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Why your product registration experience is the problem, not your customers

A good product registration experience is hard to come by. When you don’t optimize the experience, you may find yourself missing out on a lot of customer love.

You may have (unfortunately) found yourself on the receiving end of a breakup, a partner uttering the platitude, “It’s not you; it’s me.” Whether with a person, a service, or a product, it’s a harmless way to end things cleanly and without digging deep into feelings or explanations. When it comes to the minefield of product registration, Taylor Swift’s Anti-Hero seems fitting: “I’m the problem, it’s me.”

To put it plainly: Product registration sucks.

Traditionally product registration has been somewhat of an afterthought. Brands do it to connect with customers without always considering it as a touchpoint that people want to engage with. But the desire to engage with a product registration flow relies wholly on brands to create an experience that feels valuable and effortless.

The current system of product registration — mail-in forms — is laborious for customers, who often perceive it as prone to tampering. The first registration cards were created and sent in 1977. Brands that still expect consumers to devote time to filling out registration cards, some of which require providing a lot of personal information, are outmoded, to say the least.  

It’s not that people don’t want to register products — many people do — but the effort required outweighs the benefits in many consumers’ eyes. It’s part of a shifting expectation that product registration and protection, regardless of industry or product, must provide a consumer-grade experience. This means product registration needs to be intuitive, flexible, and hassle-free, like so many of the apps and services that consumers know and love. And brands that aren’t purposeful with this experience are missing out. 

Businesses lose so much by not optimizing the experience of product registration. The most obvious is a significant amount of first-party data. You can use this data in many ways: through marketing, advertising, and content to provide a direct connection between you and your consumers.

Access to this information allows brands to segment according to demographics and preferences, making communicating and building relationships with consumers easier. Whether that’s following up with thoughtful, tailored information to deepen trust or reaching out in worst-case scenarios like product recalls. And the result of this transparent, proactive communication? More customer love (and loyalty!). 

So as you come to terms with the fact that your old product registration forms are the problem, what can you do to make them the hero? Here are a few things customers are craving.

Something simple (and digital)

Given the sometimes mammoth effort of physical product forms, going digital shouldn’t be a surprising recommendation. Of people who never register products, 44% do so because it’s inconvenient and time-consuming. Of the younger crowd (those aged between 18 and 34), the preference is mobile registration specifically .

Moving digital-first and providing mobile options for users is the obvious first move. But to simplify; Consider providing a QR code so customers can scan and jump directly to a webpage. Ease is the goal here, so filling out a form needs to feel easy. Generally speaking, forms with fewer fields have higher conversion rates , and when customers see value in filling out a form, they are more likely to fill out additional fields. 

For most products, consider collecting the basics first (think essential information like name and contact details) before asking for more information slowly over time

A rewarding experience

At the end of the day, asking customers to fill out registration forms is a transaction, so it needs to be worth it to the customer. There are several ways you can reward your customers for the time they’re taking to provide this information (not to mention the data they’re handing over), all of which focus on delivering a great experience. 

Educating customers is an important way to improve value. That could be additional information on their new product's setup, use, or care. We all know the feeling of excitement when purchasing a product we’ve had our eye on for a while, and it’s in your brand’s best interest to ensure people get the most out of their products (happy customers are return customers , after all). 

Additionally, there should be an element of exclusivity. Product registration forms are a great gateway to start cultivating brand advocates because they allow brands to create tailored and memorable post-purchase experiences. Reward product registration through exclusive benefits like behind-the-scenes company information, special discount codes, or freebies like free shipping or digital products. 

An answer to questions (or concerns)

Consumers have so many questions about product registration. The ones we often hear are: 

  • How long does my limited warranty last? 

  • Is registration the same as a warranty? 

  • What happens if I don’t register? 

  • Am I signing up for marketing emails by registering? 

  • Is my data safe? 

(See how we’d answer these questions here.)

Being a resource to your customers is critical. 56% of consumers register a product because they want to receive warranty and service plan information, so detailed answers to these questions are essential. You could provide this information via a link to an FAQ page or in a printable PDF (or both!) as long as you provide the information customers crave and make it easy for them to find.

Turn product registration into the hero of your ownership enrichment experience. Click here to learn more about how you can make registration easier for your customers .