How good is your return policy? And I don’t mean how well does it prevent people from making returns so you can keep a few extra bucks in your pocket. I mean, how convenient does your policy make it for customers to return purchases?

Some businesses hate returns so much, they refuse to allow them. Or else they create a policy with so many restrictions, it’s close to impossible to return anything. Approaches like these disappoint, aggravate and frustrate buyers, who then turn to competitors.

Smart sellers are less concerned with an individual transaction than they are with the customer’s perception of—and relationship with—their business. That’s where your true value is. Because the real profit comes not from just one sale, but from the dozens, or even hundreds, of subsequent sales to that same customer. So you want to do everything you can to encourage customers to buy from you again.

That’s precisely what a generous return policy does. When you make it convenient for your customers to rectify their mistakes, their perceived risk drops dramatically. Your commitment to their ultimate happiness means they won’t be stuck with a bad purchase. As a result, they feel more confident, and are likely to buy more expensive items. Which means that, far from being a cost center, a generous return policy is actually a shrewd investment in your future sales.

Instituting a strong refund policy will help ensure that your customers return. Again and again.