Running a commercial cell phone repair business is a stressful venture. An affair that is more taxing emotionally than it is monetarily. Even field vets, versed in the daily intricacies of the trade, often report derision. One is human, after all – no matter the prowess shown by the ‘faculty intellectual’ – or the ease meted out by a dedicated mobile repair shop software.
Why I’m Qualified to Speak
Now, I’ve worked in the domain for over twenty years. I’ve seen first-hand the cellular device revolution unfold. My working obligations, for a significant period, have been concerned with evolution tracking. Tracing the trajectory of the typical cell phone as it progressed from a single-antenna implement to a touchscreen powerhouse. I’d even add my going oversight of professional repair shop software to the mix – but that’s a story for another volume.
This journey has had its fair share of enjoyable bouts of introspection – I have to admit. But for the most part, its forward thrust has proved daunting.
There have been days when I considered forsaking the enterprise altogether. Periods when the regular angst of the business became too much to bear. Unmanageable, as it were, in terms of work/life balance, health exigencies, social mobility, and what have you.
Issues that ultimately crept into my personal dealings with customers. Morose, which, if left unchecked, can make a situation spiral out of control. And for no useful reason (we’re all capitalists, right?)!
The Repair Customer Experience: a Delicate Business
It’s not difficult to imagine the impact of a craggy exchange on a shop’s client retention. For most people, the merchant interaction proves consequential. It can make or break a deal – even for longstanding experts (veterans) in the business.
Clients generally tend to jump ship at even the barest instances of neglect. Even when it is imagined – not a viable, historical occurrence.
So, for any repair professional/tech worth their salt, this concern can hardly be ignored.
To see that it proceeds smoothly, a delicate compromise has to be maintained. A balance where the demands of the venture are aligned – in profitable ways – with the needs of the customers (a pursuit where a solid repair shop management system can provide much facilitation).
For this to happen, repair business reps – from cashiers to background techs – need to abide by a playbook.
A manual of customer experience best practices that are often unsaid/uncodified.
Ensuring Smooth Exchanges – Guaranteed Sales
In my experience, there are a total of four broad ways for repair business workers to improve a customer exchange going south.
These strategies come tested in the mold of the day-to-day; so they’re fully actionable.
As a repair field insider, you can, of course, propose more. But I’m not confident extolling pointers on what I haven’t engaged with, so I’ll stick with what I know.
And so – without any further ado…the coveted list:
- Neutralizing Brewing Arguments with Humility
- Placating with Bundle Offerings
- The Owner’s Personal Touch
- Underpromising & Overdelivering
Let’s dig into each – dole out some prescriptivism!
Taking a (Strategic) Bow
Ever heard the business cliche ‘The Customer is Always Right?’
Well, even though many commercial outfits have gotten over this fetter, clients haven’t.
What’s more, many – both in the repair field and not – exploit its calling; deeming it a consensus position. They don’t anticipate the shop owner or tech talking them down on any point. Further, the said ilk makes a full attempt to reap the maximum advantage from the exchange.
Many business managers even consider the prescription to be a grounding principle. They may, unfairly, expect their employed workers to toe the line; submit to every customer censure. Despite the fact that this ‘dressing down’ may be unwarranted or unethical – no matter what certain mobile repair shop software prompts might claim.
Now, personally, I think this recourse is absurd – if not unjust.
At the same time, however, I do believe there are times when a show of humility yields more benefit. But for this, the business executive concerned needs to be discerning.
Diffusing a burgeoning conflict situation with a tactical withdrawal is a sound policy. But when practiced against the unworthy many, it can become counterproductive. Leading to a scenario where these latter miscreants can walk all over.
The ‘Lollipop’ that is the Bundle…
On many occasions, a customer exchange experience can enter troubled waters on account of the merchant’s fault. In such cases, simple shows of backing down won’t normally do. A further ‘upping of the ante’ is needed. More sweetening of the pot – to appease the clients’ ego.
For this end, repair bundle offerings provide a good fix.
These are simple cross-sells – that can be charged – designed to put out the blaze.
Think about it.
An angry customer who gets their repair complaint resolved along with a free (or minimally priced) device accessory will report lower levels of stress. They might even be willing to forget the case altogether.
In practice, this translates into repair shop customers going home with more than they bargained for. And while this providence might not alleviate their anguish completely, it will blunt its development.
When the Repair Shop Owner Descends
Following on the first executable, this prescription imparts an even more poignant effect – with the case rendered more striking in the case of large repair concerns.
Imagine the scenario – this time from the customer’s end:
You walk into a repair shop to get your iPhone 13 fixed. The desk representative takes your device; providing an ETA of 3 days (ticketed against the venture’s mobile repair shop software). You show up on the stated date, only to find the repair gig delayed. Anger naturally settles in – and you demand to speak to the manager. Instead, the owner comes over to issue an apology. Coupled, perhaps, with a waiver of all charges.
Now, if you’re like most people, this show of candor would leave you touched.
I call this approach the ‘nuclear option’ in customer affairs. Reserved for the times when nothing else seems to do the trick.
Making ‘More than Good’ on your Commitments
This is precisely what happens when you underpromise and overdeliver. The net effect on the customer: there’s never a facial snarl or downward shift. Only happy, satisfied clients – often ready to leave a testimonial.
I’ve seen this proactive approach towards repair processing work wonders on customers. A surefire way to appease even the toughest snags that may come along the way in repair dealings.
So, if nothing else works, and the shop owner isn’t amenable to compromise, you know what to do!
And there you have it – my four go-tos for salvaging my business’s souring customer relations.
Got some better doable aides in mind?
Let me know in the comments below!