Furniture retailers know protection plans provide large margins and are in demand by consumers who want to protect their investment. For retailers, however, finding the right program for the products they sell has always been a challenge.
Montage Furniture Services, one of the nation’s leading protection plan providers, thinks it has the solution. Montage, a Home Furnishings Association solutions partner, offers many services to consumers and retailers that both groups can’t find with other protection service companies, says Alan Salmon, Montage’s president and CEO.
First, the consumer side. Many furniture protection providers require consumers to notify the provider within a week of a problem arising. Montage knows that restriction doesn’t fit the busy lifestyle of today’s consumer, so the company gives them 30 days to file a claim.
Then there are the stains. Rather than list which stains are covered in the plan and which are excluded, Montage makes it simple by including all stains in its policies.
And matching pieces? Montage covers them, too.
“I think you’ll find providers that cover one of those, maybe two, but not all three, says Salmon. “We know making that $150, $250 sale is not always easy for the retailer, so we want to provide value to them.”
Part of that value means enhancing the consumer’s experience beyond the sale and delivery of furniture. “Think about the face of a clock,” Salmon says. “If a consumer buys a sofa at 1 and it’s delivered at 4 and then there’s a problem at 9, and they’re driving back to the store, they’re going to remember that last number the most. We want that to be a positive experience.”
That’s where Montage’s claims management system, launched earlier this year, comes into play. The system keeps consumers plugged in to their claim throughout its journey, which lifts a lot of the burden and time off the retailer’s workload since customers are less likely to call or drop by for updates. It also helps shorten the claim cycle.
And because Montage is gathering data with every claim, the company provides retailers with a data-driven perspective of the exact type of protection plans for the furniture they sell.
“(Retailers) can see if they are paying for coverage that nobody is using and they can stop that coverage and find a more useful plan,” says Salmon. “We can mold the coverage to what their customers need.”
For more information about Montage’s protection services, contact an HFA member specialist at 800-422-3778.