Does your return policy ultimately affect customer experience and satisfaction?

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Does your return policy ultimately affect customer experience and satisfaction?

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I recently ordered two wall hangings for my child’s room and they showed up damaged.  I was undecided about the picture situation, but since I bought them so cheaply on clearance ($5!) I decided against the hassle to return them.  The store’s customer service rep told me I would have to the store in person, bring a driver’s license and I couldn’t get my money back, only store credit.  So I tossed my damaged pictures in the trash because ultimately I felt my time was more valuable in the end.

This experience will not affect future purchases from this store.  They had a return policy which they were enforcing which I was aware of (albeit in the fine print on their web site).  I chose to forgo the policy.  It had little to do with how I was treated on the phone by their customer service agent, she was perfectly nice.

customers-grade-the-callsMy decision had more to do with how I valued the purchase and what I was willing to go through to make it right.  Does your company weigh the risk versus reward for your return policy and analyze how the good will extended beyond the policy ultimately affects the bottom line, including the customer experience and satisfaction?

“I had to fill out four forms, come down to your store twice and spent countless hours on the phone with your contact center agents to get my damaged TV replaced.  You’re practically doing everything you can to avoid returns and that does not feel right to me.”

“To my surprise you took back my kitchen appliance with zero hassle.  It was my fault the lid broke but you took it back without any issue – talk about customer satisfaction.  You have me for life!”

“I was so upset when my bookcase arrived with a huge scratch down the side.  It took a bit of complaining to your call center agents (and their supervisors) but I got a full refund.”

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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