I've never understood the impossibly rigid stance on the policy of no refunds or ever stating your policies to a patient. One of my favorite customer authors says it best, "giving your customer your policy tells you what you can't do for the customer, not what you can do." The idea of not refunding is usually a prideful one that makes the patient feel like you can never be wrong and they are the ones that messed up. If people are demanding refunds, did you sell them something they didn’t want or need, or maybe we just didn’t set a clear expectation.
We always believe in a no-fuss refund guarantee. Use this as an opportunity to teach your team to set better expectations before the sale. Therefore, reducing returns simply by better service and expectation setting. If you stand your ground based out of pride, you will likely lose the patient. Possibly a few more when they go sharing their experience with everyone, that you don't care about your patients, only money.
However, giving a refund, sincere apology, and ensuring that you intend to over-deliver on their expectations in the future. Refunds should always be seen as a way to improve the patient experience. If someone is requesting to make a return, then it means they aren’t satisfied. If you truly believe that your patient is most important, then your decisions and actions should mirror that by doing what is best for them, as long as it is not a detriment to the business.
It may cost you to refund a frame you cannot sell or lenses going in the trash. However, could you speak with a vendor rep to swap the unwanted frames out for a new pair or ask the lab for a credit? By having better service and providing clear expectations, it should be so infrequent that you’re having to ask that your vendors are willing to help you. If they aren’t, you may have an even bigger problem to address.
We all know the adage the customer is always right, which no one may actually believe, but at the same time, we have to remember that we are just as imperfect. Donate the job to a local organization and at the very least, make some good in the world out of something bad.