With the continued rise of online technology retailers, physical PC stores have found that providing IT support services can give them an edge over their digital retail rivals.
While cheap, online prices may be the thing that draws consumers in when buying products, if there’s a problem, more often than not consumers will want to talk face-to-face with someone who can explain what the problem is and provide a service to repair it.
We speak to some experts to get their top tips for starting up a repairs business and making it a success.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
“We have seen a lot of shops come and go over the years,” SimplyFixIt’s Jason Eccles tells PCR.
“I think the biggest mistake they make is thinking that being the cheapest is the best – more importantly than price, customers want to know that their job is going to be done properly, with no mishaps.
“They don’t want to be quoted £29 for a repair, only to then be told that it didn’t go well so we need to now charge £59. An upfront price that is fair and allows you to spend a bit more time on some jobs if necessary is better.”
CK Kohli from YoYoTech adds:“Don’t try to be overly smart and make the customer feel like they don’t understand.”
“Good service is all about expectation. If you give someone good service they will definitely come back again in the future.”
PC Pal’s Jat Mann agrees that honesty is always the best policy in the repairs business.“Provide a good, honest service and look after the customer and their needs,” he explains.
“It’s not about how much you charge the customer, but the way that you make them feel.”
So, you’ve got great customer service and honest prices. But competition is fierce out there. How do you stand out from the crowd?
“A mobile number and small advert in the paper is all one needs to get up and running. Therefore competition is very high,” says Mann.
“But that often means there are plenty of part time one-man businesses offering to fix customers computers in business working hours – not the time an average customer needs help.
“Businesses focusing on providing the best possible service for their customers will have a solid chance of being a dominant player in the local market.”
Kohli suggests that offering specialised repairs will help new businesses stand out:“The good competition in repairs is very small. There’s so many service centres out there but they’re not specialist. A lot of them are doing ‘everything and anything’ repairs.
“If you focus on one thing and do it really well, you will get recommendations.”
While you may have to compete against a hoard of other businesses to get noticed and spend time honing your specialised skills, the industry experts are in agreement that it’s all worth it when you get positive feedback.
“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers and have improved a lot over the years because of their feedback,” Eccles tells PCR.
Mann comments:“Done properly, running your own computer support business can be exceptionally rewarding – not just in financial terms, but also with job satisfaction.”
“Nothing beats seeing the combination of delight and relief upon a customer’s face when you have rescued the lost images of loved ones from their faulty hard drive.”