Why you need to document your extended service snubs
By J.R. Zirkelbach, New Leaf Service Contracts
When you recommend five years of full extended service coverage on a new purchase and your customer decides to take a pass on that option, it is very important to document their decision.
This can be done by asking the customer to sign a statement at the bottom of the sales invoice that reads, for example, “The New Leaf service plan has been explained to me and I decline to purchase it at this time.”
There are four main reasons to document the customer’s refusal:
1. If the customer comes back to your store with a product failure outside the limited manufacturer’s warranty and demands you repair it out of your pocket, you can pull out their invoice and show the customer that she had the option of extending her warranty protection but declined to do so.
2. When the customer is asked to confirm in writing that she declined coverage, she may be inclined to ask more questions about the extended service contract. (“Now, what was that again?” “How much was it?” “What does it cover?”) This creates more selling opportunities.
3. The documentation is proof that all your customers have the same options available to them when shopping at your store. This will protect you from claims of discrimination. (“I would have bought a service policy if you would have given me the opportunity, but you didn’t because I’m ___________.”)
4. This practice also forces your salespeople to ask every customer to purchase a plan. You should see either an extended warranty sale or a customer’s signature declining coverage on every invoice.
The customer should be asked to sign the decline statement in a non-confrontational manner. For example, “Mrs. Customer, you’ll recall that I recommended you put five years full coverage on your new product, and you decided that was something that did not meet your needs. That’s certainly not a problem, but I do ask that you sign here to indicate that you did have that option available to you.”
Be sure to inform the customer that she has time to reconsider. Typically, your customer will have nine months to add the coverage following a product purchase, although we recommend a follow-up call from the salesperson after 30 days.
Documenting your customer’s decision against extending her warranty protection is good business and will create more sales opportunities. Consider adopting this practice for your own good and that of your customers.
J.R. Zirkelbach is a business development specialist at New Leaf Service Contracts and a 30-year retail industry veteran. Zirkelbach implements New Leaf-administered extended service programs for BrandSource members, which helps them provide exceptional service to customers, create earnings opportunities for salespeople, and increase their overall profitability. Contact J.R. at firstname.lastname@example.org.