How industry executives can differentiate – with warranty

By | 2 minute read | November 18, 2016

Warranty as a source of differentiation? Really? Yes, really. Two things jumped out at me in the latest IBV study about Warranty for Electronics, and they both relate to a differentiation.

First, Warranty Innovators, i.e. the leaders of  practices in the electronics industry, are 100% more likely to focus on differentiation as a value driver for their initiatives, when compared against their lagging peers. Why is this? Contract manufacturers, industry standards and shortened launch cycles for example, push the industry towards more homogeneous products. Consolidation in retail means that pre-sales experiences – both digital and physical – are fairly similar across the industry as well.

How do industry executives use warranty to be different?

How about the often-neglected area of warranty and customer support? Often just looked at as a way to boost margins or drive efficiency, consumer-friendly warranty service can create a unique consumer experience, accelerate purchase decisions and create a positive feedback loop for product quality. This is easily said, but robust IoT and analytical capabilities are needed to pull this off – which is why Warranty Leaders are often IoT leaders as well.

The second thing that jumped out at me are the top four ‘levers’ a company can pull to increase their warranty performance. Three of the four factors have a direct impact on customer experience. In fact, addressing just the two top levers – detection to correction and claims processing time –  can eliminate common consumer questions (and complaints) like, “What’s the status of my claim?” “Where’s my replacement? My technician? My check?” So by improving performance in these ways, companies can significantly improve customer experience, possibly to the point where it becomes a positive differentiator, and not a negative one.

All of this fits with what we are seeing in the market around IoT and its impact on our customers’ value chains. In this case, IoT-enabling the process means much faster and accurate detection of issues. It means better diagnosis and treatment of the issue using the right parts. It means a single trip by a technician to the consumer. It means a reasonable window of time to expect the technician, and an Uber-like view showing them on their way to the consumer. It means real-time claim submission and online tracking.

All of this gives the consumer a dramatically better, and different, experience…even through warranty. Really.

Learn more about how IBM helps Electronics companies become leaders in their industry, through warranty, IoT, and much more, and see the details in this IBV ‘Innovating Warranty for Electronics‘ infographic.

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