Whether from buyer’s remorse, misunderstandings, or a business oversight, charge backs are a frustrating loss to online businesses. It’s already enough just to guide the customer into a purchase without them demanding a credit card refund. While these claims can often be disputed in order to let you keep your money, it is better to avoid the situation altogether.
Set Clear Expectations
Customers often don’t understand how businesses operate, from inventory to shipping. This leads to confusion and stress on their part when you are incapable of meeting unrealistic demands. Give them ample education about your shipping and return policies in a clear fashion that relies on factual, quantitative information. Be explicit about how many days it might be before you ship, and give not just estimates for length of time on each shipping option, but accurate ranges for projected delivery dates as well. Set a firm timeline for returns, and emphasize how those will be handled, including what form a refund will take, if you expect the merchandise back and in what condition, and who will handle returns shipping. Setting firm boundaries may seem like it will lose you sales, but your loyal customers will appreciate your honesty, and an explicit policy may scare off the more fickle buyers who are likely to dispute orders with you.
Another angle in setting expectations is in your products themselves. Use the highest quality photos available to you, and tailor product descriptions to give concise structural information, including dimensions and all materials, and ensure your shopping cart shows the product names, not just your item numbers.
Consider a Payment Broker
Payment brokers not only offer a variety of analytics and system integration for your cash flow, but some offer protections as well. Payment systems will allow you to adjudicate customer disputes through their centralized claims system, letting the wait on defending your position rest on their records and not on your time and energy. Further, if a resolution cannot be reached directly between you and the claimant, they are equipped to mediate terms that will at least end the matter and let you move on.
Add this in along with the fact that many of these services can easily expand the range of payment options you can safely receive and can often make international payments more secure and convenient, and this strategy could let you give customers a more favorable expectation for their shopping experience with you.
Stay in Communication with Customers
Consider sending out notices when an order is received as well as when it ships. Along with your other policies, have a thorough and easily navigable contact page, give a reasonable estimate of how long it takes you to reply to communications such as email, and be prompt as possible about returning customer queries. If a problem arises with availability of a product or shipping, let the customer know right away, and immediately make an offer of beneficial, easily understood ways to resolve the issue, or, at least, make it up to them. Take customer feedback seriously, and attempt to modify your expectations to match what customers desire.
What are your tips for preventing charge backs in eCommerce?