Warranty management is a discipline that focuses on creating effective warranties on products and services. While it originated largely as an offering on manufacturing products, it is applied extensively to every other business asset today. Warranty solutions are highly important in an organization for their unique ability to influence and impact customer confidence. Warranty policies can directly influence the bottom line. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to leverage what many find to be a gigantic opportunity.
The customer has always been the most important resource for any business. It is their experience that decides a company’s future offerings. Today, buyers are getting increasingly informed and educated; they research, analyze and have more options to choose from than ever before.
Most organizations are misled by the notion that customers are dependent on them, while only the reverse is true across averagely fair market situations. Additionally, the future strength of an offering depends on the quality of service. Customers are looking for more, constantly, and they seek value out of their investments. The traditional approach of a need-based response or a one-solution-fits-all plan no longer guarantees competitive advantage. The needs now are proactive steps and customizations. Customers stay longer when you provide them with high quality personalization before, during, and after a sale.
Moving from reactive to proactive solutions:
Take active steps to shift from the reactive to the proactive approach and make all the difference in increasing customer satisfaction. Strategic organizations realize the importance of such a school of thought and they are moving towards a holistic approach for increased customer satisfaction, retention and repeat business, and performance optimization. With a reactive mode of operations, organizations have been found to lose focus on key issues, as it lacks solution focus.
To move from a reactive to a proactive approach:
- Stay in control of time
- Review processes closely
- Analyze and manage risks effectively
- Focus on morale and continuous improvement
Warranty management is all about customer management. It offers precious customer data that can be used to understand the behavior of customers, attitudes and their buying preferences. If warranty solutions are well integrated with a proactive approach, organizations can expect maximum ROI, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction like never before.
Just like any other aspect of a business offering, warranty management focuses primarily on customer satisfaction alongside returns. It has been validated time and again that customer satisfaction has a direct effect on profitability. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important components of a company’s brand image. It is impossible to overlook its scope and impact, as reputation hits an organization’s bottom line directly. Improving loyalty and customer retention can increase profits as it costs lesser to retain a happy client than find a new one.
Customer satisfaction can be enhanced by developing warranty solutions that add value to the customer’s investment. A customer is more likely to invest if the product increases confidence and exceeds expectations.
Whether good or bad, people share their experiences with several others. Dissatisfied customers may share their experiences with your potential prospects. Satisfied customers can share their positive experiences and contribute to your business growth as your brand benefactors.
Happy customers can increase the purchase of products and create a positive vibe. It will only add to your potential if you tap into these resources and gain advantage over competitors.
By maintaining exceptional collaboration with customers and fostering long-term relationships, businesses can create new opportunities with up sells, renewals, cross sells, and referrals.
It is hence essential to understand the various perspectives of customer satisfaction. One should also try to discover the key attributes enhancing customer experience of warranty solutions, for guaranteed results!
Best Practices – Turn customers into your brand benefactors
Listen to your customers, ask questions and seek clarifications. Be open to dialogue and feedback to understand whether your offering is meeting expectations. Look for opportunities to develop deeper collaborations.
Go out of your way and show that you care, be there when it matters the most. Being available to customers increases the level of trust and confidence. They will develop a greater sense of gratitude and commitment and share their experiences with many others.
Customize solutions and personalize your offering. Customers can never forget how their specific needs were addressed. They value good experiences and show great loyalty to those who understand and respect their needs.
Give them more than they expect. It is one of the best ways to influence customers. It creates a great sense of value in their investments and that will keep them coming for more.
Resolve conflicts and handle complaints:
Unattended complaints can cause severe damage to customer relationships and hamper brand image. Understand specific issues and see how you can solve them collaboratively.
Warranty data can be effectively channelized to impact and influence customers in the right way to increase commitment, satisfaction, and engagement to turn around customers into your brand benefactors.
Warranty Intelligence, available from a Warrant Management System (WMS), is a goldmine of customer data that can be used to understand what customers really want. It can be used to make strategic amendments to enhance quality, processes, and profits, and reduce costs. Customer satisfaction can be improved when such data is directly integrated into operations to reduce turnaround time, discover proactive techniques, and identify KPIs for the kind of performance improvement that delights a customer.
Anand Subramanian is currently a Senior Business architect with the Service operations practice at Tavant Technologies. He has worked in several process improvement projects involving multi-national teams for global customers. He has over 15 years of experience Extended warranty management, as SME, Client advisor, IT consultant, Business Analyst and as a practicing manager of Business analysts and has successfully executed several projects in Logistics management, Logistics Integration, Reverse logistics, Supplier collaboration and Warranty claims management.