Feb 28, 2018 — Michelle James
There is no finish line when it comes to learning, networking or growing your business. The name of the game is value and first place trophies are engraved ‘best customer experience.’ Even without the trophy ceremony, you’ve already won the retail game. Many do not realize it yet. Your customers drop off and pick up their devices at your store. What other retailer has the chance to see the same customer twice within a day or even within an hour? What are you doing with that customer experience? Unfortunately, for many, their answer is “not enough.”
Amazingly, shocking headlines still sell. Seems like every quarter there is a new retail headline featuring big box and niche stores not surviving changes in consumer retail behavior. Can people really be changing this fast? Umm, no. Most likely, traditional established retailers are forgetting a golden rule: you must stay relevant. Every retailer is selling the same exact thing, the most coveted commodity known to humanity—a consumer’s time. People seek out a retailer for one of two reasons: necessity or entertainment. Retailers who can creatively combine necessary skus or services, while delivering an entertaining experience, are the retailers who win.
I often ask wireless repair retailers to stand in their store on a Monday morning, close their eyes, and ask themselves, “is this a place that I would want to be”? Be honest. If there is even one thing you would change or one opportunity you know you are missing, every day is a new day to address it, create it, change it, or what we do best in service & repair—fix it.
It is paramount that each successful business owner fully understands their ‘lane.’ This business as, with many retail-centric businesses, intrinsically can be unpredictable. Know what kind of retailer you are. I don’t even really mean franchise, independent, or big box. I mean, are you a niche retailer on main street? Bulk retailer, capitalizing on the popularity of a shopping strip with good parking on the ideal side of the street? The neighborhood expert whom everyone seeks?
Know who you are, market to your strengths, and don’t be afraid to change what isn’t working. Every market that has seventeen Starbucks also has locally owned coffee shops; the world of device repair is no different. Just know who you are or who you want to be – and be that!
Networking, networking, networking. You must continue to expand your professional network. We are looking forward to the upcoming Wireless Repair EXPO 2018 event and are even more excited that we are bringing it back to Las Vegas. In the spirit of networking and growing the service & repair community, this year we have partnered with CCA, the Competitive Carriers Association. The strategic reason for this move is to share our story of device repair with a new audience – the regional carriers and their eco-system who may or may not have had the same exposure to the repair channel, during our previous events.
CCA was founded in 1992 by nine rural and regional wireless carriers as a carrier centric organization. Since its founding, CCA has grown to become the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers serving all areas of the United States. Today, the licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers more than 95 percent of the nation.
We will continue to host partner programs where the wireless repair and reverse logistics community can evolve. The Mobile Carriers Show is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Our agenda will cover several topics focused on the retail environment and customer experience, as well as channel support from our supplier community. Regional carriers will be able to network with some of the subject matter experts who have been instrumental in the progressive maturity of the repair channel.
We are passionate about educating the community on best practices in device repair. The greatest sales strategy is to impart knowledge with no expectation of anything in return. If you are able to help make someone more knowledgeable, in exchange for your acquaintance, they are often times much more loyal to you and trust is built much faster.
As growing industry channels begin to mature, standardizing best practices closely follows suit. We have been working on developing industry-recognized standards for the reverse logistics of wireless repair for the better part of a year now. The goal of these best practices is to positively impact the supply chain, technician training, remanufacturing facilities, as well as retailers specializing in device repair. I am honored to chair the CTIA Reverse Logistics & Service Quality Leadership Council, where we facilitate five separate working groups, representing the entire wireless industry, to work on best practices for reverse logistics for mobile devices. I am grateful that iQmetrix also participates in the working groups as well. The program is available to anyone in the industry and I would be happy to share details how to engage in the work we are doing for anyone who is interested in participating.
We are expecting 300+ in our one day business owners’ workshop session at the Wireless Repair Expo on March 27th in Las Vegas. I do hope you will come to learn, network, and grow with us.
Shutterstock / Poravute Shiriphiroon