Warranty Week (Computer Warranty Trends, 26 March 2009) had an interesting article this week about the rising rate of warranty claims in computer companies:
While other industries are seeing claim rates rise and accrual rates fall, warranty providers in the computer industry are seeing claims rise slightly and accruals rise a lot
This prompted me to write something because I think high-tech companies, and manufacturers more generally, need to rethink how they handle warranty claims and warranty service.
Not only is efficient and effective claims processing as important in warranty claims as it is in insurance claims, brand image and customer experience are tied up in both claims handling and servicing. Let’s face it, nothing destroys a brand or a customer experience like having problems with warranty claims or with equipment that is under warranty.
Yet companies don’t employ most of the people managing these touchpoints. Warranty claims and warranty servicing are often outsourced so the way a customer is treated is not really under a manufacturer’s control. Unless, of course, they are using a decision management approach to control customer treatment decisions like “should we repair this out of warranty product” or “should we give this customer a loaner” or “is this a fraudulent claim”. All these warranty decisions and more can and should be managed using business rules and predictive analytics and only if they are does a company REALLY have control over the customer experience. In an outsourced world, like warranty, decision management is your friend.
I blogged about the Warranty Chain Management conference recently and I wrote a white paper (available at decisionmanagementsolutions.com/warranty) on using decision management to build next generation warranty systems.