In the previous blog post we wrote about No Refund Policy. Today, we’ll directly get on to how to write a win-win policy that will protect your business from abuse without scaring customers away. Having a good refund policy is a critical part of your business strategy, as it can potentially make you more money or cost you money.

8 key points to look at when writing a refund policy.

1. Setting a time frame

It’s important to let your customers know how long they have to request a refund and return a product. Generally, 14-30 days is the standard timeframe, although some businesses opt for 100 days. Failing to disclose a time frame for returns you’ll find customers trying to ship back items months or years after purchase.

Collective, for instance, has a 30-day policy for their coffee and machines.

2. Placement of policy

You customers should never have to go on a scavenger hunt to find the policy. It’s a good idea to have your return policy link on the footer of the homepage of your website. The best is to have it as a part of the checkout process like the tick box customers have to check before they make payments. In addition to your website, you can also include a printed copy of the return policy inside every parcel and the email receipt or confirmation email.

Watsons have their Return & Exchange page on their footer and they also include it in the Terms & Conditions page before checkout.

3. Defining the condition of returns

It’s acceptable to return defective products or if customers are unhappy with under expectation quality. However, there are nasty consumers out there who use, break or devalue a product in any way then abuse the return policy to gain from their own faults. When structuring your company’s return policy, define the condition a product must be in before a return can be processed. Otherwise, customers will attempt to return merchandise in condition too poor to be resold. In this case, you’ll be at a loss. 

One simple way is to request information and images from the customer before accepting the return like how Cassa Furniture does it.

4. Use simple & straight to the point language

Avoid using words that send people running for a dictionary. You don’t want to confuse anyone. Terms and conditions will also be scanned by the Google SEO bots. Use keywords and incorporate real customer feedback. Personalize it to your specific target audience. A policy or T&C can be a fun page to demonstrate your commitment to your customers. Let them know that even if they don’t love your product, you will still treat everyone with respect, dignity and fairness.

Hello1010 elaborates their return policy in detail and easy to understand so that customers will not be scared to purchase their travel sim card online.

5. Outline the procedure

Let the customers know if they can exchange, get a partial or full refund. You can even test to see which offerings your customers prefer. Clearly state how they need to request for a refund, return or exchange. Explain if they need to use the original packaging or their own, and where they can drop the parcel. 

For tickets or bookings, you can do something like how Malindo do it here.

6. Disclose any fees associated with returns

The big question is always this – who will cover the cost of return shipping? Things like this need to be clearly defined in your return policy. If your business covers return shipping, you can send the customer a shipping label or air waybill. However, from a consumer’s perspective, it’s terrible to receive a product you don’t like, then find out that you have to bear the cost to send it back. If you expect your customers to be responsible for returning fees, make sure this is clearly mentioned in the policy. Failing to do so will upset customers who are usually armed with keyboards and social media.

BookXcess clearly states the amount that will be charged to the customer.

Always be prepared!

Remember, always be prepared to bear the cost of unintended mistakes. If you messed up, keep calm, and own it because it’s how you handle mistakes is what matters. If you shipped the wrong item or packaged it poorly, try to make it right no matter what the official policy is. A customer served well will definitely return for many more purchases to come.

Did you know? Our merchant portal lets you make refunds as easy as one click of a button. With a proper system in place, the process for refund, return and exchange can be less stressful. Do leave a comment if you have any questions 🙂