The Nationwide Marketing Group product protection program has undergone a tremendous amount of improvement since the merger with MEGA in late 2017. And the product protection team believes that continuing to enhance the program offerings is critical to continued dealer success and profitability.
To be successful, the protection program must feature relevant coverages and unmatched customer service that appeal to the needs and expectations of today’s consumers while offering competitive pricing. Here are some of the areas we are working on to ensure we have a best-in-class program.
Improved Vendor Engagement
Continually elevating our program standards causes vendors to change their business models and methods of coming to market. Most of these changes have been very positive. For example, we have seen the creation of the EPIC Protect program in the appliance and consumer electronics (CE) categories. Centricity is our third-party administrator for this new and consumer–positive program.
Safeware, a legacy administrator for the old MEGA Protect program, has emerged as our alternative program in appliance and CE, and one of our two preferred furniture vendors with the Life Proof offerings that feature new and innovative programs.
Guardsman was the Nationwide mainstay furniture program and in the last year has drastically improved its technology, go–to–market strategy and IT capabilities.
Sadly, we have lost traction with the long–time NSI plan provider, Warrantech, but we are always optimistic and open to creating other offerings with them.
Improved Support and Training Tools
The product protection team continually challenges our warranty providers to create more tools to support our retailer’s efforts. EPIC Protect launched an online video training series in Q1 2019. This series, produced by Nationwide PrimeMedia, focuses on three major areas: managing a protection program in your store, coverage and claims process education, and product protection selling skills.
Similarly, Guardsman and Safeware are producing online training tools that will be available to retailers in 2019.
The importance of education for the protection program cannot be overstated; knowledge creates confidence, and confidence breeds success. These vendor partners are supporting and funding practical tools for managers to use as a roadmap for success, and they are available on demand. Sales staff now have a coverage guide for all Nationwide programs, and any new hires can quickly be trained up to sales floor effectiveness with these online education tools!
Nationwide’s commitment to making product protection a success for our retailers is evident in the investment made to the programs. With a dedicated product protection staff lead by Susie Moore, Chad Burris and Kelly Hackenbracht, Nationwide retailers can lean on industry experts who understand protection plans in a retail environment and the buying group’s role in creating and developing protection programs.
Nationwide protection programs are created and executed for the members, plain and simple. Member success with product protection is the unrelenting focus. Nationwide is committed to providing all the programming, support, advice and guidance that is needed for every member to be profitable, deliver excellent customer service and retain the best employees their market has to offer.
To learn more about our product protection offerings, visit MemberNet > Member Services > Extended Warranties.
Mallory Parker is senior vice president of Member services at Nationwide Marketing Group