How live chat can simplify the customer returns process

Adam Alred • 09 Nov 2022 • 3 min read

It doesn’t matter what sort of products you produce or sell, or what industry you work in, at the end of the day, product returns are going to be an inevitable part of your business’s workday.

Of course, this is in no way indicative of the quality of your products. Returns like this are just a natural part of the selling process, and even the best products in the world will see the occasional return for one reason or another.

However, one thing that can really frustrate customers is an unhelpful, inefficient, and downright slow returns process – or failing that, a lack of any returns policy at all – which is often a key reason for why bad customer service can impact your business.

Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can facilitate a speedy returns process and build on your already stellar customer service reputation, one of which is making use of Live Chat.

Take a look below at our top tips for incorporating live chat into your customer returns policy to turn a potentially unpleasant process into one that leaves the customer with a positive impression of your business.

How live chat can improve the product returns process

Whether a customer is returning your product because they’re not happy with it, or because it somehow got damaged in transit, there are many ways in which live chat can help streamline your business returns process:

1. Instant and clear communication

First and foremost, using live chat as part of your returns process offers customers a quick and straightforward way to get in touch with your team, rather than waiting for your phone lines to clear or for their email to be answered.

Instead, they can pose their returns request or related questions in the chat box, satisfied with the knowledge that a member of your customer service team will reply to your inquiry promptly.

2. Fast returns solutions

Alongside facilitating fast and clear communication, live chat also makes it very easy for your customer service reps to understand a customer’s problem and then either provide them with a solution or direct them to the relevant team for further assistance.

For example, if a customer wants to return something that doesn’t work, a live chat agent may be able to provide instructions that address the issue without requiring a return. Or, alternatively, walk them through the returns process to minimize any potential confusion.

3. Personalizing the returns process

The hallmark of a good returns process often comes in the form of a personalized returns process, and live chat makes it that much easier to analyze customer requests on a case-by-case basis and find the solution that works best for them.

Take for example if a customer gets in touch about a return because your product wasn’t what they expected. Live chat can be used to offer these customers individual support in a way that makes them feel heard and provides them with fair compensation. You can even send them a transcript afterwards so they have a record of the entire conversation.

4. Providing clear next steps

As helpful as live chat can be in many areas of customer service, it’s not always going to be enough to meet every customer’s needs – sometimes, the problem at hand is simply too complex to be handled in a chatbox.

However, thanks to the convenience of live chat, it’s very easy to direct your customers to the right part of your business to handle complex requests, ensuring their needs are properly met and their problem is resolved in a satisfactory way.

5. Collecting feedback

Finally, live chat is a brilliant and efficient way to receive feedback on your products and customer interactions, making it easy for you to take stock of why certain items are being returned.

This sort of feedback is invaluable information for any business as it can be used to improve your products and services going forward, which in turn will make returns less likely and improve the overall reputation of your business.

It can also help you to decide when returns are warranted: For instance, if a customer wants to return something that doesn’t work, a live chat agent may be able to provide instructions that address the issue without requiring a return

Set up live chat for your business with VoiceNation

And there you have it, those are the five key ways in which live chat can help improve your returns process, and these are only some of the benefits of live chat.

However, if you’re not sure how to set live chat up for your business, don’t worry, VoiceNation is here to lend a hand.

As well as being experts in the field of live answering and virtual receptionists, we also have years of experience in helping our clients operate live chat systems for their business.

Get in touch today to find out more about how our live chat systems operate, and to inquire about our other services to see if they might be of help to you. We even offer a free trial period with some of our services, letting you try them out before signing up.

By Adam Alred

VP of IT @ VoiceNation