An interesting question reached by in-box over the weekend that deserves more than just a quick answer at the bottom of a blog post. It’s a question and a dilemma that many eCommerce store owners grapple with every day:
“I manufacture a line of [deleted to protect identity] products that are unique to our store. I recently had product reviews added to my site and I just got my first not-so-good review. I’m reluctant to publish it as I think the customer who wrote it just doesn’t like the item and since we don’t accept returns, is using the review against us.”
Phew! This is a two-headed snake that I’m going to try to tame.
First, a store that doesn’t accept returns is almost unheard of these days. I don’t care if your products are unique to your store or not, any business who takes customer service seriously isn’t going to slap a “no returns” policy on every single item they sell. There has to be some give and take between the purchaser and the store owner when the need to return a highly customized item arises.
Look at it this way, if you don’t accept the item as a return, the cardholder is going to pick up the phone, call the toll-free number on the back of their credit card and dispute the charge. What happens next is the customer gets their money back and you get a chargeback.
It ends up putting you and the customer in a very frustrating and avoidable situation.
I encourage you to look at your returns policy and see if there is a happy medium that can exist to allow your customers to return items.
Now, everyone is going to get a bad review, because not everyone is going to like the widget you’re selling. It may fit the needs of one individual perfectly, while it may fall short with another. Customers visiting any website are looking to see what people think of a specific product and are expecting to see a mix of good and bad reviews. They then take those reviews and formulate their own opinion as to whether or not the product is going to fit their needs or not.
If you get a bad product review and your review feature allows you to comment, you should thank the customer for his/her comments and explain how the product is designed to work and if it’s something you manufacture yourself, note that you will consider their comments in a future product revision. If your system does not allow you to comment, the review should be published and you should pat yourself on the back for pushing the button.
After all, you would want to read honest, real-life reviews when researching a product, wouldn’t you want your customers to do the same?