Do the computer repair shops in your area offer cell phone repair services?
Watch out – if they don’t yet, they probably will soon. And if some already do, more are likely to jump on the bandwagon. Don’t worry, though. There are things you can do to maintain your competitive advantage.
Why Are Computer Repair Shops Repairing Cell Phones?
While any business wants to grow and continue to increase profits, computer repair shops have an added incentive. The annual growth in their industry has gone down 1.2 percent since 2009. In contrast, the cell phone repair industry has grown 4.9 percent in the same time period.
People simply aren’t taking their computers to be repaired as often anymore. Their computers are lasting longer than they used to, and by the time they’re having major problems many people choose to upgrade to a new machine rather than get their old one repaired. Additionally, the increasing use of tablets and mobile devices has made people less reliant on desktop and laptop computers.
- It’s a natural expansion of their offerings. With a full team of skilled technicians already in place, it makes sense that computer repair shops would expand their services to include cell phone repair as well. A computer repair shop is likely well established in the community, since the computer repair industry has been around for over 20 years. The shop has an established customer base that already has trust in their services.
- It fits their customer’s needs. Most people who own computers also own cell phones. Computer repair shops can advertise their cell phone repair services to their existing customer base and create repeat customers.
This graph below illustrates that computer repair shops vastly outnumber cell phone repair shops in several major cities around the country by a margin of 12:1.
But the most important question is how many of these computer repair shops are also offering cell phone repair?
While only nine percent of computer repair shops currently offer cell phone repair, there are far more computer repair shops than cell phone repair shops. This means that there are more computer repair shops offering cell phone repair (554) than there are stand alone cell phone repair shops (516).
As the cell phone repair industry continues to grow, it is likely that even more computer repair shops will begin offering cell phone repair services.
The bright side is that most of these PC Repair shops only offer a limited amount of phone repair services (cracked screen repairs for the most popular models).
They’ve been slow to expand because of their lack of experience in sourcing parts, repair training, and maintaining the necessary inventory to conduct other specialized repairs.
Maximizing your Service Offerings
Cell phone repair shops can ensure they remain competitive by offering a wider range of services for mobile devices, including tablets. Being savvy with today’s consumer repair offerings and local marketing will ensure that cell phone repair shops remain the go-to source for consumers. In fact, much can be learned from the computer repair industry and for good reason. For over a decade they’ve experienced technology advancements and have adapted through local, corporate, and economic changes.
Areas where you can maximize your service offerings include:
- The Range of Devices and Repair Services– Include the most popular models from Apple, Android OS devices and tablets. Branching out will require a higher inventory cost, more training, and even a significantly lower profit margin on some repairs.
Think about what devices consumers will have 12-24 months into the future as well as what other electronic gadgets your existing cell phone customers need fixed.
- Basic Computer Repair
- Tablet Repair
- iPod/Mp3 Repair
- Console Repair (XBox and PlayStation)
While you might not be able to offer every repair within these segments, offering the most in-demand repair jobs for every gadget category is something most phone repair shop technicians can be proficient at with minimal training. Computer Repair Shops have proved this theory by offering the most in demand (and profitable) cell phone repairs.
Strong computer repair businesses live by this, and corporate retail establishments are moving towards this with a close-loop mindset.
- Offer Non-Repair Services
- Gadget buyback
- Prepaid activation and bill pay
- Warranties and protection plans
A year ago Apple only exchanged broken or damaged phones for new ones. Today, they offer some repairs as well as offering a buyback program.
Best-Buy outsourced their entire wireless division. Today they use their own employees, push protection plans, and offer gadget buybacks and specific cell phone repairs through the Geek Squad.
Gamestop, Walmart, Target, and Sears (to name a few) offer buyback programs that didn’t exist a few years ago. Each establishment varies on how much they outsource the program, however all realize the importance of getting the client through the door by offering such services.
Corporations have done their homework. The private sector should (and will) follow suit!
Selling Broken Parts and Recycling LCD Screens
Selling cracked LCDs from cell phone repairs was mostly considered extra profit just a year ago. Today, it’s often the difference between being profitable and converting a customer on the repair price.
The value and cost of mobile LCD screens will continue to increase as displays become larger and contain more valuable resources than the main-boards themselves. Working with a reputable and competitive LCD buyback company will continue to be a vital part of any cell phone repair shop.
Computer repair shops are feeling the pinch in their industry, and it’s obvious why they are expanding their services to include cell phone repair. The savvy cell phone repair shop owner can still maintain their competitive advantage by maximizing their service offerings and positioning their business as the experts in cell phone and tablet repair.
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