In a recent benchmark survey results from Strategies for Growth published by Warranty Week, 58% of Warranty professionals identified improving post-sales customer satisfaction as the main driver for higher levels of warranty performance.
Customer-centric manufacturers are shifting away from viewing warranty as a cost center toward warranty as an integral part of delivering better customer experience. Here are ten ways warranty organizations can increase customer satisfaction in addition to reducing warranty costs.
1. Perform Pre-Delivery Inspections
You can start off on the right foot by performing Pre-Delivery Inspections (PDI) to prevent product issues during customer onboarding. PDIs can also reduce the cost of early repairs and returns. Using PDI as a pre-requisite for warranty registration will ensure that inspections are performed on a consistent basis by the dealers and channel partners. You can simplify the capturing of the inspection results, and improve the productivity of the technicians by providing a mobile inspection application. The inspection data can be analyzed to identify and resolve issues with manufacturing or shipping.
2. Manage Warranty Entitlements
Most customers don’t understand what their warranty entitlements are which leads to false expectations on warranty coverage. Simplifying the registration process and improving registration rates of products ensure correct product warranty start and end dates. Managing and tracking all warranty policies and entitlements for each product enables customers and service centers to check warranty eligibility before the repairs are performed. Providing the ability to see all warranty entitlements by product serial number and linking to coverage details avoids confusion and prevents unnecessary warranty repairs.
3. Enable Self-Service via Customer Portal
Majority of the customers prefer self-service and dislike call centers. Create a self-service customer portal for registered customers to track their products, get help, find answers, access support, schedule service, and provide feedback on repair experience. The warranty provides a key incentive for customers to register and use the self-service portal. The self-service portal can reduce the calls by more than 30% and eliminate unnecessary repairs while improving customer satisfaction.
4. Enable Service Technicians
The customers expect prompt response and resolution to the problem. Enable the Service technicians with access to knowledge, parts, and other resources to diagnose and repair the products right during the first visit. Enabling service technicians with right information minimizes the product downtime while reducing the labor and parts costs for the company.
5.Provide Product and Customer 360 views
You can improve the service interaction with the customer by providing access to complete service history of the product through a Product 360 view. Customers appreciate that the service team remembers the previous interactions. Product 360 can also inform the service team of any open service campaigns or recalls and ensure that those services are performed along with the warranty repair.
6.Reduce wait times during the warranty repairs
Today’s customers are pressed for time. You need to enable service centers to reduce wait times at each step starting from scheduling to completion of the repair. Digitizing and mobilizing the customer interactions can minimize the unnecessary wait time and paperwork to get the product up and running faster. If the product needs to be returned to repair depot, streamline reverse logistics and shipment of replacement or repaired product to minimize the downtime.
7. Improve Parts Availability
One of the main reasons for delays in completing repair is the unavailability of required parts. Improve Parts planning based on analysis of warranty data to predict and improve parts availability at the service centers. Warranty claims can also be used to auto-generate parts orders and replace the parts used in the warranty repairs. Collaboration with Parts department to plan based on service campaigns or recalls, insights based on product install base, and warranty repair patterns can ensure availability of right parts for warranty repairs.
8. Streamline Goodwill claim authorizations
It might be worth to do some repairs outside of the normal policy limits to improve customer satisfaction in some scenarios. Goodwill or policy allowance claims are used to share repair costs even though the product is out of warranty. Having a streamlined approval process for Goodwill authorization and claims can empower channel partners and field service teams to address any issues causing customer dissatisfaction before further escalation.
9. Improve Product Improvement cycle times
Safety issues damage the brand reputation. Use the warranty data to identify emerging issues early and improve quality of products. Having a robust corrective action program to determine if a product improvement is needed will help avoid future warranty costs and enhance customer satisfaction.
10. Capture and Measure Customer Feedback
You can't manage what you can't measure. Capture and measure customer feedback by establishing a Voice of Customer (VOC) program to send a simple survey to the customer after the warranty repairs. By measuring the customer feedback, companies can gain actionable insights to improve customer satisfaction. Many companies have implemented star rating systems for service providers, and warranty reimbursement can be used as an incentive to improve customer satisfaction.
Which of these ten things have you in place at your company? What improvements can be made to these processes to drive customer satisfaction?
67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning. You can drive customer satisfaction and improve customer loyalty by enhancing the customer experience during the warranty period and beyond.
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