RL Magazine
Returning Thoughts: Using an RMA Request as a Reverse Logistics Up-Selling Opportunity
By Paul Rupnow

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“Would you like fries with that RMA?” Most Reverse Logistics teams have never thought to ask this question. You may be missing a big after-market service opportunity to increase your revenues, profits and enhance your customer experience.

Up-Selling is not just a tool for your sales team; it is an opportunity for anyone in your organization who is dealings with your customers. And up until now, it is an opportunity that has largely been overlooked by Reverse Logistics teams. Up-Selling is an opportunity for you to increase customer satisfaction, increase your revenues and enhance your Reverse Logistics group profitability.

Reasons to Up-Sell

Up-Selling is a win-win opportunity. Of course you customer is unhappy to have to call you and return a product, but it happens to everyone who buys anything electronic. So quickly resolve their RMA issue and find out how else you can help them. You can help your customers by offering them opportunities to:

  • Save money with special, direct from the manufacturer pricing
  • Obtain or upgrade to newer products
  • Purchase more of your products
  • Warranty their future
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Save shipping cost
  • Return existing products to you for recycling or resale

For your company and your Reverse Logistics team, up-selling is an opportunity to:

  • Generate additional revenues and profits
  • Manage or sell new, old or excess inventory
  • Improve customer satisfaction by turning the negative experience of obtaining an RMA into a positive experience

Up-Selling Opportunities for Reverse Logistics Teams

The following is a list of Up-Selling opportunities and ideas to get you started:

  • Upgrades – you can offer, possible at a discount from the retail price, an upgrade to a new or more recent model. ( most customers would prefer a newer 24 or 27 inch LCD for a small increase in price, rather than a direct warranty replacement for their 19 inch LCD - “would you like to Super Size that order”)
  • Companion products or services – companion products and accessories are typically very high margin items, be sure to offer them and maybe even at special pricing. Printers need toner. Cameras need cases, batteries, memory. LCD TVs need to be mounted.
  • Free Shipping – if you will be shipping a replacement product anyway, there may be no additional cost to adding additional items to the box.
  • Special pricing – since you may be a manufacturer, you may be able to offer below retail pricing, especially on newer but not the most recent models.
  • Inventory Management – there may be a good opportunity to offer old or excess models as replacement items or as an additional purchase. This may help you reduce your replacement item costs or dispose of less desirable inventory. It may also help reduce the need to incur high repair costs to keep old models in stock.
  • Extended Warranty – a cherished very high profit item for retailers can now be offered to your RMA customer on their returning item.

Cross selling and Upselling are important parts of all sales processes today, online or in person. It will be beneficial to find RMA software that can help you manage upselling/ cross selling or work with you development team to incorporate it into your RMA request processing.

So, go ahead, try that RMA order with fries or super-sized. You may find that Up-Selling provides your customers, your Reverse Logistics team and your CEO with a much higher level of satisfaction.

Good Luck!

Learn and Share Reverse Logistics best practices, insights and strategies with Paul Rupnow at ReverseLogisticsProfessional.com

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