Three Reasons Why the Retail Industry Hates Warranty Claims and Faulty Products

Michael Kruse Sørensen
September 19, 2022
5 min

At Claimlane we help retailers like GrejFreak, Luksusbaby, and Davidsen, among many others with an easy way of handing product warranty claims with their customers and suppliers. It's no secret that 10 out of 10 that we talk to hate dealing with warranty claims! After having read this article, you will understand why and what we can do about it.

Why are complaints so tricky?

Many things are in play when dealing with complaints on faulty products, and that is in fact the essence of the issue. Warranty claims are complex! The flow for handling a claim on any given webshop typically looks something like this:

  1. Customer will start dialogue with retailer via email (often long conversations)
  2. Internal stakeholders will research brand claim guidelines to figure out what to do
  3. A return label for the customer is created in the carrier portal (if this service is offered)
  4. The retailer's warehouse will handle and inspect the returned faulty product
  5. Retailer will offer either a refund, repair, or replacement of the faulty product
  6. All the claim data is copied into a separate email (or PDF template for claims)
  7. The claim data is shared with the specific brand (often long conversations)
  8. Retailer will close the case once a credit note is received from the supplier

The three main challenges we see everyday

1. Several stakeholders pull in different directions

All brands have their own guidelines for how they would like to handle claims. For a webshop like GrejFreak, with hundreds of brands, this process is exceptionally difficult to oversee.

While this is going on, Grejfreak also has to help the customer with quick resolutions. Webshops often end up in a dilemma of delivering great customer service (quick resolutions) vs. ensuring that the claim can be approved by the supplier (brands).

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2. Customers are confused and do not document their warranty claims correctly

Today's customers have very little patience, and yet they expect very much of the seller. In many webshops, it is not obvious what the customers should do with a complaint. Typically, information is hidden far away or formulated in a way that nobody will ever read.

The result? The customer does not submit sufficient documentation with their complaint, so the Customer Service team has to ask for more information. This causes longer conversation with the customers with everyone being frustrated.

3. Manual workflows drain customer service

Typically, it takes between 10 to 45 minutes to handle a warranty claim. Two of the reasons we have just covered, the third one is all the manual processes in various systems.

Most companies use emails for handling claims on faulty products. While it is certainly possible to make a structured workflow with emails, it is a poor solution to keep an overview of the individual cases. On top of that, every action is time-consuming when you have to download and upload files, fill out forms, and so on.

And if that was not enough, the Customer Service agent has to visit the ERP system, the e-com platform, and maybe the carrier portal to complete all tasks related to the warranty claim.

How it impacts your business!

The impact differs across industries and size of the businesses. Below, you will find a list of the most common and critical consequences.

  1. The customer has to repeat themselves and wait long for resolutions —> we see disappointed customers share their experiences with friends and on Trustpilot all the time.
  2. Employees waste time and get frustrated —> this is very expensive in man-hours with lots of lost productivity.
  3. Few employees with expert knowledge create bottlenecks —> loss of flexibility if the expert employee is on holiday.
  4. Credit notes are lost in the dialogue with brands and suppliers —> direct loss, which will hurt in the long-run.

Three things you can do today to change the status quo for your business!

As a webshop or brand here are three concrete things you can do today:

  1. Make it easy for your customers to locate how to make a warranty claim, as there is no point in hiding it on the website.
  2. Use smart forms or Claimlane's Self-Service Portal to let customers register their claims and ensure all the documentation is correct from the start.
  3. When in doubt about a claim, or you can't wait for the supplier, make sure to resolve it with your customer right away. Bad reviews will hurt your reputation more in the long run.

Claimlane ❤️ Webshops

At Claimlane we have tailored our solution to accommodate the exact challenges that webshops are experiencing everyday.

Possibilities with the platform:

√ Increased self-service —> customers love it and you decrease the number of touchpoints

√ Complaints are always perfectly documented with pictures, descriptions, issue tags, etc.

√ Integrate with Shopify (among others), secure correct product data and automated workflows

√ Perfect overview of all ongoing cases, and forward claims directly to each suppliers (brands)

Michael Kruse Sørensen
September 8, 2022
5 min

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