SMARTPHONES TAKE A POUNDING in normal daily use: screens crack, parts get soaked, batteries expire, buttons go flat and jacks wear out. Somebody’s gotta fix ‘em. In the past few years, a large and lucrative aftermarket industry has sprung up to do just that. But it takes more than a steady hand with a micro-soldering iron to ensure success in this emerging industry. It takes sound business and customer service practices.
A whopping 73 million Americans damaged their devices in 2016, according to SquareTrade, a provider of smartphone protection plans owned by Allstate Corporation. As a result, American consumers during that period spent $3.6 billion putting their precious cellphones and tablets right, yielding $272 million in profits for nearly 8,000 businesses, as per the latest report from research organization IBIS World.
Best Practices Emerge
The collective experience of the Service & Repair industry is beginning to reveal best practices that may be defined, learned and applied. The following list is a good beginning:
Establish solid core business practices.
Every retail business needs help with tracking cash, fraud prevention, preventing inventory outages and managing churn. A centralized retail management solution is essential to help institutionalize these activities and ensure they are rigorously followed.
Manage your parts inventory and supply chain.
Purchase OEM authorized parts with lower defect rates versus generic copies. The extra cost may be more than offset in customer satisfaction and saving rework. Maintaining a perpetual parts inventory lets you know if parts are on hand or need to be ordered from a distributor. Work with your suppliers to establish seamless processes for replenishment and special orders.
Schedule service orders with precision.
This requires real-time visibility into parts on hand and technician schedules. Don’t guess or hedge with a customer. Give a firm fact-based quote and deliver confidently on the promise. Use a common platform to communicate exact priorities to the bench.
“This presents a service encounter unlike any other … an opportunity to see the same customer twice, at drop off and pickup. That’s two opportunities to be their hero. ” – Michelle James, Founder, Wireless Repair EXPO
Professionalize your customer interactions.
Well-designed systems let you standardize the initial service encounter and organize ordertaking. Carefully and completely document repair orders. Record all relevant information about the promised repair as well as the inbound condition of the device, then capture a customer sign-off. What result is expected? Was the case scratched or dented when you took possession? It all should be documented to prevent misunderstandings at delivery time.
Help employees with suggestive selling.
Deploy software to help guide suggestive selling and add-ons, especially at the time of pick-up. This helps the employee to create a better experience for the customer while boosting overall profit. A simple reminder to offer a screen protector or protective case can boost profits on the service they just provided. Embedding this in the POS software via a pop-up or reminder screen affords the employee better ability to sell to customers without the hassle of trying to remember all products and offerings.
Now is a dynamic moment for the Mobile Device Service & Repair industry. The opportunity is vast, but competition is mounting rapidly. To prevail in an increasingly competitive and fast-changing environment, businesses must organize for success. Well-designed service and business processes, supported by reliable store systems, inspire customer confidence and empower employees to make and keep their promises.
With today’s cloud-based technologies, small businesses can afford to invest in the level of solutions that put them on par with big chains. They may deploy now with the confidence the systems will deliver near-term returns and scale with them as they grow.
Delivering on the service promise today means more than just getting the repair done competently. Store systems enable you to meet your financial goals and remain profitable while meeting competitive price points. As in any good service business, it’s the total experience that builds your brand reputation.
See original article: The Right Fix, by iQmetrix.