It’s the start of a new year and with that usually comes a host of articles and tips for making resolutions. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to suggest a new years resolution in my first blog post of the year. So for those of you who have not yet decided upon this year’s business priority: How about a resolution to make 2013 the year for customer service excellence?
I came across a recent article that said Amazon had yet another great year in customer satisfaction ratings. And this accolade comes well-deserved in my opinion, especially based on a recent (post-holiday) transaction I had with them.
Make returns easy
We received a copy of Polar Express as a holiday gift this year. On its first playing Christmas night we discovered that the DVD was defective. What a disappointment! I hopped online to the Amazon site, logged into my account and went to the returns section. They pulled up our most recent order which included this DVD. I needed to check which item I was returning, indicate the reason why (another check box) and tell them whether I wanted to exchange it or get a refund (a third check box). We wanted a DVD that didn’t skip, of course!
I then had options for returning the DVD. They asked me if I wanted to return the DVD myself (which meant a trip to the Post Office, but they would credit me for the postage), if I wanted to contact UPS myself (not really) or if I wanted Amazon to contact UPS for me. Of course, I wanted them to contact UPS and take care of the logistics. I printed out the return slip generated by the system and included it in the box. I packed everything up and set the box out on the porch. This whole process took me less than 5 minutes!
The next day, the UPS driver picked up the box, he slapped on the necessary return mailing slip and the DVD was on its way back to the Amazon warehouse.
Keep your customers in the know
The UPS driver left a copy of the return label on my front door (I didn’t need to be home to complete this transaction!). Almost simultaneously I received an email confirmation that UPS had the returned item in transit. I was also notified by Amazon that a replacement item was in the mail. Quick, easy and so convenient. It doesn’t get any better than that!
It took me longer to write this blog post explaining the return process than it took me to actually complete the return process. Can you say the same for your return process?
Follow a leader
Amazon has been seen as the leader in online commerce for quite some time, and for good reason. They know how to deliver on so many fronts—and that’s what keeps us coming back as customers. Whether you’re an online retailer, a bricks and mortar retailer or a service business, make it easy for your customers to do business with you. Give your customers a good reason for coming back.
Oh, I almost forgot, you know what makes the Amazon return process even more impressive? The DVD was a gift from Santa!
Happy 2013 everyone!