Every month Cellular Repair School highlights one of our brightest cell phone repair students/business owners in the industry. This months spotlight goes to the owner of “iFix Cracked” Cathedral City California, United States .-Jason Watson.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background Jason, prior to moving into the mobile device repair business
My background is photography and web design. I started a business doing dye-sublimation printing, which is a unique process using heat activated inks and pressure. You create an image on your computer, print it onto special transfer paper using sublimation inks, then apply the paper with the image to the item to be decorated.
This process actually compliments my cellular repair business quite well. I am able to offer personalized cell phone cases and create all of my own marketing products from t-shirts to license plate frames.
Until six monthsago I wasn’t even aware that the cell phone repair industry existed. A friend of mine knows of my passion for gadgets and asked me if I thought I could do anything with his iPhone 5 that he had cracked. So I took the phone and put it on a shelf and forgot about it. One night I thought I would just take a look online and see if there was something that could be done and stumbled upon this whole new world of cell phone repair. I started researching the industry and I knew I had found the niche business I was looking for.
Do you remember the first day you opened for business? What was going through your head?
I remember the day that I finally received my business license and my state license from the Bureau of Electronic Affairs which is a requirement in the state of California if you are going to repair mobile devices.
I had designed my own website and completed the training at Cellular Repair School and was anxious to test out my new skills and the market.
I had an ad I designed ready to put on Craigs List and as soon as I opened the mail with my license I posted my ad. My intention was to ease slowly into things and test the market .
Well good luck with that. I received three emails with in the first hour of posting my ad and within 24 hours had ten calls for repairs. I have to admit I was surprised, actually a bit shocked. For all the reading and statistics and training I had done I don’t think I ever actually expected such a response so quickly.
Obviously not every call you get ends up with a repair, people are shopping around for the best deal, competitors are checking to see who you are, some people have unrealistic expectations but for the most part this is a business that people are looking for because they need your service. It was all exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.
Was there a day everything just clicked?
Its hard to pinpoint a specific time when it all clicked. Through the whole process of setting up my business from filing my business license to joining the Chamber of Commerce and everywhere in between, every place I went there was someone who had a damaged device or knew someone with a damaged device which made me more confident that I was making the right choice.
I had customers lined up for repairs before I even had inventory…My doctor even called me up and I set up right in the operating room and repaired his iPhone. Thats when I knew that things were going to work out
What has been your biggest challenges opening your own repair shop
Initially my biggest challenge was fear of working on someones device and damaging it beyond repair. I got over that fear by taking the philosophy that if I was not comfortable enough to open up my own phone and take it apart I had no business touching anyone else’s.
Once I took my own phone apart and successfully put it back together my confidence grew to where I have no qualms about taking on any new devices I haven’t seen before.(I have still damaged some devices but I know now that anything can be fixed).
Its true when you say that the majority of your experience will come with practice and on the job training. There are so many devices with so many different issues, there is no way you can learn all of that in any classes.
Now my biggest challenge is keeping up with all the phone calls and people needing repairs. Its been so hectic that I will be hiring a part time customer service manager and a technician in the month of February.. Customer Service is my number one priority and its impossible to give 100 percent of your attention to someone when the phone is ringing non stop in the background.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs that may be starting out in the this businesses and what mistakes have you made that you can tell me about that might help someone out.
One of my biggest concerns at the beginning was that I would lose a sale if I wasn’t able to crank out a repair in one hour or less. But what I realized was that if you establish a good honest relationship with your customer they will be willing to wait as long as it takes for them to get their repair done by you. They don’t mind waiting as long as you are open about what you need to do to provide them with the best service possible.
People are uneducated about the repair industry and if you take that extra few minutes to explain to them how things work , that its not just slapping a piece of glass on their phone they appreciate that. I will not rush through a repair just because a customer is tapping their foot impatiently. If they feel they need to do that I ask them politely to please take a walk or go for a coffee, that I wish to focus on their repair and always make sure they know I am doing this for their benefit not mine.
Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless – Jeffrey Gitomer
— CellularRepairSchool (@cellularrepairs) February 12, 2014
*Note you can see the Full Interview in the March 2014 issue of Cellular Repair School The Magazine (Coming Soon)