We need to break up with physical warranty registration cards

A better warranty registration experience is the key to greater customer insight and data

Data from the registration of products should be a gold mine for manufacturers' marketing efforts as they have historically offered warranty registrations to obtain customer information and to use it to improve their marketing and sales processes.

Unfortunately, most brands and manufacturers do not currently leverage this opportunity properly due mainly to an outdated, laborious process for the consumer. A vast number of brands suggest that customers fill out a paper card and return it to them by mail.

In today's digital age, these long and tedious forms are not really fit for purpose for the vast majority of consumers, especially the process rewards brand loyalty by requesting they fill out a separate warranty card for each product purchased.

Consumers hate the redundancy of having to fill out multiple forums with the same information, whether it is for a guitar, television or child's car seat. These cards put the burden on the consumer and results in a missed chance to obtain valuable consumer information.

Consumers are also skeptical of how the data captured may be used by the brand. While some registration cards just request basic information such as name and address, others go deeper and request ethnicity, income, education and family structure.

It's unsurprising that less than 10% of customers fill in warranty cards (source).

So what do we do?

IIt is clear that the warranty registration process is broken, but companies are more eager than ever to gain consumer insight and build long term relationships with their customers,

VerifiR offers a great opportunity to streamline this process and reduce friction in the warranty registration process. By simply tapping on VerifiR enabled product, the consumer can automatically capture the exact make and model, add their contact details, even upload a copy of their receipt as proof of purchase.

There has to be a good reason to do this in the first place though as many retailers or even credit cards offer their own warranty process, so brands should think about a value add that makes it a no-brainer. This could be as simple as maybe extending the warranty further in return for registering, through to a free gift or complementary product (e.g. suede cleaner if you by a pair of suede shoes), some kind of gamification or sweepstake, the choices are endless. The point is that technology has to be pulled not pushed with the consumer

There is a huge amount of upside for brands to do this. First and foremost is the collection of first-party data, allowing the brand to build its own community, grow deeper direct relations with its consumers and not have to buy them back from Google and Facebook to re-market to at a later date.

There is also a potential liability reduction issue. Product recalls occur from time to time in every different field. Because of the complex nature of the consumer journey in 2019, brands could know very little about their end consumer unless they have reason to get in touch, which they may have no reason to until they are either annoyed or having to return a defective product.

By promoting digital warranty registrations, communicating with specific consumer segments who you know have brought your product becomes very easy. You can reach out to them before they maybe hear a negative story in the press and get ahead of the issue, appearing proactive and demonstrating how important your consumers are to you. In very litigious countries, the ability to demonstrate that you are actively resolving potential issues could be very important and avoids relying on broader advertising that relies on luck or good fortune that people see a recall notice.

Edd Uzzell