Quality, safety and functionality are keywords for the Danish baby interior brand, Sebra. Therefore, warranty claims are also taken seriously; each complaint is one too many, despite the fact that Sebra has a relatively low claim percentage. But why optimize when you already have a low claim rate? We asked Benny Kristiansen, Sales and Marketing Director for Sebra:
"All companies that sell physical goods know about claims, and they will always occur. It is a time-consuming and chaotic problem that often puts customers' patience to the test." - Benny Kristiansen
Specifically, Sebra experiences customers (retailers) submitting half-documented claims via email. Most often, 3-4 emails must be forwarded to get all the data; it prolongs the processing time and goes beyond the customer experience. At the same time, this manual process creates unstructured data, which is processed in large excel sheets.
"To optimize your claim processes you need to have a full overview. This is close to impossible when data is decentralized and scattered in a huge excel sheet." - Benny Kristiansen
At Sebra, sustainability is something that is taken seriously. Therefore it was considered a critical problem that the company did not have an overview and structured data about defective products, which they can share internally with product development / design and externally with the manufacturers.
"If companies are to become sustainable, they need to have control over this part of the business. Many people use no-claim agreements, but it is unsustainable in the future because you do not take care of your own quality. It is not sustainable." - Benny Kristiansen
To achieve the desired control with the claim process, Sebra entered into a partnership with Claimlane in April 2021.
The objectives of the collaboration are:
Sebra has implemented Claimlane in two phases.
First, Claimlane's B2B Claim Portal was introduced to retailers to streamline the flow of claims and ensure perfect data for the first time. In addition, the module Inbox & Workflows creates a structured overview of the handling of claims.
In phase two, Sebra has integrated with Dynamics NAV (ERP system) to automate the manual processes on the final part of claim handling, e.g. crediting, ordering spare parts, etc. After 12 months, time consumption is reduced by up to 50% across the organization. The customer dialogue and entry into ERP has gone from taking approx. 5 minutes on average to 60 seconds with Claimlane on the simple claims.
"Before we started the project, our Service Center wanted an extra colleague - now the talk is instead about what the freed time should be used for." - Benny Kristiansen
In addition, Sebra has also introduced Advanced Analytics for detailed insights into quality challenges across all products, which are shared throughout the organization.
"With Claimlane, we can process the cases significantly faster than before, and at the same time, we get the right data per claim and thus valuable insight for improvement." - Benny Kristiansen
The last stage is now about targeted efforts for improvement opportunities based on documented knowledge and concrete insight, and here it is Sebra's expectation that the claim rate can be reduced by at least 25% - which, from a sustainability and economic perspective, has excellent benefits.
Benny concludes with the most essential point. Sebra now sees claim handling as a value-creating activity, the ability to turn a negatively charged experience into a positive customer experience.
"The biggest challenge is that every claim is initially negatively charged. Here, the task of getting this turned into a positive. For example, suppose you have 1,000 customers with a bad experience due to claims. In that case, it can quickly spread to even more potential customers and ultimately mean lost sales. Turning a negative situation into a downright positive customer experience is the most crucial thing that Claimlane helps us with." - Benny Kristiansen
The focus has been on achieving an ROI within 12 months by implementing Claimlane as the primary software to handle the claim process, and it has been fully met. The investment, in addition to Claimlane, has been the internal time consumption as well as costs for an external consultant in relation to helping with integration to NAV.