Let me start off with an observation. A trend that’s been long in the making; courtesy of our ever-advancing computer age. But it’s only now that the chickens have come home to roost. Spurned by the issue of cost: the fact that human labor is expensive.
I‘m referring to the issue of workplace automation, of course. POS kiosks, for which, represent only the latest manifestation. All dolled up in their techy finery; ready for the next round of transactions.
These handy, often portable, terminals don’t only save up on the human expense. Indeed, their ‘self-serving’ variations, installed in malls and the like, do just that. They also make for economies of space.
Some authorities have even lauded their scope for yielding aesthetic improvements. More design savviness for the repair workplace.
Where I’m Coming From…
Now, I’ve worked in the repair business for the last 10 years. Based in Van Buren, AR, I’ve tried my hand (and my soldering iron) at pretty much everything. For me, no board repair, valve fix, device cleanse, or parts replacement is too radical.
My device salvaging streak encompasses over 7000 electronics – with only 19 warranty voids.
Not too bad – just ask any third party to confirm.
I do, of course, owe my success to a quality cell phone repair shop software. So, I don’t like to pat myself too much; claim all the credit.
Recently, I’ve been lucky to scale my business revenue through a dedicated kiosk terminal. A machine interface that completely automates the process of payments transfer and recording. Synced, as the best new-age conveniences are, with accounts and the business IMS. Providence considered largely ‘standard’ nowadays.
Truth be told, I’ve seen my revenue streams pick up considerably since its installment. Followed, as can be expected, by greater shows of customer confidence. A dialectic that comes as a no-brainer – with one metric reinforcing the other.
Where the Bough Breaks
The flip side of this internment, however, comes in the form of dissatisfied staff. Workers who posit their complaints on two fronts:
- Learning Curve Concerns
- A Human Inability (Engendering Suspicion) to Measure Up
So, while the revenue highs are great, they can come at the cost of walkouts. Dissatisfied ‘old hats’ who might feel that they’ve been replaced. A common issue faced by every mechanized work setting.
In the long run, this isn’t a good thing. For the obvious reason that no business – at least at the moment – can do without sentience. Human input has to factor in at some point in the equation. But you can’t achieve this when the air’s gone cold.
So, to remedy the situation, you need a balance. A part-human/part-machine scenario. Allowing you – the repair merchant – to capitalize on both; while taking care of their negatives.
Where the Monies Wait
Perhaps the biggest advantage rendered by repair kiosks comes in the form of their customer self-service benefit.
Oftentimes, clients, by way of psychological innateness, require control. Charge, as it were, over their customer journey (also the sales journey inversed).
One of the best ways to do this is to place a client empowering terminal on the business premises. An electronic aide that both takes orders and processes digital payments. In addition to keeping an updated log of all exchanges, of course. So there’s no accounting loss incurred by the instituting company.
Another – now longstanding – alternative to facilitating customer self-service: website check-ins. A recourse that is even more convenient, client-wise, than the above channel.
Through a well-formulated site interface, clients can generate their own repair tickets/bookings. Some platforms even come with the option for mail-in delivery or device pickup services. Here, the customer doesn’t even have to vacate their premises. Their repaired gadgets, following a period of salvaging, are both picked and delivered to their doorsteps.
These ‘end-to-end’ facilities do come at added cost, however. But for the circumstance-pressed, they still prove to be a godsend.
A number of modern point of sales software already come equipped with these add-ons. The user simply has to key in the appropriate commands; let the system take care of the rest.
Where the Future Stands
The drive towards full automation can’t be stopped – let’s face it.
The elephant isn’t going anywhere.
The only solution I see is for our workers to upskill. Pronto. Because the best repair shop software is a mean beast. In terms of its AI learning prowess. And the machine is only destined to become more rigorous with age. Reaching towards the point where it will completely absolve economies of the need for human agency.
So, repair techs are only left with the option mentioned.
But our species do come with a fail-safe.
Our savior throughout the ages; the bedrock, in my book, of all our ingenuity.
If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m referring to our collective subjectivity. Informed, as it is, by the spontaneous issue of the individual. A faculty that no machine – despite its deep, systematic receptivity – can hope to mimic.
The Practical Way Forward
In the context of the cell phone repair shop, this subjectivity can translate into better interaction. The extra ‘hellos’ and ‘are you okays’ not discernible to the machine.
Or, it can even manifest itself as a strange new workflow arrangement of your cell phone repair store software. A path not accessible through its normal, set, logical function.
I know of several repair merchants whose business process frameworks are baffling. The kinds that no commercial entity would adopt in its usual run. But since they work – succeed in raking in gargantuan profits – their use stays.
Sometimes, you can even tweak your cell phone repair store software on the back-end. Make a few coding changes to redesign its operation – and hence, function.
I’m sure you can think of many other extensions to the same argument.
So there you have it.
My insider’s assessment on the sudden hike in kiosk interest in cell phone repair shops.
I’m still curious, though – what’s your take on this affair?
Care to dish in the comments below?