Customer Experience Big Data Retailers: Punish or Perish? #cx #custserv

Customer Experience Big Data: Retailers How Will You Use It?

As apparel retailers offer more incentives to buy online, they run straight into the cost of returns.  The press is reporting that many will use customer experience big data to track and punish customers with high volume returns.

Very interesting — punishment as a customer care success strategy?

Customer Experience Big Data: Image is Swaddled Smurf says customer care.

Customer Experience Big Data Retailers: Punish or Perish? Image by Storque via Flickr.

We aren’t talking about customers who shoplift. These are customers who must try on what they buy online and return what doesn’t fit. Punishment will not stop their returns.

Possible punishment will discourage many customers from buying in the first place!

Customer Experience Big Data: Care & Integrity

Retailers if you are losing money from returns, consider a more positive approach. Don’t use manipulation to lure everyone in and punishment when the returns come in. This isn’t customer care!

Reward the positive. That’s customer care.

  • Instead of free shipping up front and punishment for high returns, refund the shipping to customers with low volume returns. It’s a reward. Customers love to be rewarded. Rewards feel good. Rewards bring people back for more. Use customer experience big data to reward not punish.
  • It’s also honest. It’s profit through integrity. Conversely, punishment for returns exposes the lack of transparency in your promotional offers. Free shipping isn’t free if you plan to punish later to recoup the money.

Do you want customers to have a positive impression of your brand?

Big data as big brother won’t do it.

Think about the busiest shopping season — the Holidays. Do you want to punish the high volume apparel gift givers who return gifts that don’t fit their loved ones?

What greeting will you use? Happy Holidays from the retailer who punishes? Brought to you by the Marquis de Sade marketing agency?

No one disputes that businesses must be profitable. It’s clear that returns cost money.

Yet upfront offers that start with “come here we want you” and end in punishment are more like predatory stalking than customer care.

Keep it simple. Remember the basic relationship. Customers place orders and retailers fulfill them. Reward customers that stand by you and see your reputation and your coffers grow!

Online shoppers what do you think?

What retailer practices do you like and dislike?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Image by Storque via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Related Posts:
Retailers: The Opposite of Convenience May Surprise You
Customers Say, Make It Easy!

©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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3 Responses to “Customer Experience Big Data Retailers: Punish or Perish? #cx #custserv”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    Right on, Kate! Especially for people in remote areas, their only choice may be online shopping. Would much rather do business with a company that incented me to keep returns to a minimum than one that made it hard to do returns – or worse, punished! Quite frankly, I’d just turn to another company that makes it easier and cheaper.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Exactly what I would/will do too Alli. In fact, I chuckled when I thought, these online retailers may revive brick and mortar stores if they do what they are planning!

      Thanks for your perspective here. Always glad to read your thoughts.

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