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Thread: Customer Service help

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    Default Customer Service help

    I have been running an electronic repair business for almost a year now. I am not sure if other businesses in the same field have the same problem. Customers seem to bug us often for their device. I will tell a customer that their devices will be done on Friday because I have tone wait for paresponding and they are contacting me the next day using various communication channels. And they do not stop. I had one person contact me via yelp, Facebook, email and call me 8 times to see if it was done yet. I got other customers who seem to think they are telling me what they are paying for and what they are not. It is just stuff like that.

    I am not sure the best way to stop this and or communicate that I will let them know when it is done

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    Welcome to customer service in the retail area. From what you are describing I can't see that you're doing anything wrong. The first group of people are addicted to their devices and don't know how to go without them anymore while the second group knows it all and doesn't want you to make a dime off of them (they'll never admit this though).

    You need to let the fist group know, in a polite yet firm manner, that the constant interruptions will lead to longer wait times and possibly higher prices due to slower turn over. As for the second group, as long as your pricing is in line with what you quoted (adheres to the contract when you took the device in for repair), tell them they agreed to the pricing structure before the work was performed and stand your ground.

    Retail customer service isn't easy, but hang in there because the majority of your possible customer base isn't that bad.
    Brad Miedema
    Fulcrum Saw & Tool

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    For the first group of people, I would just be a little stronger about telling them when their device will be ready. For example, make sure it's printed in large font on the receipt or order ticket that you give them, circle it in red ink in front of them and read it to them. Politely, of course. It won't stop them all, but it may cut down on some of it.

    Another thought I had is to think outside the box: is it possible to give them a loaner device? This is risky (they could lose or damage it), so you'd want to use older or returned/salvaged devices. Or you could offer customers a loaner for a small price and give them a new one. The price will help them not lose or damage it, especially if you refund it when they return the loaner in the same condition they received it in.

    Another out of the box idea: if you operate a website as part of your business, can you set up an order status display for your customers? If they could log in and see an up to date status, they'll call you less frequently.
    Sharon, Owner/Operator
    Something Special Pet Supplies

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    Sounds like it's time to update your terms of service, make it clear that pricing is non-negotiable, and set clear expectations with people. That won't stop every instance, but when people are crystal clear going into it, they are less of a pain.
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    I think the idea of SumpinSpecial will work. I have worked in the PC repair business before, and this was one of our special services. When we pick up your broken computer for repair, we transfer your data to a loaner computer, and we transfer it back when the repair is done. This resulted patient customers and customers willing to pay extra for the service. Jetlabbelectronics said he is repairing electronics, so I am not sure what kind of electronics. In my situation we did only computers and laptops, so 3-4 loaner computers and laptops, imagine Jetlabbelectronics doing 100 types of electronics, overhead would be killing....

    Also what Harold Mansfield said, your terms should be clear from day one, to every customer. Write down on your quotes and receipts EXACTLY what you will be doing and at what price. Make sure the customer agrees to this terms.

    For the customers that keep calling, I wouldn't try to let them know in a polite way that calling me every hour will not fix the problem any faster.
    What you could also do is calculate some extra time. For example: I know that the device will be fixed by Monday. Still I would tell the customer that the device will be fixed by Tuesday, but 'if I have some extra space, I might finish it on Monday'. If the customer keeps calling, I would deliver on Tuesday, and say, because I lost 2 hours on the phone with you, I was not able to fix it on Monday. The next time the same customer won't bug you anymore. If the customer wouldn't call to bother, I would deliver on Monday, and the customer would say, wow, this guy is fast. Either way a win-win situation.

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    Wow, thanks for all of the help guys! So yeah I basically do anything electronic, so TVs computers, tablets, phones, audio equipment, etc. I have thought about doing a loaner program, at least for cell phones, tablets and computers. Is this something that you charye them for and have a terms of service for? My only issue is if something got broke during the time. I probably wouldn't do it if the repair will take an hour or so, but if I have to get parts and it will take a half a day or longer.

    I will update the terms of service and also add it to quotes. Would doing something on Facebook, like a post just explaining repairs will take longer if customers keep calling and messaging about the repair? I will also start telling them longer than the repair actually takes again. I tried this before and a customer was still bugging me about it. I figure it is the business because people can't go without them now a days but dang. I do have a order status on my website, but I am finding local people are not using my website. I have to figure out how to market it so they will start using it. I guess I could tell them ton set up an account to check the status, or I could setc it up automatically for them.

    As someone said already that I'm not doing but could easily start doing is instead of verbally telling them how long, I could make a drop off ticket. When they drop off the device I would fill it out and on the top in big bold letters it will state the pick up time. I can circle or highlight it. And also attach the terms to the paper and make sure nagging is included in the beginning so they see it.

    What do you guys think of these ideas? The only issue I am having is updating the terms. Not sure what to put

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    Previous answers are what I would tell you.

    I believe it is a fast food mentality Americans have.

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    I would definitely consider RENTING loaner phones. I would start out by getting just one and seeing if you can keep it rented out. Might turn out to be something that raises your average ticket by a good bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iambasic View Post
    I would definitely consider RENTING loaner phones. I would start out by getting just one and seeing if you can keep it rented out. Might turn out to be something that raises your average ticket by a good bit.
    That's a good idea. Especially if you can make it easy and painless. I've lost or broken a few phones and the whole loaner phone thing is a PITA. I always ended up just buying something cheap to last me a few days, and now I have a drawer of old cheap phones.

    It's not even worth going to the carrier store anymore because the process takes too long.

    I always wondered why they couldn't just go in the back, grab me some old POS, swap the sim and send me on my way till my phone was fixed.
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    It doesn't even have to be some old POS. Charge 30 bucks a day for it and have it be the latest and greatest. Forward the customers cell to the loaner cell (which you keep an unlimited plan of some sort on) when they pick it up and do a factory reset on it when they bring it back.

    A lot of people would probably instantly do this if they REALLY need a cell phone. I know I probably would as my entire business is phone based.

    EDIT: Take a deposit to cover any damage to the phone of course. But think about the numbers at 30 bucks a day. If you keep it rented 50% of the time you're talking about generating ~450 in revenue on something you probably own at 150-200 at most. Good margins there for not a lot of work. They can't even screw you over by breaking the phone and refusing to pay for it because obviously they have to return your phone to get theirs back...

    Typing this I'm kind of surprised all cell phone repair places don't do this. Heck if you sell cell phones/plans you can even use that latest and greatest phone to entice people into trading in their phones for a new version of the loaner.

    Also definitely sell competitively priced cell phones at a cell phone repair store if at all possible. What are these people going to do when they get told it's a 1.7M dollars to repair their phone? Buy a new one. If you've got it right there and then you can capture that sale some ridiculous % of the time. It also could lead to some warranty work that can keep your techs busy.
    Last edited by iambasic; 02-20-2017 at 07:08 PM.

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