Sean Stapleton, Warrantech president and CEO, recently took part in an executive forum with TWICE magazine. Here’s what he had to say in response to the following question:
In such a competitive category, how do you stand out and differentiate yourself from amongst the competition?
Warrantech Corporation delivers customized programs tailored for the unique needs of our partners. We do not agree with the “one size fits all” approach which is becoming pervasive in the industry.
Unlike other providers, we offer partners the flexibility of extending their brand to their service contract programs. We believe that this approach reinforces our partner’s brand and helps drive customer loyalty and retention.
Additionally, we offer extensive missed point-of-sale programs designed to enhance the relationship between our partners and their customers and drive substantial incremental revenue.
Warrantech is also a subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI) — one of the strongest and most financially stable companies in the industry. Recently named “2014 Best-Managed Company (Insurance)” by Forbes, their financial strength allows us to offer a unique, bundled underwriting and administration approach that most competitors simply cannot provide.
Look for the full article, as well as an overview of Warrantech, in the Extended Service Contracts supplement to the April edition of TWICE.
And be sure to follow Warrantech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so you can keep up to date on company initiatives as they happen.
Filed Under: administration, AmTrust, Best, customized, Forbes, Managed, partners, programs, revenue, TWICE, Warrantech
Sean Stapleton, president & CEO of Warrantech, recently took part in TWICE magazine’s roundtable discussion on the state of the extended-service contract industry. The following is his response to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
What is the greatest challenge facing the extended-service contract industry?
A significant challenge faced by our industry continues to be retail margin compression. As a result of the fierce competition between retailers for customers, retailers have few choices but to generate savings in other parts of their businesses. Extended service contract programs are certainly high on the list of many retailers as an opportunity to retain additional revenue. The result is that administrators and their respective underwriters are forced to try to become more efficient or reduce claims funds to compete.
While competition should be seen as a positive force in business, this continued underwriting pressure could lead to administrators underpricing programs to win opportunities. This will likely result in programs being underwater, thereby leading to frantic attempts by the administrators and their underwriters to reduce both administration expenses and claims costs. The likely downstream effect will be negative customer experiences and further diminished customer loyalty.
Conversely, where do the industry’s greatest opportunities lie?
The greatest opportunity for our industry will be the development of protection solutions that allow customers to cover a broad spectrum of devices and equipment utilizing diverse payment mechanisms. Warrantech has developed solutions that better enable customers to purchase protection plan products in a convenient manner, covering more items, and providing additional value that ultimately will result in additional revenue and customer satisfaction for our partners.
What is your biggest takeaway from last month’s International CES?
The consumer appetite for connected products is gaining momentum at an astounding pace. Manufacturers are clearly listening to consumers and are focusing their efforts on smart products, which are able to communicate and synchronize in ways never before imagined.
With this enhanced communication functionality being developed for devices, we believe that consumers will demand a unified platform that can seamlessly monitor, control and report back to the consumer on the status of their connected equipment.
The next logical step will be a protection solution that is able to provide coverage for each connected device. In order to provide a comprehensive single solution, providers of protection plans will need to be able to provide protection for connected products ranging from smart appliances, televisions, mobile devices and even automobiles.
Please share any new programs or services that would be of interest to our readers.
AmTrust [Warrantech’s parent company] has been an innovator in the telematics space with regard to protection offerings. Last year we launched our Connected Protection solution, which provided vehicle service contract purchasers with the ability to protect mobile devices connected to their vehicle’s WIFI network.
For 2015 we plan to provide our retail partners with the ability to offer monthly protection plans to their customers, which will provide comprehensive protection for an extensive array of equipment owned by the customer. Customers will enjoy additional benefits for products purchased through the retail partner, including disappearing deductibles and in-store service. The goal is to drive both recurring protection plan sales and traffic to the participating retail partner’s stores. The offering, known as our Loyalty by Warranty™ program, will provide retailers with an innovative way to increase revenue as well as customer loyalty.
Visit twice.com to read the extended service roundtable discussion in its entirety and for more industry insight.
And be sure to keep up with Warrantech on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so you can learn more about our innovative products and services as they become available.
Filed Under: CES, contract, customers, extended, industry, Sean, service, Stapleton, TWICE, Warrantech
Sean Stapleton, president & CEO of Warrantech, recently took part in an Executive Forum with TWICE magazine. The following is his response to the magazine’s inquiry regarding the criteria for choosing an extended service plan provider.
“What criteria should retailers look for when electing an extended service plan provider for their operation?”
Retailers searching for the right extended service plan (ESP) provider should carefully evaluate the financial stability of any prospective provider. The industry has far too many examples of providers who have shuttered their doors leaving both retailers and the customers holding the tab. Audited financials showing a history of strength and stability should be a precursor to any discussion.
Next, retailers should look to partners who are committed to providing complete program transparency, including claims data down to the product level. Often, providers do not share this data for fear of a retail partner understanding the real economics associated with their program. One of the hidden benefits of this transparency is that retailers gain a better understanding about the performance of the products they sell. This data provides insight to the customer experience (beyond the OEM warranty) and allows retailers to more effectively negotiate with product manufacturers and distributors regarding product prices and discounts.
Most importantly, retailers should choose a provider who understands the importance of providing fanatical customer service and has the tools and resources to provide such levels of service for the long run.
For more information about customer care solutions from Warrantech, be sure to visit http://www.warrantech.com/partners/partner-services/customer-care/
Filed Under: customer, extended, magazine, plan, provider, Sean, service, Stapleton, TWICE
The following article by Shara Richter appears in the TWICE Guide to Extended Service Contracts, a supplement to the April 7 issue of TWICE magazine. For more information on the stories in that issue, be sure to visit www.twice.com.
The concept, image, definition and demographic of the extended service warranty have all changed substantially over the years.
Extended service warranties were meant to be insurance contracts that retailers sold to consumers to cover repairs on products that were either not covered by the manufacturer's warranty or that went into effect after the manufacturer's warranty expired. In theory this was and is still a great idea that should have protected consumers and increased profits for retailers. In the past however, the warranty business gained a mixed reputation for leaving some consumers holding the bag. Consumers were less likely to buy warranties on electronics and retailers were losing out on all the potential profits. But that is old news. Today, consumers and retailers alike are opting in on service warranties for a variety of reasons and benefits.
Today's extended warranty service plans are an upgrade from the past and offer better services for customers — whether it be in customer service, product repairs or product replacements. Shawn DuBravac, CEA's chief economist and senior director of research says "The whole service environment has changed. It's no longer just about increasing margins, but also improving the customer experience. You want your customers to be happy and to come back," he recently told TWICE.
This expanding definition may be raising the bar on consumer expectations of their warranty coverage. Some service contracts now include such perks as 24-hour/seven days a week technical support. Consumers can tap online resources that are at once intuitive and automated and give technicians remote access for real-time troubleshooting and fixes. Plus some contracts offer protection for previously uncovered circumstances such as accidental damage and typically exempt services such as installation, says the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
These consumer-friendly upgrades appeal to a key CE demographic, millennials. The young consumers are dependent on their mobile devices, and those products have a greater chance of sustaining drops, spills and other accidental damage precisely because of their portability. As a consequence, millennials are more inclined than preceding generations to insure their products with repair and replacement plans. CEA research shows that these consumers are not only open to buying protection plans but want to buy them to protect their most important possession — their mobile devices.
For more information about service contracts and extended warranties from Warrantech, be sure to visit http://www.warrantech.com/partners/consumer-products/extended-service-plans/.
Filed Under: Association, Consumer, devices, Electronics, extended, millennials, mobile, service, TWICE, warranties
BEDFORD, TEXAS – CE and majap service plan provider Warrantech recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Founded in 1983 as a dedicated service contract administrator, the company was acquired four years ago by AmTrust Financial Services, a Fortune 100 fastest-growing company.
Warrantech said the acquisition provided it with a financial strength that allowed it to become “a respected industry leader through product innovation and an unparalleled dedication to service.”
Among its latest introductions is a dynamic program that’s designed to capture missed point-of-sales opportunities, increase penetration rates, and provide additional value to customers by enabling retailers to offer extended service contracts outside of the traditional store environment.
In other Warrantech news, Gabriella Roberts has been appointed account management senior VP. With more than 20 years of experience in the insurance and service contract industry, Roberts’ background includes positions in sales, underwriting and client management. Warrantech said she is “passionate about leading the teams responsible for supporting [our] valued clients and is focused on meeting their needs by providing growth strategies and exceptional service.”
This article by Alan Wolf originally appeared in the February 2014 edition of TWICE magazine and can be found online at: http://www.twice.com/news/news/warrantech-hits-30/43193
Filed Under: Fortune, growth, sales, service, TWICE, Warrantech