How to Sustain Your Repair Business Amid COVID-19
COVID-19, the particular strain of coronavirus that has been in the news lately, has quickly turned into a global pandemic since the first cases of the virus popped up in the beginning of the year. With over a thousand confirmed cases in the US (and almost just as many still under investigation), large events being cancelled, and universities forgoing live lectures for online classes, things may look a little bleak for retail business owners who rely on in-person visitors.
However, we’re not members of just any old industry; we are the repair industry, and we’ve experienced plenty of undesirable circumstances in our time. And with Apple's announcement that they will be closing all retail stores outside of China, it's time for third-party repair to shine.
Here are some of our best tips to help your business thrive among repair part shortages, concerned employees, and customers that are practicing social distancing.
Dealing with Part Shortages
Although Mobile Defenders has experienced minimal shortages on our most popular products, we may see further constraints on our supply chain as the busy season picks up, as our partners in China are still experiencing some shortages on labor. Make sure you’re staying stocked up with parts as a preventative measure.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: our best piece of advice right now is to diversify your offerings and products beyond smartphone repair.
One example of a new service that you can offer or promote is phone cleaning. Did you know that cell phones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat? Do you think your customers know? Make sure you’re informing them how important it is to keep their phones clean by promoting this service! The idea here is to offer this service as a way to genuinely help your community, not play in to the panic (more on that later).
Keeping Your Employees Safe
You may have employees that are concerned about their health and the health of their families. Now is the time to put some policies in place that will help prevent the spread of the virus.
Aside from the general workplace tips from the World Health Organization (WHO), here are some repair-specific precautions you can take:
- If you’re not doing this already, make sure you’re wearing exam gloves for every single repair. Experienced technicians know that you can never really predict what’s inside of a device when you open it up!
- If you have a UV light, a few seconds under that lamp wouldn’t hurt the device either. UV light has been proven to be pretty effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
- If you or your technician are currently sick with any kind of illness, do not perform repairs on customer devices. Find a healthy technician to perform the repair to help prevent the spread of germs.
Making the Most of Social Distancing
People are now practicing social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Many large events are being cancelled or postponed in the interest of preventing more outbreak of the virus.
If you’re finding that your customers are choosing to hunker down in their homes, offer repair pickup and drop-off services if your business insurance plan covers this. Offer an easy way for customers to book a pickup time on your website and you may find more people in need of a repair than you thought!
Things that We DON’T Recommend
To protect the brand reputation of your business, one thing we don’t recommend is capitalizing on or buying in to the panic surrounding this pandemic. Any changes you make to your product offering or services should be focused on helping your community stay safe.
One final word of advice: the health of you, your employees, and your families are much more important than getting repairs done. Make sure to take care of any employees that need to stay home, whether it’s due to their own illness or a family member’s. This will also ensure that when all of this blows over, you’ll still have employees!