Customers returning goods they’ve purchased is not an ideal situation for any business, but there’s a variety of reasons it happens. The best solution is to be prepared for it so the return process goes smoothly. You need to ensure the correct item, price and quantity is returned and credited appropriately into your system. Missing this step impacts inventory accuracy, profitability and customer service. You also want to report on what happened and to establish why, identifying errors so you can minimise the chances of it happening again.
What businesses don’t want – but what happens too frequently – are customers returning goods without the proper process being followed or due authority given.
As much as a business tries to avoid it, the following does occur:
- Customer is overcharged – where a customer may have been charged the full amount for a discounted product.
- The wrong item supplied to customer, which needs to be returned to stock.
- Sent more than the customer ordered.
- Waiting on delivery, incoming goods delayed – if the goods don’t arrive in time for the customer.
- Insufficient stock supplied goods sourced elsewhere. Part order supplied.
If any of the above happens the returns process helps avoid errors. Such errors have a negative effect on the business and the customer.
All too often there’s no defined process or delegated authority to handle refunds.
MYOB Greentree’s CRM module comes with a built-in Credit Return Authority function that can help improve the management of this issue. Whoever’s authorised to accept returned goods can, with just one form (being a return authority). This form is then emailed to the customer for them to return with the goods. When the goods are received into store and checked off against the return authority the user can generate a credit note directly from the return authority form. Included is all the relevant information: the correct item code, price, customer and invoice.
Added to this, a workflow desktop can be designed to show what return authorities are outstanding (which Inwards Goods can drill straight into the return authority and generate the credit).
Not only does the returns process become more streamlined, it also ensures greater accuracy. A business can move away from using manual paperwork (where errors so often occur) or the use of excel spreadsheets to track this. An additional feature is the reporting function, which allows a business to pinpoint where mistakes are being made. For example, if customers are consistently being sent the wrong orders out of the business’ warehouse, they can then look at the ‘picking and packing’ process to identify where things are going wrong.
If customers are consistently receiving damaged goods, the business could take a look at the shipping and freighting to see what the problem is there. One of Endeavour’s MYOB Greentree clients uses it for their Delivery In Full On Time (DIFOT) processes so they can track why goods aren’t being delivered on time.
The Credit Return Authority feature means that not only can the return of goods be handled efficiently and accurately, but the business can check who authorised the returns, and why. It makes the process easier for the customer, and allows the business to track it so they can identify areas that need improving.
If you’re using MYOB Greentree’s CRM module and you weren’t aware this feature existed, or you’ve looked at it and wondered how it could benefit your business, we’re here to help. Contact us if you would like to find out more information about the CRM module and how we can help.