You probably know by now. Appliance service is important because products need more maintenance and service than ever.
Why You Need Appliance Service
At a Glance
The salespeople at appliance stores know as well. The manufacturers know too.
If every brand and store know, then why have they not opened service departments or committed more resources to fixing the increasing service issues?
You will learn the answer in this article as well as how to find decent service for your new appliances.
Statistically, you will need service within the first year for kitchen of appliances.
How We Entered the Service Business
August 10, 1993 - I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
One of my customers had an ignition problem with a professional range. So, I sent an independent service technician.
The next call was my frantic customer saying the range blew up. The firemen doused his new kitchen with water making the problem much worse.
My next few months were spent helping him with his insurance company.
This story was part of a disturbing trend. Products were breaking, and I had to beg companies to fix their products and manage that repair with often unfortunate results.
So, we opened our own almost 25 years ago. I was not prepared for the results.
An Appliance Service Company
Our appliance service company started in the backroom of our Dorchester store. I was the original service manager with 2 people answering phones, 4 technicians, and a parts manager.
It didn’t start very well. We traded other people not being able to fix an appliance to our guys needing to figure it out in 2-3 trips to your home.
Now 25 years later, we have 1 Head of Service with an overall manager, a customer service manager, a full-time trainer, 1 parts manager with 3 staff, 2 regional supervisors of 12-14 techs each, and 15 people answering the phone.
That’s what it takes to log 30,000+ service calls a year.
Why Don’t Stores Service Appliances?
There are two reasons - time and money.
First, it takes time to be efficient. It also needs to be a priority. Most stores want to sell products. It’s easy and profitable.
A note to the many appliance stores reading this: Sales may be profitable. But you are still spending most of your time trying to solve problems without a support staff. You will not grow unless you can solve your customer's problems.
The second problem is the expense. Our service department is budgeted to lose $1,200,000 just this year. Manufacturers do not compensate for the actual cost of repairing their products in warranty, so we fund it out of marketing.
Many stores have stopped service completely. Two of our main competitors from Worcester and Braintree disbanded their significant service departments in the last 12 months.
Why Don't Appliance Brands Service Appliances?
The years of good factory service are mostly over for lack of funding.
For a brand, service is an expense, not a mechanism for customer recovery and your brand loyalty. Many brands have deemphasized service. Many more do not employ a single technician
Read the comments on our blog. Everyone hates everything for good reason. You cannot even have minor problems fixed anymore.
Big companies are also a different breed. Will a CEO spend 50-100 million building a nationwide service network? Then recommit 20 Million annually? How will they sell that to investors?
It will take years to see results with the next CEO receiving the credit.
Most big companies will invest in marketing and product development for a much quicker return on their investment.
Unfortunately, bad customer service becomes amplified on social media and is a bigger issue than ever.
How to Find Good Appliance Repair
There are still great service companies in different parts of the country. Don’s in Pittsburgh is a great service company. Five out of the 6 brothers work in the service department.
LG just hired the best service manager, Bill Lange, with an actual budget. Whirlpool has also made a better investment as well.
That’s commitment and what it takes to run a service department. In Massachusetts, a few of our competitors do a very good job like George Washington Toma TV and Appliance, Belcher’s Appliance, Hunter Appliance, and Poirier Appliance.
You need to focus on service and reliable brands.
However, you have the most leverage before you buy versus after you pay. Take that opportunity to find good service. Look at Yelp, Google, and call the manufacturers for lead times to service products.
The time you spend finding service will pay you dividends when the product needs a repair.
Because appliances break….and everyone, now including you, knows.
Looking for more help on appliances? Get the free Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, their answers, features on the major brands, and lastly, advice for the best buying strategies. Well over 355,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.
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