Community resources can complement BrandSource service support
By Paul MacDonald, ServiceSource
When thinking about business, we often see the other players in our industry only as competition. While it is true that business is competitive, and at times we work against each other to win customers, it is also valuable to consider the industry as a community.
Communities are formed based on respect for the shared value of their members. Once people come together as a group, they have an opportunity to collaborate on new ideas, share the experience of successful practices and look to each other for creative solutions to problems.
The capacity for sharing gives us the ability to achieve greatness, and the Internet easily enables the creation of those communities. Just like AVB BrandSource, the BrandSource National Service Committee is committed to the idea that sharing knowledge strengthens our members and makes the appliance industry better and stronger. We have four essential tactics for delivering on that idea:
- The BrandSource Service Playbook
- The Service Source newsletter
- Strategic affiliations and industry partnerships
- Service education at BrandSource Summits, Conventions and Town Halls
But you don’t have to stop there; there are many additional communities to lean into for further support and resources. Below, I’ve put together a short list of community groups and trade associations that I follow, and that you should consider for assistance in running your service business.
Industry support groups on Facebook provide opinions and direction on all things service related. You can even find solutions to the most challenging repairs. Here are a few of the Facebook service groups that I follow; some are hosted by BrandSource partners, one is hosted by BrandSource servicers, and all of them require membership. Why not check them out?
- BrandSource Service Dealers
- United Appliance Servicers Association
- Professional Servicer Association
- Appliance Alliance Group
- Appliance Pro Talk
- Appliance Service Company Owners Only
Besides Facebook, several BrandSource partners host chat rooms that offer more targeted help for specific service issues. These forums provide peer-to-peer support and can help you locate hard-to-find service manuals for just about every appliance make and model out there. You’ll never feel alone once you belong to one or more of these groups:
As mentioned above, the monthly ServiceSource newsletter, as well as the four-times-a-week YourSourceNews newsletter, are key sources of articles and advice on service topics. These information platforms will keep you and your staff informed about the latest trends and developments in appliance sales and service.
Another valuable tool, the BrandSource Service Dealer Scorecard, is a quick and easy spot check for your service business. When you complete the scorecard, you’ll not only learn how your operation measures up, but you’ll also understand why you should make the recommended changes in your business. Think of it as your private consultant to set you in the right direction toward improving your service operation workflows.
Have you recently hired fresh technicians? There are plenty of training options out there; you don’t have to do it all alone. ApplianceVideo.com, for one, is run by a private individual who has been in appliance service for the past 30 years and understands the challenges of keeping up with repair trends. At $40 per month or $400 per year, his high-quality professional videos can guide and train your technicians from diagnostic through repairs.
If you’re looking for more structured training, there are two excellent schools, both of which are BrandSource partners. Fred’s Appliance Academy offers a hands-on, three-week training program in Ohio in addition to online courses. But if on-the-job training is more your style, then you should check out Master Samurai Tech, the only appliance repair training program that teaches complete mastery of the trade.
Also, don’t forget YouTube. You can find how-to-fix-it videos on just about everything, including the kitchen sink! A word of caution though, as YouTube content isn’t vetted and can provide faulty information. Gauge its value by the number of “likes” (or dislikes) it has received from viewers.
Last but certainly not least are the manufacturers’ online resources. In particular, Whirlpool’s ServiceMatters site is always top of mind for me. I’ve signed up and accessed quite a bit of information without paying for a subscription or being Whirlpool authorized. If your company is an authorized service provider for other manufacturers, chances are you already have access to their OEM sites and 1-800 tech help lines.
As you can see, the service community offers plenty of assistance for you and your technicians. You just have to know where to look for it.
AVB’s senior ServiceSource lead Paul MacDonald ran his own 38-tech service business and is a past president of the UASA. He currently operates the Expert Service Program, which helps servicers run their operations more efficiently and profitably. You can reach Paul at (647) 500-7785 or at email@example.com.