Customer Experience (CX), Customer Relationship Marketing, Voice of Customer Research, Customer Engagement

Redefining the Customer Experience across multiple channels per the Voice of the Customer

Industry Background

  1. A home warranty helps homeowners avoid unexpected home repairs which are often expensive.


  1. The warranty provides coverage against mechanical failures for many major systems and appliances, coverage that is not provided by most homeowners' insurance policies.


  1. The term of the warranty is typically one year.

Company Background

  1. 31 year old privately held company.


  1. Market and sell home warranties through real estate agents.


  1. Use direct marketing to renew home warranties when the one year contract, initiated during purchase of the home, is approaching expiration.




Doug Stein
HMS National, Inc.

Previously, Doug was a distinguished Fortune 500 consultant for Accenture. There he helped manage some of the firms most prominent projects while also being key to the development of significant corporate solutions and industry offerings that increased market share and profit for the world's largest consulting firm.

In his current position, Doug is the senior executive at HMS National responsible for developing and delivering innovative growth strategies in a historically mature and commoditized industry.



Traditionally, Home Warranties cover many systems and appliances

  • Air Conditioning and Heating Systems.

  • Refrigerators.

  • Water Heaters.

  • Washers / Dryers.

  • Ovens / Ranges.

  • Electrical Systems.Etc.




increase in average renewal rates




ECHO award winner

dma award.jpg

Goals of the VoC

  1. Improve the customer experience across channels.
  1. Significantly improve renewal rates.


3-Step Marketing Process




  1. Know Much More About Our Customer's Needs' and Use This to Drive Our Marketing VoC Research

VoC Research Objectives

  • Stimulate greater renewal rates.
  • Identify what home warranty means to customers.
  • Determine how customers define the value of HMS.
  • Evaluate claim experiences: strengths and weaknesses.


  • Measure level of satisfaction with HMS.
  • Analyze perception of marketing communications.
  • Gain insights into product enhancements.
  • Determine willingness to Opt-In and self-profile preferences to drive targeted communications.

Research Sample

  • Customers Who Renewed.

  • Customers Who Did Not Renew.

Research Segments

  • Home Buyers Who Purchased Home Warranty.

  • Home Sellers Who Purchased Home Warranty.
  • Filed Claim / Did Not File Claim.

Voice of Customer Learnings:

  • Regardless of who purchased the warranty, i.e., Home Seller or Home Buyer, engagement is low.

  • The customer experience, not just the amount of claims paid, significantly impacts renewal behavior.
  • Real estate agents often drive the customer's perception of the value of renewing.
  • Customers often calculate the value of the warranty if they consider renewing.


  • Service enhancement opportunities identified: focus on the end-to-end customer experience.
  • Customers expect HMS to be proactive throughout the claims handling process.
  • Customers are receptive to self-profiling their interests and preferences.




  1. Establish Meaningful Opt-In Preference-Based Relationships


  • Customers are willing to share information regarding their homes, interests and preferences if this is used in a valuable and respectful manner.

  • Customers can understand the value they will receive from populating the Opt-In database with their preference information.


  • Customers expect that this information will be used to drive relevant and personally useful information.
  • Preferred communications include: Maintenance Tips and Newsletters.




  1. Deploy Our Multichannel Mix Per Opt-In Preferences

VoC learnings helped develop more effective strategies for:

  • How to engage customers throughout the customer lifecycle including during the renewal process e.g. telemarketing, direct marketing, auto renewal.

  • Which products to offer e.g. cross-sell or up-sell.
  • What additional information to offer regarding home repair and maintenance.


Implementation Per VoC Research


Our initial touch point with our customers was informational without being engaging.



We are leveraging this early touch point to immediately engage each customer. 


To successfully engage customers, several elements are incorporated from VoC learnings.

    1. Customer engagement through a relationship oriented call.


    1. Pre-VoC, multi-touch renewal process was direct mail driven.


    1. In the VoC, customers shared their openness to and need for dialogue with us.


    1. Post-VoC, we have piloted service-oriented TM and the results are as positive as the VoC projected.
    1. Customer engagement through a relationship oriented call (cont'd)


    1. The VoC has enabled multi-channel marketing that is driving incremental sales.


    1. The cost of telemarketing is several times higher than direct mail, but the incremental sales offset the expense and optimize profitability.