5 Reasons Your Repair Shop Should be on Social Media

Hey Repair Community – it’s Social Media day! Yes, I too was unaware such a day of celebration existed, but what better way to celebrate than with a quick blog about it. Community Manager is just one of the hats I wear here at eTech Parts, and I’ve learned a lot since taking on the role. It’s my hope to share some of those insights with you today – because if you don’t have social media set up for your cell phone repair shop, you’re missing out on valuable conversions, brand recognition, customer loyalty, SEO benefits..and the list goes on.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are the top 5 reasons your repair shop should be on social media – including some helpful tips along the way!

 

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1. Everyone is on Facebook

No matter your ideal customer or target demographic, Facebook is a great tool for reaching potential customers because nearly everyone and their dog has a Facebook profile. (No joke – my friend’s dog Buddah has more Facebook friends than I do.)

Facebook in particular can help you reach a larger group of people, because it’s still the most widely-used online social platform. This automatically increases brand recognition, because more people are seeing your company online, in their newsfeed.

And if you want to pay-to-play, Facebook offers a lot of fantastic advertising tools, too. You can boost your posts, or create campaigns to target specific users based on their location, interests, income, or career… It’s a mad world, but Facebook can really help you get your message out to the audience you’re trying to reach.

 

2. It’ll boost your brand authority

Having a completed and regularly-updated social media profile for your repair shop can do wonders for your online brand perception. Since consumers have multiple options all at their fingertips, there’s a good chance your customers are checking you out online before choosing their preferred repair shop.
If you want your repair shop’s social media to really shine, here are some tips:

  • Include your business address – and directions if your location is tricky to find.
  • Make it look professional with a high-quality header image and your brand logo. Hint: Adobe has fantastic stock images specific to our industry – search “phone repair” or “broken phone.”
  • Include a few photos of your repair shop in the “Photos” section.
  • Link your Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube profiles to your Facebook profile. You can also include links to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in your Google+ profile.
  • Respond to each review and comment posted on your page by former customers and followers – especially any negative ones.

 

3. Your Google search rank will be better than ever

Including social media in your SEO strategy can do great things for your shop’s search engine rank. Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all rank very well in Google search, which can help your overall rank if you’re using the right keywords. Utilizing the right keywords (i.e., the terms your customers search when trying to find a repair shop) on your social media profiles, in posts and directly on your profile, will help your repair shop’s website and profiles rank higher.

Implementing human-curated, original content on your website is the best thing you can do to optimize your search engine results. Integrating this with your social media profiles in an original and creative way can only help boost your rank even more. We’re still learning about this one here at eTech Parts, but in learning I’ve noticed some of our Facebook posts often rank higher than pages on our website do. (If there are any SEO experts reading this, I’d love to hear your thoughts – send me an email at marketing@etechparts so we can chat!)

 

4. It will help you convert potential customers into loyal customers

Personally, I feel a strange sense of loyalty towards companies that really kill it on social media – like Zappos and Starbucks, for example. They respond to their customers, they promote fun giveaways, they poke fun at themselves, and they make me feel like they care about more than just making money. Even as someone who technically works in online marketing, who knows better than to fall for silly marketing ploys, I still shop at both these companies on a regular basis. I’m about to go to Starbucks RIGHT NOW.

If you can make your customers feel comfortable, and welcome them to share their thoughts and opinions with you via social media, they’re going to feel like you’re friends. You might even start to feel that way, too!

 

5. Time is the only investment you need

We know you don’t have much free time on your hands, but that’s all you really need to create a winning social media presence. Posting quality updates once a day – or a few times a week – can greatly help to improve the online perception of your cell phone repair shop in the eyes of your local community.

It doesn’t cost anything (unless you choose to run ad campaigns) and you can have a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. Social media is a place to be social – so ask questions, follow/tag other local businesses, reach out to your followers.. With social media marketing, there’s so much you can do to increase conversions and build brand loyalty – you really have nothing to lose!

How Many Parts Do You Order in Advance?

In this edition of Ask the Soul Proprietor, Alister offers some valuable advice on how to order replacement parts in advance. This is a question we get a lot here at eTech Parts, so hopefully Alister’s advice helps you learn how to organize your inventory process to better prepare your repair shop with the parts you need.

What questions do YOU have about running your repair business? What should we write about next?

 

Leave your questions in the COMMENTS below and we’ll answer them in our next edition of Ask the Soul Proprietor!

 

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Ask the Soul Proprietor

 

Question: How many parts do you order in advance? There are a plethora of different smartphones out there.

 

When it comes to placing orders, the goal is to place as few orders as possible. For example placing one large order per month is much better than placing one smaller order per week.

 

Why is it better to place fewer but bigger orders?

  • Cut down shipping costs
  • Save time spent in front of the computer placing orders
  • Save the environment from extra packing materials and unneeded carbon emissions

 

How Many Of Each Part To Order

Placing bigger orders that last longer requires that you know how much of each part you use each month. Remember: “What gets measured, gets managed”. If you are keeping track of how many iPhone 4S white LCD screens and iPhone 5 home button flex cables you use each month, then knowing how much of each to order each month is easy work!

 

Perform Regular Inventory Counts

Set one day each week where you know you will have 1-2 hours to devote strictly to inventory. Use this time to conduct a complete physical count of what is in your store, review sales data from the previous week, sort defective parts, test all those batteries and screens that you have lying around the shop with yellow sticky notes that say “test” on them, etc. The more detailed count you take, the more information you will get from the count that you can then use for placing your next order.

 

Stay Organized

Spend a little time setting up a system for your parts and inventory. Make it pretty with labels if you are feeling courageous. The point is if you have a good system, the process becomes simpler and easier.

 

Use the “Save” Feature on eTech’s Website

I used to spend a lot of time placing my orders until I began using the “save item” feature on eTech’s website. With this feature, you can save a list of your most popularly ordered items in one location so you can go through and create your order quickly.

 

 

As always, with more questions, visit my site at www.TheSoulProprietor.net and drop me a line!

 

-The Soul Proprietor

Inside the Repair Community: Infographic

You may have noticed a recent survey we conducted, in which we asked the online Repair Community several questions ranging from repair shop operations to technical stuff, too. We gather this info to see what we at eTech Parts can do better to serve the wireless repair industry, as well as create helpful content specific to all aspects of this industry.

We want you to know about your industry, too — that’s why we’re starting a new Inside the Repair Community Infographic series, to show you all the insightful information we learn from asking you guys so many questions! The Repair Community is constantly growing and changing, and we strive to document these changes and distribute content to keep you in the loop.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we dissect the results and discuss technical operations, small business marketing and more — but for now, Let’s Talk Shop!

 

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Let us know what you think in the comments below. Thanks to everyone who participated in our Repair Community survey for making this content possible! Thank you for reading and be sure to stay tuned for more insightful infographics and content coming your way. You can help out the community by participating in our next survey; sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop — we won’t send you more than 1 email every other week, we promise!

MarketWatch: Regional iPhone 5 Repair Prices

We asked the Repair Community how much they’re charging for iPhone 5 screen repairs these days, and broke it down per region. Prices are based off one iPhone 5 screen repair, full assembly swap — not including glass-only repair prices. We’re happy with the results, which make it pretty clear there’s still good money in fixing 2-year old iPhones. It also shows that prices generally don’t vary too much per region.

It seems the biggest difference in price depends on the city and local industry competition. Here are the highs and lows recorded from each region of the United States.

 

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The High’s & Low’s of iPhone 5 Screen Repairs

 

In the Southwest…

  • High: $115 in Corpus Christi, TX and Houston, TX
  • Low: $79 in Tempe, AZ

 

In the West…

  • High: $120 in Kirkland, WA
  • Low: $70 in Murietta, CA

 

In the Rocky Mountains…

  • High: $129 in Billings, MT
  • Low: $75 in Denver, CO

 

In the Plains/Great Lakes…

  • High: $120 in Papillion, NE
  • Low: $80 in Mentor, OH

 

In the Southeast…

  • High: $125 in Savannah, GA and Vernon, FL
  • Low: $75 in Lafayette, LA

 

In the East…

  • High: $120 in Vineyard Haven, MA and Portland, ME
  • Low: $50 in New York City, NY

 

These results and pricing averages are based off price quotes from 91 repair shops across the United States. What are YOU currently charging for an iPhone 5 screen repair? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to follow our blog for instant updates on the wireless repair industry, the Repair Community, and news from eTech Parts.

 


 

This content was created for wireless repair shops to promote the growth and reputation of the booming wireless repair industry. If there’s any content we can create to help your repair shop and the Repair Community, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Email us at marketing@etechpartsdotcom, call us at 913-839-1718, or hit us up on social media — we can’t wait to hear from you!

Apple’s Out-of-Warranty Repair Costs Revealed

Last week, Apple announced their updated prices for Limited One-Year Warranty and Out-of-Warranty repairs following the release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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Apple Raises Repair Costs

Cult of Mac reported last week that Apple raised repair costs for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Sourced from Cult of Mac…

Here’s the complete cost breakdown for out-of-warranty repairs:

  • iPhone 6 Plus: $329
  • iPhone 6: $299
  • iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5: $269
  • iPhone 4s: $199
  • iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, Original iPhone: $149

Apple includes one year of limited coverage with every iPhone purchase, but that doesn’t cover accidental damage. The prices above are for the United States and exclude an additional $6.95 shipping fee. Apple charges the following to replace a screen by itself:

  • iPhone 6: $109
  • iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5: $129
There’s always a little confusion about what damage Apple covers in its “Limited One Year Warranty,” and what damage they consider “Out of Warranty.” Cult of Mac elaborates on that note, adding, “the catch is that if Apple determines the device has undergone additional damage beyond the screen, it will charge a full service fee. So if you accidentally drop your 6 Plus and crack the screen, Apple could charge you a max of $335.95 to ship it to them and have it fixed.” You can read more from Cult of Mac here.

What to tell your customers?

When customers start bringing in their brand new iPhones for repair, we suggest you refer them to Apple first. Ask your customers if they have AppleCare+, which is the $99 extended warranty they may have purchased with the phone. If they do have AppleCare+ you can make them aware it will cover 2 incidents of accidental damage, for a service fee of $79 each time. At first you may see this as “losing business” but the customer will appreciate your honesty and willingness to help, and will hopefully remember you when damage occurs to the device after their AppleCare+ warranty is up.

If your customer doesn’t have AppleCare+ extended warranty, they may still be covered under Apple’s Limited One-Year Warranty. In the case of battery replacements or something faulty with the phone, Apple should always be the first place they go for service. In the case of accidental damage, which is the majority of all phone damage, the device won’t be covered under Apple’s limited one-year warranty. Once again, we suggest all repair shops refer any new iPhone owners to Apple first, and if their device requires an “out-of-warranty” repair, let them know the services and prices your repair shop offers.

Customer doesn’t know if they have AppleCare+ or not? You can help them to check if the phone is covered under AppleCare+ and make the decision easier for them.
We will always support the well being of the iPhone repair industry and the Repair Community as a whole, but you know as well as we do that repair is a service-focused industry. Doing the right thing and making sure your customer is aware of every option is the best service you can offer. Even if you don’t make a sale, they won’t forget how you took the time to help them find a solution to their problem.

On the Road Again…

While Kansas might not have coastlines or mountains to explore, eTech Parts is lucky to be in the heart of everything this great country has to offer — after all, they don’t call this the Heartland for nothing! Being in the middle of the map has its perks; we can hop on a plane and in just a couple hours we’re in the heart of Texas, or on the coast of California, or exploring the Big Apple. This central location has allowed us the freedom to take a couple days to visit customers in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and NYC.

 

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Jake and Ryan are always ready to go!

 

At eTech Parts, having open communication between ourselves and our customers is vital. Having this honest feedback from the Repair Community is necessary for us to continue being the best supplier of parts for iPhones, iPads and iPods in the country. That’s why we spend days at a time traveling to different parts of the country, from repair shop to repair shop, learning firsthand what the daily life of a repair shop owner truly entails.

 

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Visiting our friends at Wireless Toyz

 

Traveling to meet customers is the best possible way of humanizing our company — to remind our customers eTech Parts is more than just a website on the internet. Putting faces to names helps us connect with customers to break down the barriers created by online and over-the-phone communication.

 

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Jeremy and Ryan braved knee-high snow/slush on the streets of NYC to visit repair shops!

 

Taking these trips around the country to visit repair shops gives us valuable time with customers in which we can learn their struggles. We learn the daily struggles and problems they encounter so we can come home and create solutions.

 

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Hanging out with Ryan from iMobileRescue!

 

During our adventures across the United States, we get hands-on experience we wouldn’t otherwise get from sitting at the office here in Kansas. This hands-on approach opens our eyes to how diverse the Repair Community is and to the struggles of close competition and making money in big cities. We have the time to ask questions and receive answers we wouldn’t normally get with a quick phone call; this also gives repair shop owners ample time to give us feedback, both good and bad.

 

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We just really love repair shops

 

We’re currently taking a break from traveling the coasts to spend more time right here in the Heartland. We want to take care of folks here in the Midwest, so if you’re located within 5 hours of Kansas City and would like us to come visit your repair shop, drop us a line! You can let us know in the comments below, or find us on any of our social media profiles and send us a message – we’re on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+!

Warranty Company SquareTrade Partners with Repair Shops

SquareTrade could possibly be the newest ally in the smartphone repair industry, marking the first time a warranty company has partnered with a repair shop. After teaming up with the repair franchise UBreakiFix and Gadget Drop, SquareTrade released a statement including details of this newly formed alliance. Over 90 repair shops in the nation’s top metropolitan areas now form what SquareTrade is calling their SquareTrade Authorized Repair Network. This network of repair shops nationwide allows customers to get their smartphones repaired at a local repair shop with no out-of-pocket expenses.

 

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SquareTrade’s intentions for the consumer are made clear by their statement: “Our goal is to have an easy-to-access SquareTrade-authorized repair shop in every major city in America. Similar to how individuals have a network of authorized healthcare providers, SquareTrade customers now have access to a network of authorized repair shops to service their devices,” says president and CEO Steve Abernethy.

 

Having a network of repair shops that SquareTrade policyholders can visit for some of the most common repair services is an obvious advantage for SquareTrade. They outsource the work to repair shops nationwide, instead of having those policyholders send their broken devices to a SquareTrade repair depot.

 

But if there’s no out-of-pocket expense for the SquareTrade policyholder, what benefit does this newly formed alliance have for the local repair shop?

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I spoke with Hadeer Babbie of Gadget Drop, who was approached by SquareTrade towards the end of 2013 to discuss joining their alliance of repair shops. Hadeer believes the exposure from partnering with the well-known brand SquareTrade will be great for both his retail business and for licensing additional Gadget Drop locations. “Not only has this increased awareness among the general population, the exposure has also boosted interest in licensing Gadget Drop stores. We only began offering this service in February but so far the exposure has been great for our repair brand.”

 

Hadeer only had positive things to say about his new partnership with SquareTrade, which continued as we approached the topic of compensation. “SquareTrade compensates the repair shop for the parts used and repair services performed. They calculate that price based on market analyses of parts cost and repair cost, so it depends on the repair. In most cases I believe compensation is fair but other times I think it’s much more than fair!”

 

So what will this new alliance do for small business repair shops and the repair industry in general? Hadeer is optimistic it will make a very positive impact; “I believe the consumer will have a higher degree of respect for small business repair shops that are associated with SquareTrade, which in turn will give the repair industry as a whole a more positive reputation in the eyes of the consumer.”

 

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I also spoke with Justin Wetherill, co-founder and President of uBreakiFix, about the benefits he expects to receive through his company’s partnership with a cellphone warranty company. Justin is confident the opportunity SquareTrade has presented will be extremely beneficial for the UBreakiFix repair franchise.

 

“Partnering with SquareTrade represents a huge growth opportunity for us… The exposure that SquareTrade is giving us to millions of new customers delivers far more value than traditional marketing campaigns could deliver. We see this as a large step forward for our brand and a significant advancement of our business.”

 

Insurance providers have been a touchy subject for the Repair Community in the past, but Justin feels this dynamic can change. “The repair industry has always thought of insurance carriers as competition, but we actually compliment each other quite well. A partnership like the one we forged with SquareTrade allows uBreakiFix to do what we do best – repair devices – and SquareTrade gets to offer another convenient option for its policy holders while saving money on claims. SquareTrade is always looking for ways to better serve their customers by making the claims process easier; leading the industry with this decision is proof of that.”

 

We asked SquareTrade if they have plans to add more repair shops to their network. A representative from the company responded, “SquareTrade is excited about the launch of the Authorized Repair Network and working with local repair shops around the country. Moving forward, SquareTrade is interested in adding more locations to the network.”

 

While currently the odds seem to be in favor for the local repair shop, only time will tell if this partnership is the next big step for the repair industry. The exposure this will most likely offer for the repair shops involved extends far beyond the walls of their shops; this publicity could do wonders for the reputation of the repair industry as a whole. The more devices that get insured, the more devices will be repaired – which is great news for everyone!

 

Thanks to Hadeer Babbie of Gadget Drop and Justin Wetherill of UBreakiFix for speaking with us and contributing to this article. We wish them both the best of luck with this new partnership with SquareTrade! You can check out Gadget Drop on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @gadgetdrop for more. You can follow UBreakiFix on Twitter @UBreakiFix and Like them on Facebook, too!