Returns are a great source of frustration for everyone – the consumer and retailer alike. Research by Omnico among 2,000 U.S. consumers last year found nearly nine-in-ten customers (86 percent) get frustrated when they wait in store for a refund or exchange.
The fact is, consumers expect to enjoy convenience and quick service at every stage in their shopping journey. They certainly don’t want to stand in line to return an item, nor do they want to be subjected to invasive questioning when they don’t have a receipt. Studies show 40% of shoppers said they hate waiting at the customer service point for returns to be completed and 31% dislike having to wait until they reach the checkout before they can resolve it.
There is a better way to treat customers than this. Integrating advanced customer engagement software like Omnico’s OmniEngage with your legacy POS makes it easy to centralize refund management regardless of channel. Customers no longer need a receipt if they can be identified by their loyalty or membership card, or the credit/debit card they used to make the purchase. This is a major advantage for any retailer running systems such as IBM/Toshiba 4690 POS.
Instead of dreading the experience, customers know they can be refunded or credited quickly without having to undergo cross-examination. This is a real advantage, because the explosion of online commerce has made consumers sensitive about returns policies. A retailer that can administer returns quickly and simply is likely to attract more customers and retain existing shoppers. And another advantage is that customer engagement software will recognize customers’ phones in store and send them personalized offers that are highly relevant and enticing.
Integration of customer engagement software not only makes life easier for everyone, it offers an important degree of flexibility to more senior frontline staff. The enhanced POS will flag high-value customers through synchronization with the CRM system. Managers can then over-ride the normal limits so that an extra level of service is provided to keep a customer happy and loyal.
For retailers there is another major gain from 4690 POS enhancement – it cuts down susceptibility to fraud. With an augmented POS system, a returned item is marked and cannot be put through a second time, reducing opportunities for fraud by consumers, especially in collusion with staff. A study in conjunction with the National Retail Federation estimates return fraud costs U.S. retail $18.4 billion annually. More than a fifth of returns without a receipt (21 percent) are fraudulent.
Through integration of OmniEngage, retailers with 4690 POS can remove the primary cause of frustration for customers making returns and protect themselves from fraud. That’s two significant advantages.