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How Small Businesses Can Properly Handle Customer Returns and Refunds

How Small Businesses Can Properly Handle Customer Returns and Refunds

Customer complaints, returns, and refunds are said to be an inevitable part of every business, big or small. How you handle customer returns and refunds, however, speaks a lot about your company’s customer service. In today’s competitive business industry, top-notch customer service is an earmark of success you shouldn’t ignore.

Buyer Returns and Refunds Handling Tips to Know

Customer returns and refunds don’t always have to be an unpleasant experience for both the customers and from your end as the business. When you make it easier for your customers, you can also reap the benefits later on.

Proper handling of customer returns and refunds is an evolving process. Learn as you go and that will eventually lead to a significantly reduced number of customer returns and refunds in your company. Remember, for your small business to survive and grow, keeping customers happy is an important tenet to follow.

These tips for handling customer returns and refunds ensure that your small business isn’t positioned at a disadvantage by having the appropriate refunds abuse protection policies in place  while not causing any disservice to your customers.

Stay Calm

This may seem like very obvious advice, but it actually needs to be highlighted many times. When an unhappy customer makes a complaint, it can be very easy to feel as if you need to retaliate right away. Your small business is your source of pride and joy, and you’ve put so much thought into coming up with your products and services. You may feel defensive towards a dissatisfied patron.

It’s advised to keep an open mind, stay calm, and never answer back. A customer with complaints must be handled with de-escalation in mind to not further worsen the situation. Getting upset and losing your cool towards your customers will be detrimental to your business. You’re more likely to have progress if you approach your customer’s complaints calmly and provide a prompt solution to their concerns.

Choose the Right Small Business Return Policy

Different businesses will have their own return policies in place. As an entrepreneur, it’s recommended that you craft the right one for your business. Don’t proceed with copying the return policy of another business entirely. Changes and considerations should be made to determine the protocols that will match your business model.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. The whole point is to make sure your small business return policy is convenient for your business and your target customer base. Get the whole message across the board as to what your store’s return policies are and what underlying exceptions there will be.

Allow Customers to Try Or Test Out Products Before Purchasing

Product testers are very important to have especially if you’re running a small storefront. They are there for a reason. They give customers an opportunity to try out or test your products even before buying. While these testers are a reduction in the products you’re going to sell and earn a profit from, this expense is worth it to prevent refunds and returns later on.

Product testers are said to be effective at curbing the high number of customer returns. It’s believed that if customers have tried on a product first to see if it suits their tastes, they’ll know exactly what they’re getting before proceeding to checkout. Certain customers are known to rarely ask for a refund.

This option isn’t just limited to retailers who can give out samples. If you’re a toy seller, for instance, you can give your buyers a chance to test out toy products before buying. If you’re a car dealer, offer a test drive to potential clients.

Apologize and Thank Your Customers

An apologetic business is one that’s willing to learn from its mistakes and provide better service in the future. When you receive a customer complaint, it helps to provide a hint of empathy when taking action on it. Doing so can put your business miles ahead of your competition. This is especially true as a small business still struggling to make ends meet, in terms of profits and customers, happy customers are important to drive sales.

When your customers see that you’re making an effort to understand their concerns, they may form positive insights into your company. This might lead to them feeling a connection with your business that may eventually lead to them turning into loyal patrons of your goods and services.


With the tips above, you can make your small business more adept at handling both the process and the expense of customer refunds, returns, and complaints. No business is ever exempt from this, as it is, in fact, an inherent part of running a business.

These tips are the foundation of having a good and well-functioning product return policy. Customer complaints and refunds don’t have to inflict a negative impact on your company. With the help from the guide above, it’s advised that you and your company’s staff handle each one in the most pleasant and amicable manner possible.

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by Marissa Collins //

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.