We remember LAST incidence. LAST incidence influences all future decisions. We observe how companies are behaving during unpleasant customer action i.e. discontinue, refund, return, exchange, exit, cancel, don't want etc etc.
Unfortunately @ MOST companies , processes r written & culture is developed such that it can not face such incidences GRACEFULLY.
For CUSTOMER its a brand experience, for companies and point of sale its a lost sales & customer gone. They think customer experience happens only when the customer is consuming our product and services.
However if BRAND wants to become known for their superior customer experience it is NOW at the occurance of unpleasant incidence HOW it behaves is what matters the most.
Most retailers follow fix time for return which is mostly inconvenient, no cash refund, so many T & C. Once we become Ex Customer, we are treated differently.
Zappos.com follows - 365-day return policy with free return shipping.
BRAND has longer life than people handling returns and whose incentives may be impacted with returns. Who will develop such Culture ?? It starts @ the TOP.
GRACEFUL , Pleasant, WILLING to let go though expect to SERVE in FUTURE , Facilitating Smooth Exit, attitude ( MOST PROBABLY ) will win back the customers. Not only win back but will make repeat and most referring customer.