Customer Returns

The retail meat business, like any other retail business is all about sales, which,in turn, is all about customers.
A customers service policy is THE most important policy a retailer can design, and customer “returns” is an essential part of that process.

Training ALL employees in good customers service should be a number one priority.
The policy should be discussed at every meeting, return slips should be looked at and problems identified and corrected.

Customer Returns…use them to your advantage

Customer returns are part of doing business, handling them properly can be good for your business.
Some consumers will not return a product, for a variety of reasons, and the chance of losing such customers is greatly increased.

Most of the time it’s because they feel there will be a confrontational attitude by store employees and/or management.

You will not know you have lost these customers unless you have a very friendly “refund” policy, known to ALL your employees, which makes the experience less daunting.

Remember, the reason for the return is not relevant, all you know is the customer is unhappy with a purchase and wants her money back or an exchange.

Customers MUST be well taken care of at this point, a refund, plus an extra bonus item, will almost ensure a happy customer.

Do some customers play games?
Of course, such as returning just the bones from a turkey, no meat, indicating the turkey was “bad”, is such a game.

You should be only caught once on this tactic, there are always customers who abuse store policies, habitual ones should be told, politely, to take their business somewhere else.

I know this contradicts the adage “the customers is always right:, but the customers are NOT always right

Giving them the benefit of the doubt twice is encouraged, three times and they are out!

Some suggestions.

Design an easy to understand, customer friendly “returns” policy

Make sure every employee knows and clearly understands the policy

Post the policy in break rooms and in employee newsletters.

When a situation arises where the policy is in doubt, rule in favor of the customer.

ALWAYS treat the customer with respect.

Make sure all employees know why the policy is needed and how it benefits the organization.

Their returns help to identify problem products, these may not be “store created’, the outside vendor/producer needs to be made aware of such product problems.

Customers should never be uncomfortable when returning a product.

How to you check on the policy?

You need to see returns, if they are few and far between, you have a problem.

Great customer service, stated and written, is only good when customers SEE IT IN ACTION…Go To It!
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