Warranties Are Not Part Of The Modern Customer Experience
On a recent trip to the beauty supply store to buy a hair straightener, the sales associate tried to persuade me to spend an additional $15 to purchase a two-year warranty. It was a simple question and one that has become standard practice in the retail space, but it shows the outdatedness of warranties and how other, more effective options for products have come to the forefront of the retail world.
It used to be that warranties were needed in case a product broke soon after purchase and needed to be repaired — instead of paying the price to buy an entirely new product, the warranty would cover most or all of the cost and acted much like an insurance policy. However, if a product breaks today, customers have many more resources at their fingertips to get a company’s attention than just invoking a warranty. Many customers will complain about a faulty product on Twitter or other social media channels, which can quickly get the attention of the brand and get them to replace or repair the product — no warranty necessary. In today’s world, a customer’s social profile is her product insurance because brands don’t want to risk losing a customer and spreading bad publicity about their product on the internet.
Brands that are still focused on warranties and that will only give service to customers who have purchased the warranty are placing a few dollars above saving a customer relationship. If a company will only talk to a customer with a warranty, they run the risk of creating frustration with other customers, ruining their reputation, and driving customers away from their business. Those companies are likely losing more money on upset customers that they are making by selling warranties. A broken product still makes a company look bad no matter it uses warranties or not, so the brand might as well just scrap the warranty and make things easier on the customer.
The best solution for brands of products that could have warranties is to let warranties be done and instead spend that money improving customer relationships and fixing their products. Consider it an investment in building relationships and improving the customer experience. It will likely lead to improved customer satisfaction and make the entire process simpler for everyone, because dealing with warranties can be frustrating for both customers and customer service agents. Removing warranties from your products may seem like a risky move, but it really just shows your dedication to customers and your forward-thinking approach to the customer experience.
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