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Connected Customer Experience

Warranty Management Contingency Plans for Working Remotely

Author Vance Thomas on Mar-26-2020

In recent days, we have all had to rethink how we can conduct business while ensuring we take the necessary measures to keep ourselves, employees, customers, and communities safe. Social distancing and working remotely are crucial in helping to slow the spread of coronavirus.

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The sudden increase in working from home is presenting problems as well as opportunities. As a warranty organization, you must be able to respond to incoming customer complaints, claims, and returns. Here are seven (7) simple steps your company can implement to enable Claims Analysts to work effectively from home:

1. Shift towards a cloud-based Warranty Management system

Manual processes make it very difficult to process claims efficiently, and it only gets harder when the team is working remotely. Moving your claim applications to a fully cloud-based environment is vital to allow your employees to work remotely while maintaining full access to all data and documents. If you haven’t done so, it is time to consider how you can implement or leverage a cloud-based warranty management solution (WMS) that is secure, reliable, and scalable to allow access from anywhere and by different types of devices. Even if you have a legacy warranty system, you can augment the system with cloud capabilities to provide easier and faster access to required warranty transactional data and related information.

2. Enable Claims Analysts to Process Claims 

Allow the claim analysts to take laptops from work or enable their home computers to access the application with the right security and data protection. Of course, you need to instruct employees to wipe down their devices with disinfectant when they bring them to their home and upon return to the office.

Once the above steps are implemented, a Claims Analyst can log on to the cloud-based system, and process claims just as they are would if they were working from a company facility.  Ensure that claims are routed using proper workflow and work queue rules. Auto-routing of claims will save a lot of time in managing the workload and priorities for the team. Many companies have been leveraging business rules and auto approvals to reduce the number of claims that need to be reviewed manually by claims analysts. It is a good time to evaluate your claim automation levels and increase the automation by implementing business rules to validate claims data.

3. Consolidate all warranty communication interactions 

In addition to the claim, claims analysts need to get additional information, request supporting documents or pictures, and exchange communications on claim details. It is critical to have all the related interactions to be logged and accessible for anyone who could be working on the claim.

If your claims require parts to be returned, you can leverage live video to inspect parts remotely to reduce the number of parts that need to be shipped.  Consider any parts to be returned to suppliers to be shipped directly to the vendor rather than forwarding from your warehouse. The Direct to Vendor shipments reduce shipping costs and, more important, the personnel required to inspect or re-ship the parts form your warehouse.

4. Integrate with the phone and voice email systems 

Re-route Incoming Calls

Even with a complete online warranty system, your customers or dealers may decide to call. Incoming calls can be routed to the voice mail assigned to each Claims Analyst. If your company has already implemented an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system, then the call can be re-routed to the Claims Analysts mobile phone first, and then to their voice mail after a pre-determined number of rings.

Integrate Voice Mail with Service Tickets

With the right Warranty Management solution, you can create and open a service ticket directly from voice mail. Integration with voice mail provides your company with an audio recording of the request as well as a text transcript to be associated with the claim. Once your company starts utilizing this feature, it may prefer to send all calls directly to voice mail instead of to a Claims Analyst telephone, even when things return to normal.

5. Monitor Performance 

To ensure high levels of productivity even when employees work from home, Warranty Managers must continuously monitor the performance of Claims Analyst.  Managers can do this by logging into a dashboard in the WM solution to review the daily claim tickets opened and closed. They could then follow the steps taken to process the claim as well as view the date and time these actions were taken, assuming time and date stamp features are part of the solution.   The dashboard could also monitor the performance of individual Claims Analysts if your company relies on a single analyst to processes every step of the claim from open to close.

6. Alert Stakeholders to New Process 

Warranty Managers must communicate with all stakeholders that Claims Analysts are working from home and that there will be no disruption to the claims process.  Senior Management, customers, and suppliers must be included in this communication.  It can be achieved through emails and voice mail recorded messages. The communication must stress that the situation is temporary and a precaution to prevent business disruption, and that it is intended to keep employees safe and that the systems that manage the warranty claims process are secure and reliable.

7. Build Employee Morale 

The most important thing that managers can do during this time of crisis is to keep remote workers focused on their tasks and maintain their morale.  Letting employees know that we’ll all get through this, that the company cares about them, and that they can work from home just as effectively as they can from their office is an excellent first step.  Conducting periodic individual and virtual group meetings also help maintain a personnel connection and reinforce the message that remote workers play a valuable role in the company.

The coronavirus pandemic could permanently shift working patterns as companies are forced to embrace remote working and to find ways to connect directly with your customers for simplified improved communication. Properly managed, the situation can result in enhanced customer satisfaction, increased productivity, reduced turnover, higher morale, and overall lower costs.

As an expert in the warranty management, Mize offers next-generation cloud-based Warranty Management Solution to enable working from home productive and healthy for your organization. We want to be a partner for you to help during these uncertain times. Please Contact Us if you have any further questions or want to discuss how you can enable your team and all stakeholders to deliver the warranty service that your customers expect.

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