If you are in the business of selling online, you are familiar with the hesitancy some consumers have in buying products from you. Unlike physical shopping where you actually have the chance to try out the products to see if they fit or work, you don't get the same chance online. Instead of letting this mindset eat up your business, you must combat it with a good warranty and return policy.
Any self-respecting business with a professional style will offer their customers a good policy on warranty and return. They should understand the fear that some online buyers may have about products that may end up defective or a few sizes too small. If you are new to the online industry, you may be wondering what exactly needs to be covered in a warranty and return policy. Well, let's take a look.
First of all, you must decide on a time frame that you are offering your warranty for. Most warranties are good for a year while others expire after six months. Still others are only good only for a week. For clothes, a good time frame may be for 30 days after which you consider the product sold. Things you must definitely consider covering for a warranty are electronic items, accessories for these electronic items, toys, and certain appliances. In short, your warranty should cover things that could be fixed.
A Return policy works on items that can be replaced. This means that the item purchased was not the right size, color or model. As a business owner, you must be very vigilant about your warranty and return policy. You cannot have some buyers returning items because of a misunderstanding or because they simply do not feel like owning the item at all.
The thing about having a warranty is that it is a statement that all the goods and products being sold on your website is expected to reach you in good and working order. Needless to say, no defective products are sold on your site. In other words, you are confident about the quality and make of your goods that is why you are offering a warranty. Having no policy on this may turn off customers who are already fearful of buying online in the first place.
Fulfillment of a Warranty
The fulfillment of the warranty of products could be as follows:
Repair of the defective order to perfect working condition.
The replacement of the item if it is considered beyond repair or "Dead on Arrival"
You could offer a new model or even a higher model to the defective product if that model is no longer repairable or available
You could offer the customer a credit refund to his shopping account on your site. The amount that will be credited back to him is the full payment he made plus shipping and postage fees.
A full cash refund can also be made. This can only be applicable if the item bought is beyond repair and if the customer doesn't want to accept a replacement of any sort.
Some products will also have a Manufacturer's Warranty available, which means you are no longer responsible for the product. Let the customer know that it is wiser to contact the manufacturer of the product to have the item checked and/ or fixed. In cases like these, it is better to hand the item over to them, as they are more knowledgeable when it comes to their own products.
A clear procedure
Make sure you state the procedure on how to claim warranties and returns clearly. This can be visible on your website in a FAQ corner. Of course, there are some things that should not be covered by a warranty. These are things like consumable products and secondhand goods. In any case, as a business owner, you are always trying to better the experience of your customer and you must be prepared to handle complaints of all kinds.
Long term business
Remember that sometimes, it is better to replace a product than have an irate customer put up a negative review about you. It's all part of becoming a responsible business owner and making decision should always factor in the long-term health of your business. So don't ever underestimate the power of a well organized and well though out warranty and return policy. The future of your business lies in it.