Automobile

GUEST COMMENTARY: How to better process warranty claims

There isn’t a person out there today that isn’t feeling the effects of the worker shortage. Every industry and every business, every consumer and every employer, is feeling the pinch of the lack of labor. It’s impacting service standards, delivery of goods, quality of experience, and efficiencies in work flow. In a recent Cox Automotive study, a reported 72 percent of dealers are having trouble finding and recruiting qualified people. The staffing shortage is real, it stinks, and it doesn’t seem to be improving.

But there’s no point in dwelling in the negative and feeling hopeless. It’s more productive to focus on solutions that can solve problems today. Here’s the great news: When it comes to warranty processing, this might be one of the easier areas to upgrade in the entire dealership.

Let’s think about how warranties have been processed historically. Lots of paper. And faxes and snail mail. And remember microfiche? Not to mention all of the handwritten forms with some data entry performed by a human or two trained in claims processing. If those employees call in sick or go on vacation or leave the job, claims stack up. The process of processing takes weeks at best.

Let’s fast-forward to today. Now, warranties are processed with lots and lots of paper. One or two humans trained in claims processing doing the work, and if they don’t show up the job doesn’t get done. Humans fill out paperwork manually and enter data, leaving it prone to errors.

What is wrong with this picture? Essentially the warranty processing process hasn’t been modernized. Despite all of the digital makeovers happening throughout the auto retail experience, warranty processing has been overlooked. But with all of the technology in AI and automation today there is a better way to manage this now for instant gratification.

If you are one of the dealers out there that is flooded with resumes from qualified claims processing experts looking for work, you can stop reading now. But for the other 99.999 percent, here’s why you need to care about this and apply a sense of urgency to getting on top of this issue.

In case the point wasn’t clear enough, there’s a labor shortage and believe me when I say there aren’t many people signing up these days to become trained in warranty claims processing. But the lack of career interest isn’t because the demand for the job is going away. In fact, quite the opposite.

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