The Disconnect Between Customer Service and Receiving

Companies need to change the way they think about returns. A return is more than just receiving the product from customers and shipping a new one as efficiently as possible – it’s a chance to learn and prevent future returns.  

Most companies don’t get that, and it’s an expensive mistake.  

A return kicks off a progression of events most companies refer to as their reverse logistics process.  

The returned products are likely consolidated at a central warehouse and evaluated to see if they can be resold or refurbished.  

As good as companies may be at managing this process, they’re missing a more important point. And therein lies the mistake.  

Gaining insight to prevent future returns is just as important as being efficient in dealing with the return.   

Smart companies fix this information gap.  

Teams handling returned products must gather information on returns and share it with the proper departments at the company – such as product design and manufacturing.  

A return strategy built on processing returns as they show up, with no regard for using the data behind why the returns happen, is the problem.  

Many parts of the customer experience can cause a return. The good news is, there are steps manufacturers and retailers can take to help mitigate returns.  

However, even with the best reverse logistics process, without real customer and product data flowing back, you’re not gaining knowledge.  

The key is to keep performing reverse logistics efficiently while capturing the flow of data that explains a return. 

Image credit: marie

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