Mail-in repairs are a highly-profitable business where thousands of phones come in via mail order to be repaired. This particular business has seen a lot of activity in recent times, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic that paralyzed the world and necessitated lockdowns in many countries.
In order to keep themselves afloat in such difficult times, repair shops of all kinds had to quickly work out a new way to do business. The answer was offering mail-in repairs, where a customer could send their item that needs repairing through the mail and have it fixed.
Offering such a service was a win-win situation for both the customer and the business owner, and still proves to be a great idea today. However, because of the haste to implement this new business model, many repair stores weren’t able to optimize it and make things efficient for themselves. How do they manage repair items coming in? Who is taking care of dispatching and receiving items? How do you deal with the influx and communicate to customers effectively? Those were some of the questions that needed answering.
Luckily, we’re here to explain how a repair shop POS software can resolve all those concerns while taking care of a lot more at your mail-in repair business. Let’s dive in and see how.
What Does a Repair Shop POS Software do?
In order to discuss how a repair shop POS software can improve your business efficiency, we must first see what it actually does. A repair shop POS software isn’t just an application that you use at your cash register; it is a complete repair management system that handles a lot more areas of your business. These include repair ticket management, invoicing, inventory & stock management, third-party integrations, customer communication, analytics & reporting, employee management, and much more.
There are many software companies that offer solutions for your repair shop needs. However, you’ll want the ones that offer ease-of-use and features that map to your workflow. Sometimes, a management software serving another industry might not work well for your given tasks. We recommend that before pulling the trigger on software like RepairDesk, Lightspeed, RepairShopr, iQMetrix or the like that you do your due diligence and research them thoroughly.
The function of a repair shop POS software is to keep your store organized and provide end-to-end management for all operations. To that end, it’s an irreplaceable tool that you’ll need at your repair shop.
How Does It Improve Efficiency?
Now that we’ve discussed what a general repair shop POS software entails, it’s time to talk about how your mail-in repair business can benefit from it. The varied number of features a repair management software has can be used to address many concerns of mail-in repair services in general.
Ability to Order and Pay Online
The main purpose of mail-in repair is to provide repair services to people without them actually coming in to your store. This means that they’re going to be engaging with you online, and to do that, you need to have a platform for them.
Essentially, what you want is a web portal where they can go through a series of steps to fill out a repair request form and submit it to you. Once the submission is complete, you’ll be able to quote a price to them, which they can then pay online through a dedicated payment gateway.
To create a system like this, you’ll want a repair shop POS software that provides those features and allows you to integrate them into the other aspects of your workflow. Your software should be able to connect to the web page through which you’re taking inquiries and accept payments, before creating a repair ticket out of it and forwarding the task to an assigned repair technician.
Doing so makes it incredibly easy to take on repair jobs from afar and deploy your operations over a wider area. Through it, people from neighboring areas can easily book you for a repair and conduct business with you without ever having to travel to your location.
Streamlined Ordering and Shipment
Of course, to run a remote business like a mail-in repair service, you need a way to ship items to and from your stores. This means using delivery systems and courier services that can ferry packaged goods between you and your customers. To that end, an integrated ordering and shipment system is necessary, one that can easily plug into your repair shop software.
Your ideal software should, in essence, provide customers with the ability to choose a courier service of their liking (or at the very least, provide any type of courier service) and track their orders. The same goes for you as well, since when you complete the repair task, you’ll want to send the mail-in item back to your customer via a courier service.
Since repair shop POS software usually has an item location tracking system baked in, it’s an easy fix to use them to locate where your repair item is, what its repair status is, who it’s assigned to, and how long before it reaches delivery. However, most repair systems are only able to track these things internally, meaning they can provide you with details when the item is in the store. To expand this feature so items can be tracked externally, you can use a service like Ship Station that manages ordering and delivery using different courier service options. Bonus points if it integrates with your pre-existing system automatically, making it so you never have to enter data and update statuses manually between the two services.
Advanced Repair Management Features
As we’ve discussed earlier, a repair shop POS software helps manage multiple aspects of your business, not just the reception area. It’s built with many different features that help you ease your workflow to a tremendous extent.
Let’s take an example of a standard mail-in repair request: the item is delivered for repairs with a label on the box that helps you track its details. Your POS software can scan the accompanied barcode using a barcode reader to instantly pull up details on the repair. From those details, you can see what the repairs are and which technician it is supposed to be assigned to, and forward the item to your lab with all these details. At the same time, you can update the status of the repair job, and the repair POS software will automatically shoot an email to all stakeholders, including the customer.
When the job is complete, the technician can send it back to the store manager and update the ticket’s status again, notifying the store that it’s time for shipment. The store can then book a courier service to collect the device and deliver it to the customer, all from within the software.
This type of record keeping and automation saves a lot of time and trouble for all parties involved. It ensures that a smooth workflow is being maintained, records every metric every step of the way, and automates a bunch of processes without any user input, not to mention riding a fair margin of human error from the equation. By implementing a repair shop management system and using its advanced features, you’re able to keep everything in order and ensure that your mail-in repair service runs smooth as butter.
There’s a lot more that we haven’t discussed here, like the fact that you can get alerts on when your stock is running low and ordering items from within the software, managing your employees’ timings and commissions, creating return merchandise authorizations (RMAs) for faulty products, provide analytical data to fast-track your growth and project sales, and a lot of other features. A repair shop POS software can be a very handy tool for your repair store, and definitely helps if you’re offering a mail-in repair service.
The software you choose ultimately needs to be one that fits your business best, and through which you can easily manage everything. It needs to be geared towards efficiency, functionality, robustness, and ease-of-use. For a mail-in repair business, there’s no better way to scale up than with a software that does all things best.