By Chris Phillips
'Comprehensive’ can be a double-edged word when it comes to aftersales warranties. It may have a reassuring ring for the customer, but if a claim falls foul of the exclusion list and the sale is later found to breach financial services regulations, it could come back to bite.
Lucas Nowak, customer services manager with the Anthony Betts Motor Group, said: “If customers hear the word ‘comprehensive’, they naturally think it means everything, so we have to make sure that our salespeople go through the warranty booklet, explaining what is covered and what isn’t.”
NEED TO KNOW
♦ Warranty sales are covered by financial services regulations
♦ Dealer training is vital for compliance and product trust
♦ Clarity is ‘crucial to managing the customer experience’
That can often depend on what the customer is prepared to pay. Warranty Direct’s options, for example, include ‘Lite’ cover on some parts, for those who don’t want to pay a higher premium.
“This needs to be explained with extra care because it only applies in cases of failure leading to roadside breakdown, rather than during routine servicing,” said Duncan McClure-Fisher, who recently stepped down after 17 years heading the company.
Dealer training has a lead role in compliance
Allianz says dealer training support plays a lead role in legal compliance and product trust. Liz Grindell, the company’s head of warranty and insurance products, said: “Our training provision is centred on positive customer experience.” Allianz carries out a needs survey so it can tailor dealer training accordingly.
According to Steve Burgess, head of new business at Mapfre Warranty, there should be no concern about the performance of dealer fulfilment on claims.
“This simply isn’t an issue we experience. Any interaction between dealer and customer during a claim is conducted in the same professional manner as any other interaction. Dealers have their own standards to maintain in terms of customer service levels and this naturally extends to warranty claims or repair work,” he said.
Burgess said “being clear upfront to the customer in terms of what a warranty covers and what it doesn’t is crucial to managing the overall customer experience”. Mapfre supports its dealer partners with point-of-sale material and the systems to present the product correctly to the customer.
In terms of training, Burgess said this includes face-to-face and online formats for both sales and service teams, giving dealers the choice of what works best for them. Its systems provide detailed claims management information, reviewed with partners on a regular basis to track trends and suggest improvements.