I first starting offering support service as early as 2010 by running advertisements on Craigslist. I would offer services like rooting android, installing custom ROM’s, and free Wifi hotspot installations, that was it back then but fast forward to 2017 and you can be offering dozens of different types of support and services after you have completed training at Phonlab. In this article I am going to go over a short list of popular services, how to market those services, and how to upsell them in your store or shop. Now before you run out and start running ads it is important to be honest with yourself, do you understand the service or support your offering, and can you translate that into easy to understand yet attractive jargon so that the customer understands what it is your doing. A great example is, when I started out was that many customers thought that rooting an android smartphone, unlocked it, that’s a misconception, it has nothing to do with unlocking. However I just clarified what the customer wants and what I need to define for someone in the future. The customer doesn't speak smartphone tech, you do so be aware of that when your offering services or support for money.

I recommend that you start out with the usual suspects with respect to offering any type of support or service, things like updating firmware or IOS version, basic data recovery, basic troubleshooting. Rooting or jailbreaking are also good however with these last two services there is lots of maintenance involved. Your list of services should be something that you are very knowledgable about and that you can provide quickly and efficiently. You are going to come across lots of different smartphones during your career, but providing a basic menu of things like firmware updates or even unlocks will easily translate into consistent revenue month after month, as well as referrals and the opportunity to add more jobs and service along with it. You cannot do it all, but if you stick to my plan here, you most certainly get close as time goes on.

Firmware or IOS Updates

Updating or flashing firmware will always be something that you will provide and whether its to troubleshoot, fix a problem, or finish a job its something you need to be offering as a service to every single person that walks through your door, it’s easy money, but more importantly it is great service. When you troubleshoot issues with a smartphone most if not all of those problems are caused by the customer not updating their phone and apps, they do not want too. They do not want to risk losing important pictures or their high scores on Candy Crush. You should be taking advantage of this by educating them on the importance of keeping their OS up to date, and capturing regular revenue by doing it yourself, so inform, backup, update, educate. You are the mobile geek squad now so you need to Inform them on why, Backup their data, Update their firmware, and finally, Educate them on the changes to their new OS.

Data Recovery

Since the smartphone has become the preferred device for storing precious data like pictures, videos, notes, and other important data like contacts and notes, we have seen a sharp increase in data recovery requests, these jobs command high rates, and some quick thinking, if your just starting out your going to be able to provide support for very basic data recovery, while outsourcing difficult jobs to companies like Drive Savers for a 20% profit. You will also be saving people lives, literally and whether it is priceless photos from a birth or wedding, or entire system recovery jobs because they have not adopted cloud backups yet, you have the potential to make really good money in this area right now and we recommend that you offer it.

Troubleshooting

There is an old saying “Where the rubber meets the road” and with troubleshooting, this is where you can separate a real smartphone tech from someone who really is just claiming to be good. We do a lot of thinking and diagnoses in our field and it really begins with every single job. Let me give you an example, back in the 1990’s I was a US NAVY Corpsman, a medic if you will and we learned exactly how doctors troubleshoot complaints from patients, they take a history from the patient, they exam the problem, and finally they form an educated opinion or diagnoses based on all of that information. We do the exact same thing, it’s just on a smartphone. When you provide good troubleshooting you are doing your job correctly, and your going to be able to provide a solution, instead of the dreaded in store hard reset. Everything that you learn at Phonlab is designed to get you thinking about what is, or what could be, so if your conventional approach does not work, your not surprised it logically takes you to the next step. A better example would be PBR or power button repair, when the Galaxy S3 came out years ago we learned how fragile the power switch was on a Samsung smartphone, so much so that this became a regular repair, well since then we have learned that an easy way to diagnose a true power button repair was to boot into download mode or stock recovery and if the screen does not reboot it was not the power button, but something software related, this is troubleshooting in it’s basic form on the job, and you need to think like that if your really going to solve problems. Remember the Phonlab saying “It's always something simple”

Modifications

Rooting android or jailbreaking iPhone used to be very popular so much so that customers used to do it just for bragging rights, “Im rooted!” you get the point, well even though it is not as popular as it used to be, because of constant security updates, it is still there and some people want it, especially a custom system like with custom android ROM’s. These jobs are high maintenance but it is a great way to develop long standing relationships with customers, and regular revenue, we still have customers coming into Android Hawaii that I started rooting years ago and because of those relationships, some still ask for root, its a modification, and requires regular maintenance and updates as required. It may also be a requirement for an app that they need from Google Play or Cydia for a special modification or hack. These modifications can be game hacks, tethering, or it could unlock a special feature. Stay up to date with what is popular in apps.

The Upsell

Ok, it sounds great so how do you sell it? There is a process that you need to start following the very first time a customer hands you their smartphone, no matter what the reason. First always ASK FOR PERMISSION, even when they hand you the smartphone to inspect, when you ask for permission to look into their smartphone or life really, your showing respect for their privacy and as a person and you have established TRUST right there, INFORM them that you would like to make sure that their OS and security is up to date while your doing your inspection, then you should immediately look at whether or not their Android version or IOS is up to date or not, and have they updated their apps, in almost every single case you will notice that they have never updated either one. This is your opportunity to upsell, and it is also your opportunity to show them that your not just some kid off the block you are a professional. Did you know, I am sure you did if your a member at Phonlab that the most of the software issues that customers have, including overheated idle phones can be solved with an update, It’s true as well as many other common complaint’s like apps force closing, slow performance, compatibility issues, and old features that suddenly stopped working. I don't know how many times I've heard of a customer complain because they brought it back to the T-Mobile store and the sales staff hard reset the device without a backup, or stopped by the Apple store only to be told the backup was not successful and they needed to do a device exchange, Oh only if you have Apple Care though!

We can solve problems like these easily by selling your ability to backup the data, update the current OS, and educate them on the changes. You also need to give your customers some direction, the sale is done they just want your reassurance. My pitch usually went like this, “Ok john we're going to back up your phone and save everything, we’re also going to update your firmware and apps on the phone which is going to fix the issues your having today, when I am done I am going to give you a quick walk through of the changes and some future backup options that you can do yourself” “Now go get some coffee or lunch and come back in one hour and we will have everything ready for you”. You just made the decision for them and they will gladly pay the 50$-75$ your charging to provide this service. Now if your doing just a few of these a day you can see the potential, and this is only the beginning.

MJ Nale

Founder, Phonlab