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A service contract is like giving a second gift.

Gifts are really all about the little extras. The best ones come from those who know you, someone who took a little time thinking about you and your needs. We at New Leaf Service Contracts, LLC want to help you provide your customers with not only what they want this holiday season, but also an extra something that they’ll need down the road.

 

Great customer service is a lot like giving a gift. Our value to the customer should be in how useful we are, how quick we are to ascertain a need and provide a solution. Good service contracts maintain a gift. They have the power to provide customer service long after the holiday season has come and gone.

 

It’s the gift and power of a worry-free future. With the right service contracts, your customers won’t have to worry about what may happen: they will be covered and protected against whatever the future might bring. The benefits of your products are only as good as the service guarantees behind them. When your customers buy an electronic device without an accompanying service contract, they’re really only buying half of the product.

 

Offer your customers peace of mind on the gifts they give this holiday. Make sure you’re selling the whole gift.

Hey Retailers, Here’s What Service Contract Providers Don’t Tell You.

It’s no surprise that due to misrepresentation by some Service Contract Providers, a degree of controversy still surrounds the service contract industry. Unfortunately, all too often we at New Leaf Service Contracts, LLC see some service contract providers in the marketplace that are not properly licensed or even insured. These misleading sources destroy the opportunity for trustworthy business relationships.

 

The truth is, a Retailer is only as good as his product and the consumer gets only what the Retailer offers. It goes without saying that you want your customers to have the very best, and it can be difficult to find yourself unsure of where to turn for a better alternative.

 

For us it all comes down to reputation, which is why we as Service Contract Providers want to help. You are the gatekeepers closest to the customer experience. It is you who has the most direct impact on the reputation of not only your business but also the service contract industry as a whole. Simply put, we are already in business together. We might as well work together to change this reputation.

 

To do this, we have come up with a solution: The New Leaf P.R.I.M.E. Retailers’ Guide. With this, you can ensure your customers are getting the level of service your contract providers tell you they will be getting. Five simple steps are all you need to make sure your contract providers are who they say they are:

 

P = Protection. Consider the level of protection the retailer has in the event that an administrator/obligor fails to pay claims or goes out of business. The reputation and financial backing of a top-tier administrator are other important factors to keep in mind when evaluating an administrator. And most importantly, make sure a valid insurance policy is in place to protect both the retailer and customer. Always ask to view a copy of the insurance policy, and address issues that are unclear regarding the various levels of protection.

 

R = Regulation. A reputable administrator is mindful of all the government rules or regulations in each state where contracts are sold. A top-tier administrator maintains an up-to-date copy of the Terms and Conditions which is then filed with state regulators. To check on the reliability of an administrator, double check to see if the terms and conditions is on file with the state insurance department in all relevant states you do business, then ask for a copy of the document to see that the names of the administrator/ obligor and insurance are clearly identified. Compare the names on the insurance policy to the terms and conditions to make sure the names match on all the documents.

 

I = Insurance. Reliable administrators use financially stable underwriters (rated A- or better by A.M. Best) and make sure that the insurance policy protects the obligor and dealer. Don’t rely on sales or marketing information. Dig deeper. Ask for a copy of the A.M. Best Insurance Report which gives the financial size and strength of the administrator’s insurer. Be wary of any insurer with less than an “A-” rating. The reasons behind any rating lower than an A- should be fully investigated.

 

M = Make Sure the Insurance is in Force. Insurance can’t help if the policy isn’t current, so make sure that the insurance is in force. As a potential business partner, ask for a copy of the policy so that coverage can be verified.

 

E = Ensure Compliance. A top-tier administrator/obligor will have knowledge of all prevailing regulations, and works to ensure compliance on an ongoing basis. Failure to comply with state laws can cost retailers serious cash in terms of legal fees and fines. Some states levy fines of up to $10,000 per contract sold that are in violation of mandatory guidelines. Under this example, only ten contracts could be a devastating punitive expense of $100,000 or more to retailers already struggling with a weak economy. Avoid the problem by requesting that the administrator / obligor should also provide a copy of their license within all states where the retailer conducts business.

 

We at New Leaf see no reason why the service contract industry cannot be more trustworthy. We want you to have the peace of mind that you are offering the program you were promised. We can help you navigate finding the right service contract program for your products and your customers. Help us change the misconceptions; Help us change things for the better. To learn how New Leaf can help you customize a program that meets these five points and more, please give us a call. We’ll do the work for you.

 
Click here to download the New Leaf P.R.I.M.E. Retailers’ Guide

High-Tech Headaches

Lets talk about all the gadgets kids need for school these days. Remember how simple it was when all you needed to start a school year were number two pencils, a ruler and some spiral notebooks?

 

Well, the times they are a changin’. This year, the average school supply list recommends products like hard drives, graphing calculators and tablets; not to mention the laptops, printers and coffee machines often used behind the scenes to complete homework assignments. “Electronic tools offer today’s student a level of access to information that couldn’t be imagined by kids just a generation ago,” said Tim Meenan, Executive Director of the Service Contract Industry Council. “Because of these advances, electronics are becoming priorities on parents’ back-to-school shopping lists.”

 

According to CNBC, Best Buy began offering discounts on their back-to-school devices in early June. Their sources anticipate nine billion total in spending for electronic tools this August alone.

 

Unfortunately, almost all school assignments hinge completely on the functionality of our tech devices. Having a printer malfunction or a spilled beverage mishap can halt work on important assignments. Because of all the troubles electronics can experience, Meehan suggests that a service contract may be a best friend for parents and students who can’t afford to simply “buy another one.”

 

A good service contract actually saves more than just time and money – it can keep these items working properly inside our homes instead of piling up in a landfill.

 

We all know that a reliable service contract is difficult to find. “This is where having the right warrantee is important,” says CEO Sean Hicks of New Leaf Service Contracts, LLC. “Customers want to know that what they are buying now will actually help them how and when they need it. Our business model helps insure the needs of the customer are put first.”

 

Knowing the right questions to ask is key in getting the right kind of warrantee coverage. And the SCIC has a solution: This back-to-school season they have provided a handy list of ‘Consumer Tips’. These tips are a short list of all the questions you should be asking before you buy so you know you’ve got the best warrantee out there.

 

We recommend downloading this free Pocket Buying Guide before you begin shopping this back-to-school season: http://bit.ly/1bc1ITH.

 

What we’ve been looking at:

‘SCIC Releases Free Pocket Buying Card to Help Consumers During Back-To-School Shopping:’ http://bit.ly/19oBEY4

‘Back-to-school Season Goes High Tech:’ http://cnb.cx/1cv02IT

‘High-Tech Trash:’ http://bit.ly/wlgOl

GIVING BACK IS AN OPT-IN

In business, we usually think of “opting-in” as permission that consumers give us to start a digital communication. A consumer opt-in is a valued commodity. Be it a “like” on Facebook, a Twitter or Pinterest follower, or a recipient of a monthly email blast. Today, there’s a lot of money being spent to get consumers to freely opt-in.

 

In a way, it’s like buying a vote.

 

Recently, our company, New Leaf Service Contracts, LLC has thought about employing these techniques to build up our “likes” on Facebook. In case you’re interested, New Leaf designs and administers customized service contract programs for retailers, e-tailers wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers to offer to their consumers.

 

Needless to say, we don’t have many people beating down our Facebook page.

 

I’m no social media expert, but I do consider myself pretty logical and I believe I do a pretty good job of putting myself in the shoes of the other person when I’m trying to be objective. In this case – the consumer. The first thing I realized is that asking someone to like us or opt-in simply because we give them something feels a little fair weathered.

 

So I asked myself, is New Leaf likable? What are we doing to be likable? We position ourselves as a provider of service contract programs that puts the customer first. This might be a first in our industry, so we’re pretty proud of it. Yet just having a great product isn’t necessarily a reason to “like” someone, in my opinion.

 

So New Leaf looked at what we could do to be more likeable. And we discovered that it was us who needed do some opting in – freely. So we found a charity that has meaning to New Leaf and fits our mission of being responsible. So it is on this platform that New Leaf proudly announces our partnership with Plant-it 2020, a worldwide tree planting service.

 

Four things that set them apart from other reforestation organizations include 1) No-Logging: they plant trees in non-harvest locations with high survival rates, 2) Geographic Scope: they provide the largest number of locations worldwide for customizable city and forest tree-planting projects, 3) Business Conduct Ethics: they subscribe to the Tree-Planting Code of Ethics as well as actively educate contributors about industry scams and deceptions, and 4) founded GROW (growforests.org); an industry organization consisting of those reforestation organizations setting benchmarks and consistently performing the highest quality reforestation practices.

 

This is how New Leaf is opting in – to do our share in giving back and replenish the resources we use.

 

You might say this article is still a little self-serving. But we’re hoping it might encourage other companies to opt-in to some things that make them more likeable.

 

And besides, if New Leaf doesn’t get a ton of “likes” because of this announcement, that’s okay. Because we feel more likeable. And that’s better than buying a “like” anytime.

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