Drafting Store Refund Policy
The drafting of policies is a practice that is best initiated in the early stages of the business, at times even before the actual set up of the business.
During the planning stages you must be able to picture and strategize potential situations and outcomes in order to plan ahead for their appearance once you have set up your business.
This includes properly evaluating how you plan on handling daily and special situations.
These policies need not remain stagnant through the course of time, in fact it is essential to update on these policies from time to time. In the course of your business you will encounter several and various situations in which you will find the need for alteration in your policies. At times it is only through experience wherein we are able to discover what strategies benefit the company or business the most, and it is in these aspects that we develop on to ensure improvement beneficial to the company.
In drafting your store or business refund policy you will have to first establish the policies with regards to payment. This is because when a customer files for a refund it should more or less be exactly what he or she has agreed upon in the first place to pay. Anything more can make customers dependent on refunds and make your business prone to irresponsible customers which are what must be avoided at all costs.
Decide on the currency you accept and therefore pay back, the information that is involved in handling checks and credit cards, the extended terms with regards to these cards. When it comes to product pricing take note of the overall markup of the store, the pricing strategy, discounts and offers including benefits to certain types of people. If you accept layaway document this accordingly and note whether or not the layaway fee is refundable as well.
Once you have noted policies on your initial inventory you may now mark down how you plan on handling refunds and exchanges. There are certain items that may not be refundable or returned at all. This is where you need to track down your inventory according to the law. Take note of the items where it is strictly prohibited by law to return. Assess yourself on how lenient and liberal you are to exchanges and returns. Weigh the pros and cons and note down your conditions on making returns and refunds. This includes the status of the products, certain factors with regards to its condition, the documentation necessary to file for a refund among other things. This is where it is essential to have a Merchandise Return Form and a posted Return policy. Usually the Merchandise return form is available upon request; however the return policy must be place in the public eye where it may be viewed freely. In this case some store owners post this policy on their receipts, documentation or even on containers and plastic or paper bags. The time frame of this policy must also be strictly noted.
In addition to these aspects that protect you from any liabilities involved in returns, you must also consider that you are in fact giving the customer what they want, that is, to a certain extent. It is very important to value the rights of your customers and it is through these kinds of policies that you are able to manage your credibility as a trustworthy business, worthy of their time, effort, and of course money.
Consider that this policy needs to be convenient. Be able to clearly publicize the policy and point this out to your customers. Train your staff to be able to answer questions with regards to these returns or exchanges. Make sure that everyone is well aware of this policy and how it needs to be implemented. Make clear what they need to say, ask or do since it has been a constant annoyance when you are asked over and over again about a certain product without arriving to any real conclusion. Above all remain completely attentive, calm and friendly. Train everyone to be able to handle this sort of situation with finesse and a sense that they are there to help the customer with their concerns and not badger them endlessly with questions and comments. Keep the return or refund process simple and as quick as possible.
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