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
Sean Stapleton, president & CEO of Warrantech, recently spoke with Dealerscope magazine about the importance of extended service plan programs for retailers. The following is an excerpt, providing a brief glimpse of what the company has in store for 2014 to help businesses increase their extended service plan offerings and give customers the most value for their money and a worry-free shopping experience.
Warrantech Corporation works closely with its retail partners, field training teams and consumer focus groups to develop innovative programs designed to drive extended service plan sales. Through this collaborative effort, new program offerings are developed and tested. Once beta testing has been completed, successful programs are rolled out to Warrantech partners.
Based on recent beta-testing results, Warrantech is making available to its partners a number of dynamic offerings designed to increase both partner revenue and customer retention. One such offering is Warrantech’s Verify & Protect program, which is a real-time missed point-of-sale extended service plan program for online retailers. This program utilizes multichannel marketing solutions to offer customers who have not purchased an extended service plan as part of their product purchase an additional opportunity to do so on a real-time basis. Additionally, the program is designed to create a white-glove experience for customers by providing them with real-time purchase detail and shipping confirmations on their recent purchases.
Look for the full article in the March 2014 issue of Dealerscope or online at www.dealerscope.com.
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Filed Under: &, customers, Dealerscope, extended, plan, Protect, retailers, Sean, service, Stapleton, Verify, Warrantech