What started as an attempt to fix his own iPhone, below the radar (that is, without his father finding out) has now become a one-stop-shop for repair and servicing of Apple products.
Ankit Chowdhary, the Founder of iService, spoke on how far he had come from the teenager who started the entire business on the side as a hobby (*ahem* for more pocket money).
A self-admitted geek and technology enthusiast, he recognized the need for his business, when he took to repairing his broken iPhone all by himself – because the other options were simply non- existent.
So what about all the other people with broken iPhones, who don’t know how to fix it? Well, he could do it for them as well.
“People used to line up at the gates of the apartment and ask the security for ‘The Phone Guy'” he recalled.
Now, he has three outlets in the city, plus a back-end office – a very long way from a make-shift office at home. As the business evolved, so did his manner of customer acquisition. From posting on Craig list, he progressed to relying on word-of-mouth referrals.
What has remained a constant challenge though, is the building trust with your client.
“Trust is what brings people back to us, and what gets us a huge chunk of new customers.”
His rationale is simple – right now, smartphones are a necessity. People don’t like to part with them. At all. So, when it gets broken, they will have to trust you enough to ask you to repair it.
So how can you build customer trust?
Well, that seemed to be the million dollar question. For without trust, he definitely was not going to get enough customers. Though it was not an overnight miracle, he decided to build it slowly, and let it reflect on his work. This is how he did it.
Setting the right expectations
“Everyone wants their phone right away” he explained. However, not all phones can be repaired instantly! On some occasions, it might take up to a week for them to source the right parts and then fix it. In such cases, it is communicated to the client upfront.
Sometimes, the clients might decide not to go through with the repair – “Which is totally fine” affirms Ankit. Because getting a customer is not as important as winning a happy customer!
Giving top-quality service
Sourcing of materials was another roadblock that Ankit struggled with. Without spare parts coming to him on time, his deliveries would get incredibly delayed. However, that does not mean that he could compromise on quality.
Currently, he has worked out a supply chain that comes right from China. It gets him the quality spare parts he requires. Getting a local one might be a ‘quick fix’ which wont last long and would be a compromise on quality – a strict no-no.
“A guarantee of quick return and a top-notch repair job. Even if one of these expectations are not met, you have an unsatisfied customer” he explained.
That can be pretty bad, because 50% of his customers come from word-of-mouth referrals! One wrong review can go a long way in stemming future clients.
But come on, all businesses have that one customer who is unhappy! It is practically impossible to have 100% happy customers (if you do, drop us an email and tell us how you do it). What happens when the occasional unhappy customer does come along?
Handling unhappy customers right
“You can win them back by handling their grievances the right way” explains Ankit. Of course customers will get angry when their expectations are not met, the key to converting the “haters” is by extending the best support possible! And when that happens, your trust score further shoots up and you win over a staunch supporter – and even more referrals!” he ends.
But wait! He was not the only entrepreneur to talk on Customer Trust! Ashok, the Co-Founder of Scripbox faced a totally different ball game when he had to win customer trust to make them invest with him. How? Smart financial services marketing of course.
And I still have one more story for you. Amit, the Co-founder and Enterprise sales head had a great customer acquisition story on B2B sales. You are welcome to that as well!