By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
N.E.W. Customer Service Companies (NEW) became the first extended warranty company to win an International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award in the nine-year history of the program.
NEW copped the kudos for its Warranty Minder Web portal, which lets retailers' customers register their product purchases and manage their extended service plans online.
The Innovations Design and Engineering Awards program recognizes the most innovative consumer electronics products in 30 categories. NEW's Warranty Minder Web portal was named an Innovations Honoree within the Retail Resource category.
“We're excited to win the CES Innovations award, which recognizes the innovation our staff delivers for our clients each and every day,” said NEW president/COO Tony Nader. “Warranty Minder creates a win-win for retailers and consumers alike. With their customers being able to manage their warranty programs online, retailers are less likely to see product returns coming back to their store, thus decreasing lines and staffing needs for the retailer. Consumer satisfaction is enhanced since consumers are provided the tools to handle their purchase concerns, repairs and replacements.”
With Warranty Minder, should something happen to their product, consumers can file a claim online under their extended service plan, the company explained. If consumers have to send the product back for repair, they can track the repair and shipment status online as well. Additionally, consumers who participate in the program no longer have to worry about keeping track of sales receipts to verify purchase dates or coverage terms.
Similarly, if the consumer purchased a replacement plan instead of an extended service plan and the product fails, the consumer can also file a claim through Warranty Minder and handle the entire replacement process online. In order to facilitate the return of the failed product, Warranty Minder enables the consumer to print a mailing label through their home PC and mail the product back, which speeds up processing of the claim.
On the retail side, Warranty Minder also helps improve retailers' marketing efforts, since they can mine the data within the Web portal to better focus their promotional efforts, NEW said.
NEW is a leading provider of extended service plans, value-added buyer protection services and product support, and information services for businesses and consumers. With more than 20 years' experience, the company provides post-sale consumer care for many of the nation's largest retailers, manufacturers and financial services firms — most recently and most notably Wal-Mart — and provides coverage to over 100 million consumers.
Continued growth is also prompting NEW to establish additional call centers and further expand its service network, the company told TWICE.
The company, headquartered here, has more than 2,400 employees nationwide and operates eight communication centers across the United States.
NEW showcased Warranty Minder and its other offerings, and celebrated its Innovations win, during last month's CES. Nader noted during the show that the company's “robust service network” of 25,000 technicians and dedicated call center teams have helped to dramatically reduce return rates while engendering customer loyalty with NEW's retail clients.
Indeed, of the 15 million calls received last year, most resulted in the issue being resolved by the end of the conversation, he said. — Alan Wolf
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