Importance of Communication in Returns Management

Communication in Returns Management
Communication in Returns Management

Communication is critical in supply chain management. Often, customers switch brands due to a need for more order updates in e-commerce. But it’s nowhere more apparent than during returns management when the contact points between customers and brands are at their maximum. From informing about the decision to return a product to pick-up schedules and replacements, there are a lot of communications in returns management that can’t be ignored.

Imagine not being available in these times of adversity for your customers. While customer turn-out is bound to happen, missing links slowly drain your revenue, often inconspicuously. Let’s learn about the important aspects of communications in Returns Management in this blog post.

Events in Returns Processing and Management

86% of customers seek a simplified order return system, and 92% will rebuy if it’s simple. In this connection, breaking down the journey of returned products reveals where communications in returns management are crucial and how. 

  • The customer wants to return products for some reason after successfully receiving them.
  • The customer contacts the company to initiate the product returns.
  • Someone from the company’s team sends information to customers via email or phone call regarding the process of returns. Shipping labels will also do. 
  • The customer sends the products to one of the locations mentioned.
  • The company’s internal team needs to figure out the product defect, if it’s sellable again, fix it under warranty if possible, or discard it altogether.
  • Return resale items to the dispatch logistics team.
  • Items eligible for repair need to go to the warranty group.
  • Items for recycling or disposal should be taken to the right facility.
  • If the item still has a warranty period and requires repairs, send it back to the buyer or offer a refund in money or store credit.

In the whole process, communications in returns management involve:

  • Confirming the reception of the returned product.
  • Keeping customers posted about the progress of their returns.
  • Notifying them if they’ll get a credit or a refund.

Breakage of communication at any point leads to inevitable frustration for customers, which could be worse for both companies and customers.

Improve Internal Team Communication

From the moment a customer decides to send back a product, everyone on your team must stay in the loop. Good internal communication in returns management ensures that each team member knows when the item will arrive, what their responsibilities are, and how much time they have. Using one unified returns management software system to track these returns is far more efficient than juggling multiple emails or updating several different systems. Make the smart choice for your team and simplify the return process.

Ensure External Communication with Customers

It’s crucial to keep customers in the loop with consistent updates when they’re waiting on a warranty fix, refund, or store credit. Coming under external communication in returns management, ignoring this step will make customers feel neglected, as if their item vanished without a trace. 

That’s where reverse logistics software shines—it automates all the external communication in returns management, easing your team’s workload and ensuring no customer is forgotten. Moreover, external communication in returns management keeps your customers reassured and connected effortlessly.

Simple Ways to Reduce Returns

  • Ensure your website has honest, clear product descriptions and real user feedback. Show your item with clear images and answer any frequently asked shopper questions.
  • Ensure accurate deliveries by double-checking order details with customers via email, confirming product, size, and address, and providing tracking details for peace of mind.
  • Choose sturdy packaging and bubble wrap for delicate items to avoid the common issue of damage, which leads to many returns.
  • Extend your return policy beyond 30 days to ease return pressure, and watch your ecommerce returns decrease as customers form a bond with their purchases or forget to return them.
  • Check-in with customers after delivery to ensure they are satisfied with the product. Ask for feedback, and offer perks to boost loyalty and decrease returns.
  • Of course, some customers might need to return products. Always handle returns with courtesy and clarity, and ensure your fair return policy is well communicated. Make the process simple, offer alternatives to refunds, and swiftly confirm returns.

Related article to read: What is Returns Management?


If you’re looking forward to building a robust DTC brand, returns management is crucial. Communication in returns management is the single link that can disrupt the whole supply chain, ultimately disappointing the customer. You must also remember that there are last-mile delivery challenges as well as limitations with 3PL providers and courier partners, which can further make returns management challenging. In this scenario, only robust communication can ensure a good customer impression and brand loyalty.


What does product return management involve?

Handling returned items includes taking them back, checking their condition, restocking, and sending them to the seller or manufacturer. Good return processes can improve supply chains, cut down on waste, and keep stock under control.

What are the three pillars of managing returned products?

The three pillars of returns management are speed, visibility, and control. An efficient reverse logistics plan links returned items with info and demand for fixable goods or reclaimed materials, relying on quickness, clarity, and management.

What is another name for returns management?

Returns management is also known as reverse logistics.

What are the 5Rs of returns management?

1. Returns encompass the process of handling goods sent back by customers, whether for defects or dissatisfaction. 
2. Recalls that involve the systematic retrieval of items that have been identified to cause harm potentially or that fail to meet safety standards. 
3. Repairs involve mending and refurbishment of products to restore them to full functionality. 
4. Repackaging the items to re-enter the distribution chain, ensuring they meet the necessary standards for sale or redistribution. 
5. Recycling waste materials into new products to reduce the environmental impact and promote a more circular economy.

What are some communications in returns management examples?

Good communication is crucial when handling returns. For example, if there is delay in orders, putting a notice on your site for customers to choose delivery options, sending email updates to your customers regarding delivery delays, phone calling them regarding order status etc, are good examples.

What is returns management in supply chain?

When customers want to return their orders for any reason, the cycle activities that companies have to perform come under returns management in supply chain. It involves collecting orders from customers, restocking, performing repairs of damage, etc.

What is the importance of communications in returns management?

Communication is crucial during returns management in the entire supply chain. Any gaps in updating the customer about progress potentially blemishes your brand impression and the resulting customer disappointment breeds high turnovers.

What are the essential communications in returns management?

1. Communicate returns policies accurately.
2. Include shipping labels or clearly inform the process of return.
3. Communicate the period of returns processing and the dates involved.
4. Mention the conditions related to the refund and the period for refund processing.
5. Respond to customer feedback.