At Speed Answer, our representatives are always looking for ways to deliver value for our clients. One of those ways is in how we handle return inquires.

Delivering products their customers love is at the heart of every ecommerce business. The last thing online retailers want is to issue a refund and receive an item back. So, what’s the secret to turning those dissatisfied customers into repeat business?

Let’s look at our top four ways customer care agents can turn a return into a sale:

1. Set the Tone. Your representatives can make or break a customer interaction by being annoyingly apologetic or taking a combative approach. Teach your representatives to show genuine empathy and demonstrate a wiliness to find a solution that is the best for the customer. Agents should be working with the customer, not against them.

2. Listen. Anytime a customer contacts a business, the most relevant and important response is to listen to the customer’s concerns and ask clarifying questions. You can learn a lot about your product and your customer’s perceptions by just listening. Make sure you fully understand their concerns. Document the reasons for return requests and share this information with your entire team. You may find that your marketing copy is creating unrealistic impressions or order fulfillment is not wrapping the product so it’s breaking in transit.

3. Make Suggestions. Now that you know why they want to return a product, offer to exchange the item for one that fits their needs better. Perhaps they didn’t like the color or size. Could another item in stock fill their needs instead? Can you offer a discount or a partial-refund if they want to keep the item? Are they upset about your product? Offer an opportunity to speak with a manager for priority support. Cross-sell and up-sell items that would make their purchase complete or more beneficial to the customer.

4. Close with a Smile. Your goal should be to leave every customer delighted. If you were unable to salvage the sale, leave them with a positive image of your business by providing outstanding customer service. Walk your customer through the necessary steps to initiate a return and receive a refund. Consider offering returning customer speciality discounts to entice them to giving your products a try in the future.

A returns process can make or break a retail business. These four tips will help your customer care function turn returns into sales.