Creating A Robust Returns Policy – A Checklist

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Creating a robust returns policy

… can help improve your bottom line whatever the size of your operation. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t taken action on yet, here’s a quick checklist that covers the main points.

  1. Your returns policy needs be clearly defined, easily accessible, and transparent to both customers and employees.
  2. It should have defined, straightforward and easy-to-follow procedures that your customers can understand and follow without confusion or frustration. It’s best to communicate these procedures before an order has been made or a purchase has taken place.
  3. It should provide your customers with a clear process for obtaining authorization, which in turn will ensure efficient handling of returned items when they arrive back at your dock door.
  4. It should include effective communication between you and your customers. Communication should be regular, transparent and take place throughout the returns process, providing updates on return status, refunds, or replacements.
  5. You will likely want to implement a thorough inspection process to assess the condition of returned items and determine appropriate actions for them, such as restocking, repair, or disposal.
  6. You should integrate your returns with any inventory management to ensure proper tracking, restocking, or disposal of returned items.
  7. It’s best to process refunds or replacements in a timely manner, ensuring efficient and accurate handling of issues to maintain customer satisfaction.
  8. Adopting a customer-centric approach will help you increase customer satisfaction – address concerns or issues promptly and empathetically.
  9. It helps to regularly evaluate and refine the process based on customer insights and operational efficiency goals.
  10. Analysing return data can help you to identify trends, root causes, and areas for improvement. You can use this kind of data to make informed decisions on product quality, supplier selection, and process enhancements.

Handling returned inventory efficiently can significantly reduce operational costs and wastage and there are options available that could help you to automate many of these steps. If automated returns are something you’d like to examine in more detail for your operation, request a free demo of User Services Portal today, by emailing us at

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