This is a guest blog post written by iQmetrix Integrated Partner, Sourcely.
For many years now, mobile devices have been a significant part of our lives. They are no longer a luxury, but a true necessity to communicate, plan, purchase, navigate, acquire information, share memories, and (let’s be honest) just pass the time.
When the mobile industry grows, the repair industry grows just as quickly. Phones get dropped, wet, and bent, and screens get cracked, batteries go bad, and digitizers stop working. If you have a mobile device, there is a good chance that one of the above has or will happen to you.
The ability to fix a phone rapidly became one of those skills every retailer wishes they had, and there’s a lot of demand in this market. The problem is that — with demand — comes competition. With more and more small repair shops popping up every day, how do you stay on top?
Here are the three common issues service & repair stores face and some effective ways to overcome them:
Find Quality Parts for Reasonable Prices
If you own a retail store, you’ve probably found hundreds of vendors claiming to have “the best products on the market.” Even if this statement is true, you’ll likely encounter issues with any vendor supplied part or accessory at some point. Contrary to popular belief, this is actually okay; the real problem lies with what happens when issues arise. High rates, bad communication, and slow RMAs can impact your business far more than one faulty product. So, when you’re choosing a vendor, keep a few things in mind:
- Know their parts and different tiers. In most cases, vendors offer a variety of different screens with different prices. OEM screens come with an original LCD, usually from a refurbished screen, and tend to have higher quality with less chances of running into issues later but are significantly more expensive. While aftermarket screens have LCDs manufactured in China with more affordable prices, these parts can be a hit or miss as they tend to be lower quality. Both alternatives have their pros and cons, and both can generate success for your business. The important thing is that you understand the product you’re working with.
- Ask about their RMA policy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. What is the return rate for all different tiers, the usual turnaround time, the warranty details, or the stipulations around their return policy? You’ll want to work with a company that can guarantee RMAs for all your parts, a long term warranty (of at least 6 months), and a straightforward process.
- Pay attention to their customer service. Do they answer your calls, texts, or emails? Do they listen to your what you need and try to come up with solutions to solve your problems? Do they go out of their way to work with you, offering special prices, payment terms, or any other services that might fit your business? If so, you’ve found a winner. Always choose a vendor that works with clear and consistent communication.
- Pick a vendor and stick to them. Sometimes one vendor doesn’t have all the things you need to satisfy your customers, meaning you’ll need to work with more than one retailer. While your business has product needs, keep in mind that less is more. Try to reduce the number of vendors you work with. When you work with just one or two companies, it’s a lot easier to keep track of parts quality, RMA process, and any issues you might have. Bottom line: keep it simple.
If you own a business that doesn’t have a minimum online presence, you have a problem. Just picture this: if your garbage disposal stops working and your sink gets clogged, you need to call a plumber. Unless you happen to know someone, what’s the first thing you do? You go online and search for “plumber near me.” You are immediately presented with multiple options to choose from. Now exchange your clogged sink with a broken phone, and the same situation arises. Potential customers are online, looking for repair stores and if you’re not there, they’re not finding you. If your store is not there when they search for service & repair, then you’ve just missed connecting with a client.
When looking to create an online presence, investing in digital marketing is more than just creating a Facebook page. If done right, putting capital into Google and Facebook Advertising and local SEO is an effective way to put your name out there; it can be the most effective way to acquire new leads, retain those contacts, and continue to grow. Be consistent, create high-quality ads, utilize powerful call-to-actions, and provide information as about prices, special offers, average repair time, and whatever else makes your business stand out. Engaging your loyal customer base is also great for boosting your online profile; incentivizing online reviews after a repair helps get the word out and after all, a good reputation online is a good reputation all around.
Reports are also a useful tool to analyze the effectiveness of your digital strategy. Data on how much you’re paying, how many leads your advertising strategy is generating, and how much money you’re earning from it, can help you that the digital investment is more than worth it; it’s the key to your business’ success. If you don’t know where to start, or if you’re not sure if your campaigns are working correctly, reach out to our email at the end of this article, and we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation to give you guidance.
Working With Clients
Even when you have the highest-quality parts and the best digital marketing out there, one thing is for certain: some clients will want the least expensive repair possible in the quickest amount of time and your offerings may not be what they’re looking for. When this happens and competitors have shorter wait times and lower costs, how can you still compete?The answer to this question is so simple you may not believe it at first. Just listen carefully to your what your client wants. Don’t believe us? Just imagine this scenario:
Mary finds your store online and calls asking for a quote to fix her cracked Samsung S8 screen. After discussing numbers, she tells you she can’t afford the repair. Instead of just hanging up and losing Mary’s business, ask her more questions about her phone repair needs. Perhaps she has an old phone sitting at some drawer that can be used as a trade-in to cover part of the repair costs — something you would not have known if you didn’t investigate.
Once Mary sees that you are willing to go above and beyond to help fix her device, she brings her old phone in and you notice some cracks on the screen. Recognizing that there may be a pattern, this is your chance to help solve a consistent problem. With a newly repaired Samsung (partially paid for with her outdated device), you offer her a discount on a protective accessory that could save her phone when the inevidable ‘drop’ happens. She may also be inclined to purchase a warranty to ensure her wallet isn’t gouged if breakage happens again.Rest assured, for these extra precautions, Mary is sure to be thankful for time and care in her transaction.
Want to go one step further? You could also offer her a free battery evaluation to check if she needs to replace it soon (and so happens, she does). Just by listening to your client and working on solutions alongside her, you were able to turn a single repair into a major sale; not to mention you just created a great customer experience. Mary will probably leave your store feeling satisfied, recommending your service to any other friend who needs to fix their phone.
Lower prices aren’t the be all and end all of beating the compeitition. Small initiatives, such as a simple sign at your store’s door saying “Repair Your Phone and Get a Free Tempered Glass” or taking the time to completely understand your customers, can make a significant leap in your sales numbers at the end of the month.
Speaking as a startup company, we are all about supporting small businesses. Sourcely’s core focus is to help small repair stores grow by providing quality parts, consistent customer support, impactful digital marketing services, and — above all — valuable information.
It would be our pleasure to discuss your goals and help you achieve them. Email us: Help@Sourcely.com to learn more about all the great ways we can work together, or give us a call at 480−360−0496 to talk to one of our representatives.