How to Handle Dropshipping Refunds and Chargebacks

It can be a pain to deal with dropshipping refunds, chargebacks, and exchanges. But it doesn’t have to be as painful if you have a process in place. Build out standard operating procedures so your team knows how to handle dropshipping refunds and chargebacks. Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to simplify the process:

  1. Assess the situation.
  2. Address the situation.
  3. Document the situation.

Here we’ll go over each of these steps and show you how you can incorporate them into a consistent, reliable process for dealing with product refunds, exchanges, and chargebacks, which can give you more time to spend on building your dropshipping business. We’ll also provide you with some free template examples for your business that can help you get started.

Assess and Address the Situation

Both assessing and addressing the situation can be lumped together in the same step, as you kind of need to do both at once. While there are multiple issues that can arise, the most common problem you’re likely to come across in ecommerce is how to handle dropshipping refunds.

Does the Customer Want a Refund?

Screengrab of a refund decision tree

If a customer is looking for a refund for a product, make sure you have a return policy that details how refunds work. You should have both a customer-facing policy and an internal policy for how to handle dropshipping refunds step by step. You have some freedom when it comes to how your refund policy works.

When to Give a Full Refund

You could simply give the customer a full refund without question and let them keep the product, which is often the best solution if you want to avoid the potential headache of dealing with angry customers who aren’t worth the effort. Sometimes you may encounter customers who are simply impossible to please, in which case giving them a full refund can help you redirect your time and energy to more important matters.

Give a Refund with a Product Return

While giving a full refund might be easier to do with less expensive products, you could suffer more losses if you give a full refund for a premium-priced product. The best way to keep the customer happy with the refund without hurting your business in the process is to offer a refund in exchange for returning the product to a P.O. box or warehouse.

Incentivize Customers to Avoid the Refund

Giving a full refund might be ideal if a customer is angry and you’re unlikely to change their mind. But there are some instances when you may find that a customer can be persuaded to take back their refund and keep the product. The fact is that oftentimes it isn’t the product that customers are unhappy with when seeking a refund — they’re unhappy with a lack of effective communication

Here is where it’s best to empathize with the customer and understand their situation. If you can make the customer feel understood and provide an offer such as a free information product or discount, then the customer will be more forgiving and be more willing to hang on to their purchase.

Offer a Partial Refund With Incentives

You also have the option of offering a partial refund, along with incentives such as free information products for which you would normally charge, which can help you save more money while working to keep the customer happy with the outcome. For instance, you might offer something like a 35% refund for the inconvenience along with a free resource that would you wouldn’t typically give away. This is likely to leave the customer even more satisfied, considering they get a partial refund, they can keep the product, and they get bonuses on top of that original purchase.

Is the Customer Submitting a Chargeback?

Screen Grab of How to Deal with Chargebacks

Customers may inadvertently charge their credit cards as they forget what they’ve purchased and subscribed to over time. It can be easy to lose track of what you’re buying online. So keep in mind that the occasional customer may submit chargebacks if they forget that they made a purchase and no longer want it. 

Unfortunately, many people also take advantage of chargebacks in an attempt to get products for free. So you’ll need to be aware of this potential issue as you develop and implement chargeback processes.

If a chargeback is submitted, you’ll want to assess and address the situation accordingly. Follow these steps:

  • Check to see if the product shipped.
  • Make sure you have the tracking information for the order.
  • Gather all evidence, including tracking, billing, shipping, and email communication that a platform like Stripe or PayPal may request.

If you can submit all the necessary information to support you in the event of a chargeback dispute, the simple truth is that you will win. If you can prove that the product shipped and you can submit all the tracking details, billing information, and email correspondence in an organized PDF or another document that supports your argument, you will likely win a majority of these disputes. You can then recycle that template and use it for future chargebacks.

Document the Situation

You should always maintain proper recordkeeping in any situation, whether it’s for a refund, chargeback, or exchange. Even if you have a good understanding of how to handle dropshipping refunds and chargebacks, people who work with you may not; different customer service teams do things differently. You need to maintain cohesion across your entire company with processes and systems, which good documentation can help achieve.

Use Email Templates

One way to keep customer service consistent, regardless of the situation, is to create email communication templates that employees can use. Send these to your teams, and you’ll be able to provide the same response to customers in similar situations. This will prevent the customer from encountering inconsistencies when communicating with your business. 

Create Chargeback Templates

Knowing how to handle dropshipping refunds isn’t enough. You also need to have a plan for chargebacks. To efficiently handle chargeback disputes and make evidence-gathering easier for your team, create chargeback templates as PDFs or other formats that make it easy to organize and present proof of shipping, tracking and billing information, and email communications when attempting to win a dispute.

Record Loom Videos

Business owning creating standard process documentation for refunds and chargebacks

Another way to show your customer support teams precisely what to do in any given situation is to create Loom video recordings. Loom makes it easy to record your screen and voice. You can use them to create helpful in-depth training videos that illustrate various procedures. Your employees can then watch these videos whenever they need to and learn about your processes. Then, you won’t need to walk each new employee through the process.

Template Examples You Can Use

If you want to get some ideas for what to include in the templates to share with customer service teams, then you can implement some of the following.

Here’s an example template that you can use as an initial reply to a customer inquiry:

Hey! So because our [X] ship directly from our overseas factory, shipping can sometimes take a little bit longer! You should have your [X] within the week. Please let me know if you have any other issues!

Thanks!

For a second reply after the customer responds, you can send the following:

Hey, we do apologize greatly for the delay. We had such a large influx of orders that it backed up our factory. If you do not have your [X] in the next 4-5 business days, please let me know. We will issue you a full refund along with getting you your [X] for free.

Thanks!

If the customer is still not satisfied, then you may need to reach out once more. You can send them this third reply:

We just refunded you your full purchase price. Again, we are really sorry about all this confusion. You will still be receiving your [X] — it just may take a few more days. Again, we are hugely sorry about this.

Thanks!

These three simple templates can help you figure out how to handle dropshipping refunds. Even better, the templates help your team consistently communicate with customers to ensure satisfaction.

Want to learn more about processes and systems about how to handle dropshipping refunds and chargebacks? What about every other aspect of your dropshipping business? If so, then check out our free Ecommerce master class, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to become a successful dropshipper and provide exceptional customer service. Tagged : / / / /

Dropshipper’s Guide to Hiring a Virtual Assistant

One of the key elements of a successful dropshipping business is a stellar customer service team. Hiring a virtual assistant to handle customer questions and concerns can give you more time to spend on less routine matters. You can run your business more efficiently while keeping customers satisfied. To help facilitate this, it’s important to find the right virtual assistants to add to your team.

The Key Components of Good Customer Service

If you want to provide the best possible customer service and win consumers over, you need to have certain standards in place. If you don’t set the standards for good customer service, it doesn’t matter how you go about hiring a virtual assistant to help your business—nobody will be able to wave that magic wand and save your business.

There are several elements behind reliable, helpful customer service that can help you establish these standards. They include:

Quick Response Time

Consider the kind of response time that’s acceptable for your business to get back to customer requests. Your response time could be one or two days, or it could be as fast as hours or even minutes. 

Efficient Ticketing Systems

You can also use a ticketing system to keep track of support tickets and use a monitoring system to see what kinds of questions customers are asking. 

Quality Assurance

A lot of businesses fail to offer any quality assurance after they begin outsourcing customer service. This is a bad practice that can lead to unhappy customers who eventually drop off. Make sure the people you outsource your customer service to adhere to the standards and guidelines you have in place, or this could lead to a decrease in quality that keeps customers from coming back to you. We definitely recommend performing quality assurance checks once every two weeks or at least once a month.

Listening to Customer Feedback

It’s not enough to simply allow customers to provide feedback—you need to actually listen to it to optimize the customer experience. You could be implementing strategies based on customer feedback, which can help continue to improve products, services, and processes.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Before putting your team together, it’s essential to have standard operating procedures in place. You won’t get very far if you don’t have some proven processes that can keep customer service consistently efficient and effective.

Why You Need Solid Standard Operating Procedures

screen grabbed list of benefits of having standard operating procedure documentation

It may sound daunting, but it’s worth the effort to create and implement SOPs for your business before hiring a customer service team. There are several key benefits to developing SOPs, including how they:

Hold Everyone Accountable

Having SOPs will help ensure that everyone is held accountable and provides consistently top-tier customer service. They also give clear guidelines for how things are properly done. If your VAs are uncertain of what to do at any point, they can consult that SOP repository to find out what the procedure would be.

Maintain Standards at Scale

Everyone in the company will be able to consult the SOPs to stay on the same page at all times when it comes to operations. Even business owners may forget the procedures they implemented. But with sufficient documentation, they can always go back to these resources to refresh their memory.

Quickly Bring New Team Members Up to Speed

Using SOPs, you can make sure your new team members have all the resources they need to keep up with the latest processes. Also, these new hires will be able to look at the SOPs and learn what they need to know without the need for manual training, which will streamline the onboarding process.

Provide Reference Points

Again, even business owners might need to refresh their memory when it comes to certain procedures and methods of operation in their own company. SOPs can provide a good reference point so anyone can easily go back and review the details.

Have Efficient Systems in Place

Having proven systems and processes in place can help your business in any number of ways. Apart from the key benefit of keeping things simple from start to finish, they can:

  • Ensure that all tasks are performed the same way for optimum consistency, efficiency, and quality
  • Replicate throughout the business in different areas, enabling businesses to recycle innovative process
  • Improve scalability by allowing you to make necessary changes to them as your business grows
  • Provide documentation that people can review

How to Start With Documentation Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When it comes to getting started with documentation, we recommend you stick to the KISS tradition, which we’ve slightly modified to “keep it stupid simple.” This entails simply keeping documentation so simple that just about anyone can understand it without any difficulty. 

In addition to simple, your documentation needs to be consistently actionable and measurable. Every step should include something actionable that people can apply. 

If you want to take full advantage of documentation to help improve simplicity and efficiency, try to create documentation for any recurring or repeatable task.

What Should You Outsource and Delegate?

list of routine business tasks that can be streamlined by hiring a virtual assistant

To begin determining what you should delegate and outsource, organize your day. Start by creating a list of all of the tasks that you complete on a daily basis. 

What exactly needs to get done? Also, what can outsourcing help simplify?

Some of the tasks you might complete from the start of each day could be making phone calls, answering comments on social media, fulfilling orders, or posting updates on Instagram and other platforms. If you can compile an exhaustive list of all these tasks you complete every day, then you can then use this to create the foundation for your documentation.

Some processes you might create guidelines for, based on the daily tasks you complete every day, may include:

  • How to fulfill orders
  • How to look up and send tracking numbers
  • Order information email templates
  • Service information email templates
  • Refund email templates
  • How to upload and optimize social media photos

You can use a combination of text and video tutorials to help teach these processes to new employees. 

The Best Place for Hiring a Virtual Assistant Online

virtual assistant handling client calls and order fulfillment

One great resource we recommend for finding your VAs and outsourcing your customer service is FreeUp. Visit our FreeUp page here to create an account and get a $50 coupon code that you can use toward jumpstarting your customer service team. What’s particularly nice about FreeUp compared to platforms like Fiverr or Upwork is that you can be sure you’ll find people who actually know what they’re doing. Every professional is screened to make sure they have the expertise they advertise.

You can hire just about everyone you’re through FreeUp for customer service and beyond, whether you need:

  • Phone support
  • Live chat support
  • Marketing
  • Proofreading
  • Content writing

The fact is that you can outsource just about every mundane task so you can focus on more important aspects of running your business.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant Is Part of a Business Growth Mindset

In short, we adhere to the philosophy of “do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” If you find that you can better spend your time on other things and someone else can get a lot of the routine work done, don’t be afraid of hiring a virtual assistant to do that work for you.

It may take a long time to grow your business to the point where you can easily outsource customer service. But it helps to treat your business like a seven-figure company from the very start. When launching your dropshipping business, get to work on listing those everyday tasks and developing SOPs. Then you won’t have to slow down when you start hiring and outsourcing. In the process, you’ll be geared for success every step of the way as you begin to grow.

If you want to learn more about getting started with dropshipping and launching your business, then attend the free Ecommerce Empire Builders Master Class. We’ll show you how easy it can be to set up a successful dropshipping business and excel in ecommerce. Tagged : / / / /

Top 4 Dropshipping Payment Processors for US and Non-US Residents in 2020

One of the most important aspects of a dropshipping business is payment processing. However, it can be difficult to choose the right payment processor for your business — whether you’re a US or non-US resident. You may also experience problems with processors such as PayPal and Stripe, which may lead you to turn away from those and seek alternatives. Check out these four dropshipping payment processors and find the right one for your business.

How Stripe Changed eCommerce

Before the introduction of Stripe, which made it easy for ecommerce business owners to set up payment and get approval, there were many steps involved in setting up payment processing. Some of these steps included:

  • Setting up merchant accounts
  • Handling payment gateways
  • Organizing and maintaining sufficient documentation

All of these steps made it a daunting task to set up payment processing. With the advent of Stripe, business owners (including dropshippers) could easily accept online payments via credit card and other methods. 

However, with more simplicity comes more responsibility: Stripe can easily shut users down for violations or customer mistrust. Stripe, like other payment processing platforms, has the best interest of the customer in mind, which can lead to shutting you down if your dispute rate or chargeback rate is too high. 

If you’re just starting out in dropshipping and need a reliable dropshipping payment processor that can give you the best results, you may want to use Stripe. But there are also other options, depending on your needs and preferences. The following are our picks for the top four dropshipping payment processors available for both national and international users.

1. Stripe

screen grab discussing Stripe and its benefits as a payment processing platform

Although certain caveats come with using Stripe, we still recommend this for both new and veteran users. The main reason we recommend Stripe is because it takes no time to get approved, and you can begin taking payments immediately after setup.

As your business begins to grow, managing Stripe could become more complicated. For instance, Stripe may begin holding your funds if your dispute rate exceeds one percent. Eventually, this could lead to shutting you down.

While you may risk having funds withheld and your account closed if you experience too many issues, Stripe is still one of the most reliable payment processors out there. You just need a solid plan so you can manage disputes and chargebacks. 

Even if you are in another country where Stripe isn’t supported, you may still be able to set up an account.

2. PayPal

We also still suggest you use PayPal, simply because of the boost in conversions that it can give you. This is because while you can still get conversions if you set up Stripe and a sales funnel, you can gain more credibility if you take the time to set up a PayPal account and include that badge in your sales funnel.

A lot of people also prefer to pay with PayPal because of its dependability and security. It also tends to make it easy for customers to make a purchase. You can even integrate Clickfunnels and Paypal, which I go over in this step-by-step video.

On the other hand, many people are hesitant to use PayPal because of certain issues that can happen. After all, PayPal has been known to withhold funds in many cases, slowly paying users in small increments. Regardless, it’s still worth having PayPal for the sake of boosting credibility and conversions. 

However, we do recommend that before opening up a PayPal account, it’s best to set up your sales funnel and Stripe account first. Ensure it’s all working the way it should. Then you can add PayPal to the mix.

If you’re a non-US resident and can’t get approved for Stripe or PayPal, there are a couple of alternatives that we recommend.

3. Payoneer

In some cases, you may not be able to set up Stripe. If you can set up a PayPal account, it’s perfectly possible to use this platform without Stripe and build your business that way. But it’s best to have both, particularly if you’re just getting started in the dropshipping business.

Keep in mind that, like with other dropshipping payment processors, you will have to deal with certain processes on Payoneer that can make setting up a little tricky.

A few of the steps involved in setting up Payoneer and connecting it with Stripe will include:

  1. Signing up for a Payoneer account and linking it to your bank account
  2. Setting up a business LLC
  3. Using your LLC to create a Stripe account

We understand that the very thought of going through the process of setting up a business LLC may induce some eye-rolling. But there are certain steps that business owners need to take, and doing so will be worth it in the long run.

What happens when you create an LLC for both Payoneer and Stripe? 

You can then connect that Stripe account with your Payoneer account. This step will enable you to receive payments in your local bank account. The entire process can take a few weeks to complete, but it will be more than worth the effort in the long run.

Once you have all of this set up and you’re ready to go, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having backups in the event that something goes wrong and puts your business at risk. This leads us to our next recommendation.

4. Easy Pay Direct

screen grab of Easy Pay Direct, one of the four dropshipping payment processors that acts as a backup system

If you don’t have sufficient backups in place for your payment processing accounts on PayPal, Stripe, or Payoneer, this can leave your business vulnerable. If Stripe or another processor shuts you down for any reason and you have no backup solution, then you won’t receive payments. Subsequently, neither will your employees, leading you to essentially shut down your business.

Easy Pay Direct is a great way to make sure you have backups in place. It’s basically a payment gateway, which is a kind of portal that can give you insights into multiple merchant accounts. Using Easy Pay Direct, you can be comfortable in knowing that you’ll always be in business even if something happens to your Stripe account or another account. Accidents can always happen in business, which is why it’s best to be prepared, and Easy Pay Direct is crucial to keep you protected.

You may need to build up some sales volume before you can get approved for Easy Pay Direct. Because of this, we recommend you set up your Stripe, PayPal, and Payoneer accounts first. Then scale your business before turning to Easy Pay Direct as a backup. You may also wind up paying fees upwards of a couple hundred dollars per month for Easy Pay Direct, but think of it as insurance that’s worth the investment.

Each of these dropshipping payment processors and gateways can help you only receive payments quickly and easily. They can also make sure that your business is consistently protected in the event of any issues with your accounts. Another great way to make sure your business is as consistently profitable as possible is to automate your order fulfillment process.

Consult With the Pros

dropshipper considering the four dropshipping payment processors

Setting up dropshipping payment processors is just the start of your ecommerce journey. Learn more about how to build and grow your dropshipping business — reserve your seat at the free Ecommerce Empire Builders masterclass. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about starting a successful dropshipping business. Tagged : / / / /