How Smart Retailers Can Deal With Costly Returns

How Smart Retailers Can Deal With Costly Returns
Illustration: © IoT For All

In the next several years, as e-commerce grows globally, “the amount of returns is going to be over a trillion dollars a year,” to quote Tobin Moore, the CEO of Optoro. With IoT products growing every day in every part of the world, it might get even worse unless companies have the technology to deal with the return issues. One of the main issues is that more consumers than ever are returning fully functioning products. The no-fault found phenomenon in retail returns costs companies a fortune. How can retailers deal with this avalanche of IoT product returns? What are the issues, and how can they solve them?

Return Issues with IoT Products

  • Too complicated: According to a CPX360 survey, customers spend, on average, 2.5 hours between self-help and customer support and speak with three different people to resolve an issue; 22 percent give up and return the product for a refund. 
  • No-fault found:  Most retailers don’t have the technology to support their products or properly train agents to deal with customers to see if they genuinely need to be returned. Retailers then have no choice but to sell the refurbished product.  
  • Doesn’t live up to expectations: You have purchased that IoT product that will simplify your life. The problem is that it doesn’t, and on top of that, the customer rep cannot help you when issues arise. Customers are getting more and more frustrated with IoT products that continue to underdeliver and underperform. One of the most significant issues is with smart homes: not having insight into how to set up your home, or not having companies with the tech support to solve the issue remotely, compounds this frustration.
  • Tech support not properly trained: It’s getting harder and harder to find qualified customer support representatives. Due to poor training, wages, and the lack of companies updating support technology, customer support is struggling right now, especially in the tech support field. Not to mention technicians being sent out, thereby costing the company more money and time. Automotive positions deal with expenses of gas, technician pay, equipment, and other costs as they’re incurred.

Solutions For Costly Returns

  • Simpler communication/definitions: Make it as easy as possible to help your customers understand the setup process. Having a clearly defined message is vital for the customer. Remember, not every customer understands the technical jargon you may expect them to. Keeping it simple makes it easier for everyone to understand.
  • Mitigate the no-fault found problem:  Technology and training are the keys to solving this. Have a technology that can give your company insight into your device, and train your support staff on how to use the data insight to help your customers. The combination of training and technology will make the no-fault found issue a thing of the past. Your company will be sure that your customers have returned the product for a valid reason. 
  • Living up to expectations: This is a little harder to do given the nature of IoT customers. Some customers think a smart product should be seamless. Some aids to this include clearly defined product use, a set up procedure with clearly defined steps, a list of frequently asked questions about what customers experience, support technology that gives real-time insight into diagnosing any issues, and a properly trained support staff. All these working together will provide the consumer with what smart product will work best for them. 
  • Properly trained support team with the right technology:  According to call center managers, what’s keeping them up at night is not having the right technology. This, in turn, increases returns, lowers app reviews and decreases customer satisfaction. Companies need to invest in technology that will give them real-time insight into fixing the issue remotely. The logical next step is to properly train your staff using the technology and how to use the data to make their jobs easier and increase customer satisfaction leading to a superior customer experience. 

IoT product returns continue to grow and cost companies more than ever before. Companies need to act quickly to solve this issue, implement technology, and properly train staff in advance of the year’s biggest shopping season. 

Cygnus Cygnus
Cygnus Reach has a mission to help companies support and maintain IoT products across the globe. Our flagship product, Reach, is a patented technology that allows companies to properly support their products after launch.
Cygnus Reach has a mission to help companies support and maintain IoT products across the globe. Our flagship product, Reach, is a patented technology that allows companies to properly support their products after launch.