Dealerscope Warranty Roundup: 2017 Goals & Strategies
It’s no secret that warranty companies are looking to increase sales as well as help consumers who are looking to protect their CE and appliance investments. We asked top-level figures at the following companies about the initiatives they’ve devised to help their dealers profit more from extended service plan sales in 2017. Here’s what they had to say.
We work with our clients on a number of strategic initiatives aimed at increasing attachment rates and reducing costs for their warranty and extended warranty programs.
We utilize industrywide best practices to improve in-store sales associate training and performance to ensure sales associates are communicating the benefits associated with extended warranty plans in a way that consumers realize the value in purchasing these programs. In addition, we focus on how extended warranty programs are marketed and merchandised both in-store and on the web, to ensure it is easy for customers to obtain information and more importantly, purchase the appropriate plan.
We also support our clients with their direct-to-consumer channel by utilizing data analytics and modeling to reduce the cost of acquisition, and reach customers with a greater propensity to purchase.
We also work closely with our clients to monitor the value proposition between the cost of the extended warranty plan against the cost of the product. In addition, we are constantly looking at increasing the value of the extended warranty plan with additional coverage such as theft and loss, to make the program more attractive for the consumer. Finally, we focus on reducing extended warranty costs by utilizing claims cost analytics to improve our clients’ extended warranty pricing decisions.
We start by continuing to invest in innovative program marketing and merchandising to help our retail clients drive sales. For example, the campaigns used in three of our programs were just recognized at the annual Graphic Design (GDUSA) awards for outstanding package design and in-store graphics. In addition, we are enhancing the value of our offer by expanding the scope of customer support. Several programs will include elements of Soluto, our premium tech help and engagement platform, to support shoppers as they seek help on how to use and interconnect their smart electronics and appliance products. Soluto gives consumers immediate access to valuable content and an expert, while giving retailers an opportunity for continued engagement and additional revenue. We are also giving the consumer more convenient repair and replacement options including like-for-like product replacement and increased local-market repair options that can increase speed of repair to as little as a few hours.
The keys to profitability for CE and appliance dealers are insights and flexibility. With Assurant, dealers and end consumers benefit from having proprietary, global insights that are crucial to continually delivering a superior customer experience in today’s fast-changing market. Dealers also need the flexibility to adapt quickly to evolving technology and consumer preferences. That’s why Assurant has invested in the entire customer value chain – from underwriting, program optimization and administration to repair and logistics. Flexible, end-to-end solutions give dealers a competitive advantage by enabling them to quickly bring to market tailored solutions that customers want.
BANKERS WARRANTY GROUP
Bankers Warranty Group has a diverse portfolio of clients in the consumer electronics and appliance spaces. This diversity provides us with insights into differing consumers’ purchase behavior. We take the insights we gain and use those to make program development decisions. We then partner with our clients to engineer the desired customer experience by developing programs that add value and are viewed as an integral part of the purchase decision.
We are seeing growth in consumer demand for monthly subscription programs. Our monthly programs cover new items that have just been purchased, along with existing items already in the home. A great example is when a consumer needs to replace a washing machine and is offered coverage on their new purchase; a monthly subscription program allows them to protect additional appliances that may be out of warranty. This opportunity provides the consumer complete protection on all their appliances and electronics and provides the security at a fixed cost against expensive, unexpected repairs. This also acts as a reoccurring revenue source for our clients.
Another ongoing initiative is encouraging our clients to participate in missed point-of-sale programs. These programs address breakage in the sales process and allow consumers a second opportunity to purchase a service contract. Providing a second chance for a consumer to protect their investment ensures customer satisfaction and delivers additional revenue to our dealers.
It’s always Fortegra’s goal to create products and services that have real value for consumers – which obviously makes them easier to sell. We do this by providing coverage that meets consumer needs, for products they want protected, and then matching that coverage with retailer-specific pricing models that make the plans affordable. Plus, every plan comes with our cutting-edge claims experience.
For retailers, it’s not rocket science; it’s about finding a partner that offers programs that work best for your business. If you can find one that has the tools to help drive sales, too – like we do with our ‘Retail Moneyball’ sales strategy and innovative training – you’re definitely going to sell more, and make more.
NEW LEAF SERVICE CONTRACTS
2017 is the year New Leaf Service Contracts provides added focus to the training aspect of our business, working to generate increased profits and higher margins for our dealer base. New Leaf offers a variety of sophisticated training opportunities to complement our dealers’ existing training efforts to maximize sales and provide value, buy-in and focus to their service plan program. In addition to our onsite training program, we offer online interactive webinars, videos, and on-demand “over the phone” training sessions via our skilled team of training experts and dedicated account managers. Our sales and account management teams regularly review and reinvent programs to optimize the service program opportunities that are specific to our dealers’ and their customers’ ever-changing needs.
We know the value of a branded warranty service – it sells better, customers know who they are dealing with upfront, and retail partners can hold someone accountable. This is why we’ve never white-labeled our offering. We consistently have the highest reviews amongst our competitors, and customers have grown to trust our brand.
This year, with the backing and support from a trusted national brand in Allstate, we are now the largest warranty provider in the country. We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional customer service to our millions of customers and to innovate with new product offerings like local repair. Our retail partners can rest assured that our level of customer service and consumer reach will only get better, which will ultimately drive more warranty sales across even more categories.
THE WARRANTY GROUP
The Warranty Group is sharing our primary consumer research with partners to give unprecedented insights into service contract buying habits, attitudes, and preferences -insights that enable us to develop more effective programs to help our partners determine which consumers are more likely to buy a service contract, while improving selling techniques to increase attachment rates, program profitability and brand loyalty. Retailers can also measure their own program effectiveness against these industry benchmarks to identify areas of further opportunity.
Warrantech has developed a revolutionary new customer loyalty program for its partners that is designed to generate both recurring protection plan revenue and long-term customer retention.
The program allows retail partners to offer their customer base customized protection bundles for major appliances, mobile devices and connected living products owned by the customer, regardless of where the product was purchased. Partners have the ability to offer their customers monthly product protection subscriptions designed to enhance the customer’s experience with a full menu of features including 24/7 tech support and seamless repair/replacement solutions.
The program can be customized to provide disappearing deductibles for services or products provided to customers under the plans procured through the participating partners, thereby incentivizing customers to remain loyal to the partner retailer. Moreover, the rich data from the program can be monetized to help deliver targeted and personalized product offerings to customers based on their recent program usage.