Discovering a flaw in a particular product or line of products can create an opportunity for your vendor to improve their processes, as well as saving you the future headaches of consistent returns and unhappy customers. Coordinating with a vendor to fix a problem rather than cutting ties with them entirely is going to foster long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.
Evaluate Your Return Policy
Your return policy shouldn’t open the door for constant returns, but it also needs to keep your customers happy. Your customers will want to know they are protected in case a product doesn’t fit their needs or perform as desired, and you’ll want the peace of mind that comes with secured sales. Achieving this balance requires careful consideration of your return policy.
The return policy should set clear expectations for the acceptable condition of returned goods. You may want to require that the original packaging be kept, and restrict return credit to be repaid in kind. Receipts should be required, but depending on the situation, you may be inclined to make an exception, and allow the customer to return their item for store credit. Try to be flexible for the benefit of your customers, without leaving yourself open to undue expenses. The costs of processing returned items could potentially eat away at your profits.
Save the Sale!
Your team should be able to change a return into a new sale. An exchange instead of a full return will not only safeguard your profits, but it also has the potential to foster a healthy relationship with your customers. If they know you’re flexible and willing to work with them with the occasional, reasonable exception, they’re far more likely to come back.
Fielding and resolving complaints is rarely easy, but it’s vital to approach it without becoming defensive or projecting irritation. When it comes to a serious customer issue, make sure you exhaust every option to form a complete understanding of the situation and the customer’s expectations. Then you should explore every opportunity to solve their issue reasonably and efficiently, so they know you’re there for their benefit and they can confidently return to you for future business.