No matter how much you try to offer the best customer service, you will always encounter dissatisfied customers. You will also deal with returns as they are inevitable too.
But the unfortunate part is that these complaints and returns can be detrimental to your business, especially in this digital era where people can share anything on social media. It can damage the solid reputation you have struggled to build over the years you have been in operation.
You need to find ways to handle and reduce the risk of returns and customer complaints. Sales order processing [SOP] can help you reduce and deal with them effectively.
This article discusses SOP, why it matters, and how to use it to reduce returns and risks. So, without wasting more time, let’s get started.
What is sales order processing?
Sales order processing is the procedure for managing customer orders from the point of order placement till the customer receives the goods or service. Several phases are included in the SOP, including order entry, confirmation, invoicing, delivery, and payment. SOP is significant since it impacts client retention, loyalty, and satisfaction. Your reputation can be improved, repeat business increased, and good word-of-mouth generated with a seamless and accurate SOP. On the other hand, a subpar SOP can cause issues, delays, customer unhappiness, and legal issues.
How to use SOP to reduce returns and complaints
Now that you understand what SOP is all about, let’s see how to use it to reduce complaints and returns.
An effective, dependable, and consistent SOP is crucial to preventing returns and complaints. Use a clear and thorough order form that includes all pertinent information, such as product specs, quantities, prices, delivery dates, and contact information, to improve your SOP.
Send the customer a confirmation message or email with the order details and tracking information as soon as possible to confirm the order. Continually update the consumer on the progress of their order and follow up with them.
Set up a quality control system to inspect goods before shipment and pack them safely to prevent damage during travel. Provide invoices that are accurate, unambiguous, and consistent with the terms of payment for the order. Finally, deliver the goods promptly and in good condition and ask the consumer for delivery confirmation.
How to deal with returns and complaints when they arise
As already stated, no matter how much you try to offer the best customer service, you may still have to deal with returns and complaints from clients. Responding promptly and courteously to the client’s issue and apologizing for any difficulty or dissatisfaction caused are crucial for ensuring a successful sales performance and maintaining customer loyalty. Additionally, it’s critical to pay attention to consumer input, comprehend their viewpoint, provide a just and reasonable answer that suits their demands, and then contact them again to confirm the solution. To further help prevent similar problems from happening in the future, take the time to reflect on the experience and pinpoint the source of the problem.
How to gauge how returns and complaints affect sales performance
It is no secret that returns and complaints can greatly impact your sales performance. That’s why you need to reduce them as much as possible. How can you measure the impact of returns and complaints? The best approach would be to use key performance indicators [KPIs]. These KPIs can monitor the frequency, cost, and impact of returns and complaints. Here are the most important KPIs you can use:
- The return rate (the percentage of goods returned by customers)
- Complaint rate (the percentage of orders causing complaints from customers).
- Resolution rate (the percentage of returns and complaints that your SOP team has resolved effectively).
- Resolution time (the average amount of time it takes your SOP team to resolve a return or complaint).
- Customer satisfaction (customers who express satisfaction after a return or complaint is resolved).
- Customer retention (the percentage of customers who make a purchase even after a complaint or return).
You can evaluate the success of your SOP and identify areas for improvement by keeping an eye on these KPIs.
How SOP can boost your reputation and customer loyalty
Sales Order Processing may improve your reputation and client loyalty, preventing and managing returns and complaints. Making SOP more distinctive by including the customer’s name, preferences, and background will strengthen their sense of loyalty to your company. You can increase their satisfaction by exceeding their expectations and providing value through free samples or vouchers. They may feel more engaged if you solicit their opinions and suggestions after each order, and they may feel more valued if you give them rewards like loyalty programs or discounts. Their confidence in your brand may increase if you display encouraging comments and testimonies from satisfied clients. These are all powerful approaches to implementing SOP to improve your reputation and client loyalty.
How you handle compaints determines whether you’ll retain customers. Other than implementing Sales processing orders, you can handle these issues in other ways. For instance, you can solicit customer feedback, upgrade your product’s quality, etc.
Regarding customer complaints, you need to understand the root cause and see how you can handle it without making the customer feel undervalued. This way, you can reduce returns and complaints and end up with satisfied and loyal customers who can help you grow your company because customers are the backbone of any company!