Bespoke Returns System
We have built customised returns systems designed to suit individual business requirements, matching a wide range of criteria.
The returns system below is an expanded system offering a portal for various distributors to login and handle returns from their customers. Step by step, we’ve reviewed the process and you can see how this system could be applied to your business.
Each of your Distributors would have a dedicated account and once they have logged in, they would arrive on their homepage. This lists the available options for them.
The master account would have the ability to create new or edit existing Distributor accounts. Upon account creation, you would enter the appropriate details (Distributor name, address, telephone, etc) and the account would be set up. Any changes thereafter can be managed by the Distributor themselves via the ‘Edit Account Details’ link in the screenshot above.
E.g. If the Distributor needs to update their telephone number – they would login and edit their account details without any involvement from you.
This basic profile information would form the basis of the requested information that each return needs (i.e. Distributor Name, Account No, etc).
Creating a Return Request
The Distributor has two options for handling a return:
1. Raise a Return for an Existing Customer
This will raise a return allowing for the Distributor to save time by pre-filling certain information if the customer has returned items previously.
2. Raise an Ad-hoc Return
This will create a new return from a new customer, which will require the Distributor to specify customer information.
The benefit of this approach is that each Distributor will have a private list of their own customers which they can manage and if customers are regularly returning items then they don’t need to enter their details afresh every time.
Step 1: Add Customer Details
For the first step, the Distributor is required to specify their customer information. The fields here will be customised to suit the information that you require.
Step 2: Type of Return
At this point, we’re starting to create a return. This system is designed to allow for a customer to return multiple items during any one ‘return request’. The first step is to select a ‘type of return’ which may be optional if there are no predefined types. Once selected, the Distributor then clicks ‘Add Item to Return’ to fill in the other required details.
This process allows for a Distributor to build a list of products that are being returned under a single reference number (i.e. if items are being packaged together). As you’ll see in the next step, each product will also have a comprehensive breakdown of why it’s being returned.
As you can also see, the customer details are retained from the previous step and there is an option to change the customer too.
Step 3: Adding Product Details
Here, the Distributor will add information for each product their customer is returning. The above screenshot demonstrates what this looks like, but for you, the requested information may be different to include fields like:
- Product Part #
- Date of Purchase
- Date of Failure
- Reason for Claim
In addition, our system provides helpful messages when hovering over text fields to clarify what information the Distributor needs to enter, making the process very useable. This is the red text in the screenshot.
Step 4: Return Summary
A product has now been added as a return. If the customer has more items to be returned, the Distributor would then repeat steps 2 and 3 until all products are attached with their details and reasons for return.
Now the return is ready to be submitted; doing this will send an alert email to the customer with the appropriate details (i.e. the RMA #, return address) as well as any other information (perhaps a summary of the products and what happens next).
At this stage, we could also send the customer files to print out (such as packet notes with reference numbers) which will make it easier for your returns department to match packages received with returns on the system.
Handling a Return
The Distributor has now successfully created a return request and the customer has been informed of where to post the items.
Step 1: Review Existing Returns
This screen is accessed by clicking the ‘view existing returns’ link from the first screenshot. It summarises the existing ‘active’ returns and displays their status for quick and easy review at a glance.
It’s from this screen that we can manage the remaining processes of the return, which includes:
- Adding the tracking information
- Updating the client of status changes
- Deciding which scenario is applicable (i.e. refund or replacement)
- Final notification to client confirming completion of the return process
Step 2: Edit Return Status
By clicking on the magnifying glass on the previous screenshot, the user will be able to edit the return. This page would be edited to allow for you to update the return status and notify the customer depending on your exact needs.
For example, this page would contain fields for the tracking number, status (e.g. to approve the return) and any other information that needs to be recorded at this stage.
Also to note that at this stage you can still review the individual products and their reasons for return. This page will also contain fields for private notes too, so you can specify further information in relation to each individual product that you may not want the Distributor or end customer to see.
Clicking on the ‘Audit Complete’ button will finish the process and alert the end customer.
Your Returns System
As you can see, the above system is close to meeting many of the requirements outlined for a standard returns system. It is both easy to use and intuitive, which means staff will have no issues learning to use it.
In addition, we have a wealth of experience building systems like this; so in all likeliness as we come to understand your process more intimately, we will be able to build further improvements and efficiency gains which will deliver extra value.
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