How Good Customer Service is KEY to Repair Business Success

by Komayal Hassan
Illustration depicting a customer service response cycle in a repair business

There’s a certain field truth that every repair business needs to contend with:

The game comes saturated – rife with competition. So your angling needs to be precise. Better than your peers to gain the edge needed. Because this is the only way you pull customers toward your door (physical or virtual). Stand a shot of luring their hard-earned currency. And, perhaps, even turning them into repeat customers.

As a repair shop, if you fulfill these conditions, you’re in good standing. Otherwise, there’s always the option to make your fortune elsewhere. No pressure – but that’s how it is. It doesn’t help much that we’re also living in the post-pandemic age. Rising inflation is the way of the world, today – and so is all-around despair. Repair shop software, truth be told, can only solve so much (I am pained to admit).

Well, I’m here to enliven the picture with some actionable good news. The kind of prescription you can go to the bank with; so guaranteed are the results!

If the title of this piece wasn’t communicative enough, let me spell it out for you:

Customer service.

And I’m only talking about – or interested – in its good, dedicated iteration.

Below, I’ll share some generic, experiential points on how the said business offering improves sales. Further, I’ll narrate a personal anecdote to make my case.

In the end, if there’s only one thing you take away from this account – let it be this:

You only ghost or ignore a customer engagement or query to your long-term business peril.

Good Customer Service is a Human – Not Machine – Function

And this should be obvious because repair service recipients are sentient. Subjective frameworks of flesh, blood, and bone ruled by emotion. At least in the majoritarian case. 

The intellectual faculty, to its credit, however, also holds sway where parting with the money is concerned. This is the point where business customers become discriminating; focused on scoring the best bargain. All repair business trends certainly point this way – strategic insights for the savvy in commerce.

Good customer service, that continues to rake in the gold, appeals to this animal sensibility. It ticks off customers’:

  • Emotional box through empathy; heightened civility
  • Rationale through key pain points addressing; speedy resolutions
  • Faculty of relatability – through personal advocacy

Repair clients, I can attest first-hand, resonate with a service that delivers on these fronts. What they love, though, is when the business speaks their tongue. Channels a deep, nuanced understanding of their concerns. Sometimes, even the mere expression is enough to beget satisfaction. 

Customers need to feel, on the instinctive level, that the business – repair or otherwise – is working in their best interest. They need to be convinced of the fact that it’s not only their dollars that are of interest.

The only way to cultivate this sense of belonging is through relatability. Being real – from the business owner/rep perspective – to both company and customer. It is only after this sales-ended persona is in place that the clients will start flocking. To risk positing the obvious, it is hardly just a matter of clicking a button on your shop point of sale software ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™‚๏ธ.

So, being human, then, is the (thematic) key that powers the most effective customer responses.

I know that many repair businesses nowadays place a great deal of reliance on automated solutions. Think integrated voice response (IVR) and custom recording scripts. These are useful on their first deployment. But the overtime use of these aids risks irks from even longstanding, patient clients.

Good Customer Service Does Not Let the Annoyance Show

Repair customers – to address the proverbial elephant always in the room – can be a pain. I won’t shy away from addressing this concern. How could I; when it informs the day-to-day of everyone affiliated with the commercial repair space? And to play the devil’s (though not really ๐Ÿ˜…) advocate, well-meaning, conscientious customers would also agree with this assessment.

Showing displeasure, even when it’s not warranted, is a very human trait. 

It happens.

Professional repair outfits, of course, are aware of these frailties. And what’s more, they take active steps to mitigate getting sucked into their wormhole. 

As such, they resist the temptation to fight fire with fire. Their sole motivation is to score revenue through the provision of customer value. Being geared in this way, they don’t let any negative trivialities of interaction usurp the equation. [Fun Fact: Iโ€™ve enabled a prompt notification on my businessโ€™s repair ticket management system. Its push timing is both curious and amazing – an instant remedy against all hell breaking loose in the workplace ๐Ÿ’ƒ].

Their response, when contending with a furious, unreasonable customer, is centered on:

Understanding, admission, and generous response.

All the gentle, considerate motivations summed up in ‘taking the high road’.

Good Customer Service is Vulnerable – but only just…

This might seem like an odd choice of words, but hear me out. 

I, again, speak from honest experience when I state that vulnerability counts. 

It is a real ice/tiff-breaker – because it taps into the shared human weakness professed by both customer and business. Its efficacy, however, is limited to situations where:

  • Repair quality comes assured
  • The business (repair) process is visible
  • Restrictive, advance payments have not been made

If the above qualifiers have been met, most customers are willing to pass over first-time instances of tardiness. It is only when qualitative concerns factor into the play that the anger sets in. 

In this latter case, and especially when the business also becomes adamant, civil lawsuits may be initiated. And legal infarctions, I need not state, are repair-service-limiting in the worst sense ๐Ÿ˜ฌ. The average, corner fix outlet might not even recover from the ensuing pressure on its reputation.

And Finally – Good Customer Service is Heavy on Delivering

I once had a client who had shattered her cell phone LED screen on her house pavement. When she came in to get the repair, I promised her a quick, 1-day- turnover period, following the usual pre-and-post repair checklist verification. The delivery suffered an unforeseen delay, however, owing to a horrible power outing that set in post-submission. As a result, the repair had to lag by an additional day.

Now, I knew that we – the repair business – weren’t at fault, here, and the customer certainly wasn’t. Still, since we were the party contracted, I made sure to pack in an extra set of screens free of charge during the handing-over process.

I don’t know whether it was providence or something else, but the client returned three additional times that year. And in each instance, she had her screens replaced with the inexpensive spares we had given. 

The net result of this (total) engagement was remarkably profitable. We easily made more than we had spent in issuing the complementary protectors. 

So, the lesson here is: 

Heavy, more-than-promised, delivering reaps rewards in the long run. Be patient till it yields.

Now, I could go on and on about the repair business merits/case for stellar customer service, but I think these pointers will suffice.

Do you have your own take on the role of customer support in repair settings? Feel free to dish in the comments below!

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