A customer has followed your process to a “t” and now drops the return off at the post office… now what? Too many brands end communication here, but this is when a customer feels the most vulnerable.

That’s why it’s essential to share updates with your customers throughout the return journey—we’ll walk you through the three most important checkpoints in this post. The ones that make your customer feel confident that they have completed their part and a refund or exchanged item is on its way.

Why post-return touchpoints matter

You may be wondering why you need to put in the extra effort. The customer already did everything they need to do by dropping the package off. But they have not yet got what they came for which is either a refund or an exchange, that’s what they want to be updated on.

You may also be thinking if they’re trying to exchange or refund their purchase, they’re not going to shop with your brand again, right? We recently analyzed repeat purchase rates after a customer returns to see if there’s any truth to this statement and found that there isn’t.

In fact, customers who received a refund saw a 17.8% increase in repeat purchases compared to customers who didn’t engage in any return event. Exchanges provide an even more significant lift and saw a 34% increase in repeat purchases.

Also, a return event doesn’t just lead to more repeat purchases—it leads to faster repeat purchases. Customers who didn’t have a Loop return on their first order had an average of 116.5 days until their second order. Customers who did have a Loop return on their first order had an average of 90.8 days until their second order.

In short: it’s absolutely worth the additional time, effort, and money to keep customers updated throughout their return journey.

3 customer touchpoints you need during the return journey

1. When the returned item is in transit

The moment that a customer drops off a returned item at their local carrier is when their worries begin. We totally understand why.

Their package contains a certain value that the customer is expecting to get back—whether that’s as a refund or a new item. But now, the process is out of their control. And they have to rely on other people to get the item back to your brand. 

To reduce this anxiety, share an update as soon as the package is scanned in at the carrier. When they receive this email, they’ll breathe a sigh of relief and feel confident knowing their package is on its way back to you.

Sometimes the customer will get this email as they are walking back to their car, it signals to them that you have the process from here. We also have a ton of tips on how to build an email like this in our post-purchase emails for returns post.

2. When the returned item is received at the warehouse

At this point, it’s been a few days, and your customers are nervously waiting and wondering whether their return item has successfully made it back. What if it got lost in the mail? What if the package got damaged in transit? These are the questions that will be filling their heads. 

Instead of keeping your customers in the dark, let them know when the package arrives at the warehouse. This is especially important if their exchange or refund is dependent on you inspecting their items.

When you proactively let your customers know that their return items are safe and sound, it builds confidence in your brand because it shows the customer that you care about their peace of mind. As a result, this increases the chances that the customer will come away feeling positive about their returns experience and come back for another purchase in the future.

3. When the refund has been issued or the exchange has been sent out

Can you guess what the #1 support request is? Yup, it’s customers reaching out to ask, “where is my refund?”

Knowing this, it should be no surprise that one of the checkpoints we recommend is to reach out to customers as soon as their refund has been issued or their exchange item has been sent out. This is a great opportunity to beat your customers to the punch and proactively address their needs before they send a frustrated note to your support team. 

Not only is this is a great way to give your customers peace of mind, but it also gives you another opportunity to remind them what a great experience they had with your brand—hopefully encouraging them to come back and shop with you again in the future.

Don’t leave your customers in the dark when it comes to their returns. By building these three key checkpoints into your return process, you’re setting your customers up for a much more transparent, seamless, and worry-free experience. Get in touch with our team if you want to learn how Loop can help you create a top-notch returns experience.