How Warranty Companies Can Help Retailers
Joe Romano, senior vice president, client development group leader, NEW: Our plan for 2009 is to continue working closely with our retail partners to develop customized solutions that help maximize sales and secure consumer loyalty. To accomplish this, we turn over every stone, making sure the retailer is offering plans on all eligible products, and that their service plan price-points are attractive. We also look for opportunities to enhance their program or expand into new categories. With foot traffic generally down in stores, we continue to focus on training in an effort to make every footstep count.
Chris Smith, president, ServiceNet: For us, it's helping dealers maximize the service contract attachment rate in whatever ways we can. One way is by optimizing our pricing to make sure it's acceptable to consumers and that we can maximize attach rates in the stores. Another way is taking a look at how we merchandise contracts in stores. Typically, they're presented by a salesperson from a binder or it comes up in a computer system, and there are no point-of-purchase materials in the store, or they're hidden somewhere. So we try to help dealers make them more visible by creating membership cards and hang tags that talk about replacement programs, which afford service contracts a lot more visibility. In the case of some of our customers, for example, Bass Pro Shops, we create certain branding around the service program - like the Gear Guard program we did for them.
On the back end, we try to help them focus on missed point-of-sale opportunities by using our aftermarket capabilities, and we're also making sure we look at their renewal programs to be sure we're price optimized there and are sending out the right marketing message for those. These days, warranty companies have to look at everything with a microscope to see what they can improve, as product sales drop.