Published: Sunday, 28 April 2013 15:59
Written by Beryl Jones
We must all put on a pleasant face for your company in good times and bad. When you begin the transition to a paperless warranty claims process, communication is the key. You should make a serious effort to keep the customer informed as to what the next step in your claims process will be, and when they should expect to hear from you again. Yes, it’s more complicated than you might think! But paperless claims are well worth the effort.
There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than filing a warranty claim, that just disappears into a deep dark hole. Your customer is sitting at home, with your broken stuff, and they have no idea, did they get my claim, What happens next? Was there a problem with my claim?
- Acknowledge reciept of the claim
Your first communication to the customer, should simply be an acknowledgment that you received their claim. Then add, a few more things. What is the next step? Will the claim be reviewed by your staff? How long will that take? What should the customer do, should they don’t hear from you within the promised time-frame? Sure would be nice if the escalation process was not to pick up the phone and dial the president! Explain what they should do if they think that their claim is stuck/lost/wrong (like email your customer service manager).
- Notify the customer that you need more information
So, you read their submission, and find that additional information is required. Send the customer their second email. Give them a deadline for when you need the information, have a tickler system so you email again if they don’t submit the required information. Don’t drop the ball here, just because it’s their turn.
Once you are satisfied that the claim is legitimate. (This could take more than one request for information!)
- Provide your customer a RMA Number for any return parts
Once the parts have arrived and you have inspected them to be sure that you received the correct and expected parts.
- Notification that the return parts are received
Now the claim can be processed!
- Notificaton of shipment of parts/product
Now, ship your replacement part(s). Send them an email with the shipper tracking number. Everyone likes to know when they should expect the part. Another advantage of providing the tracking number is that your customer has a 3rd party informing them that the part is on the way. Your customers might well trust the shipper more than you!
- Follow up email
Finally, make sure that everything worked out OK for the customer! Send them a follow up email, just to let them have one more opportunity to let you know if there is a problem. Close that final bit of the loop.
You can see that this kind of process will result in more informed customers, who will trust that you are going to be there for them. These emails can be generated by a good warranty claims system, the extra effort is minimal, but the advantages are huge.