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Standards - Repair Wiki


Note: I would strongly recommend suggesting any changes hard to undo under the "discussion" tab before making the change. This includes moving the number of a standard, changing a standard, etc. If you are a person of authority here, please check out the "discussion" page to authorize changes.


The following standards are intended to be universally followed by all people who wish to provide high quality repairs. The standards are set with the intention to provide a ubiquitous standard of a quality experience.


In this document, each rule should be followed by an explanation, giving the philosophical reason for its existence and/or the practical, real-world reason that it is important.

Customer ServiceEdit

Customer InteractionsEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
1 When walking in, greet the customer within 7 seconds - head nod, a hand motion with eye contact, anything. Do NOT ignore them as if they did not walk in at all. If you are busy, (helping out another customer, finishing a phone call), tell them or signal with a hand gesture that you will help them out in a minute or two. Customers will understand if you are dealing with other customers, but they will take it personally if they are ignored.
2 If the price of the estimated repair cost of a device is close to the value of the device, make sure to tell the customer that it might not be worth repairing the device before giving the customer the estimate. Customers of repair shops are often on edge about being ripped off. Customers that know beforehand that the cost of repair might not be economically viable, they will not complain later being "sold" something that wasn’t worth it. Truth builds trust rather than anxiety and demonstrates that a technician is on their side (which should be true of a good repair shop).
3 Anytime you say no or are turning away a customer, explain the honest reason to them. Without this, people will feel as if you do not want to help them and take it personally, as if the repair industry as a whole doesn’t want to help them. When bad news is given, the customer will often be agitated (some more than others), and some will handle it better than others. You can’t change how people feel about the bad news - but you can focus the direction of their agitation at someone other than yourself. It makes sense for the customer to be mad at you if you aren’t able to help them with their problem, when they have every reason to believe you can - which is why it is important to explain why we can’t. Let them understand that we would love to help them, but the manufacturer goes out of their way to make it impossible for us to do so.

Customer CommunicationsEdit

Communication is Key.

A happy customer is an informed customer, even if the news is bad. Most customers will appreciate you going out of your way to keep them informed. There is nothing quite as frustrating to find out days or weeks later that your issue was either resolved or unresolvable, especially when it effects a person financially. Bad communication is the root of most customer confusion and anger. Communication is the easiest thing you can do to keep everything under control.

Best Ways to Communicate

In person, Telephone, Email, Customer visible ticket notes.

Each different way of communication has its benefits.

  • In person: Good for initial ingest & diagnosis questions. Best not to get into deep thought or process.
  • Telephone: Good for quick updates or final communication upon finish of work. Note all communication in ticket or official notes. It helps you both later.
  • Email: Best for more detailed representation of a problem or even showing a simple picture of the issue. Great for recalling in the future for any reason.
  • Tickets. Best used for in house dealings. Most official way of keeping notes.

Don't Lie

The quickest way to lose a customers trust is to tell them something that is untrue. More than likely they will find out and it will make future dealings difficult or impossible. This is the quickest way to lose a customer and owe them financially. It is ok to say "I do not know" as long as you follow up with "I will go find out".

Update Frequency

Each customer will require a different level of communication to keep them happy. Depending on the customer some may want an update once a week, some every other day. If you work on their item, note it. You don't need to read them a book or hold a conversation just quickly and effectively inform them of relevant information and move on. Once a customer is informed of important and accurate information and you have given them a realistic timeline they tend to back off.

Show Interest

Customers are perceptive. They can tell if you are not interested in resolving their problem. This is usually not a good look for you or you business. Try and show that you are interested in their problem. Express compassion or empathy. Show them that you are in their best interest and will do what you can to attempt to resolve their issue. Be genuine.

Troubleshooting 101

Customers are people, and people are not machines; said better we work with measurements and observations. Most every issue can be reduced to a common issue, however before that step; do your best to keep a clear and open mind. Any detail shared however strange or unnecessary as it may seem initially; could end up saving hours of labor in store, do your best to document what is shared.

You can learn more about the isolating a issue to environment, hardware or a chance at reeducation in our Isolating a Symptom guide Here.

Repair Approvals

When getting approval for a repair from a customer, make sure to get approval for moving forward with affirmative language. If they say, “Yes, that sounds good, but please call or email me,” or, “You’ll let me know, right?” that negates prior approval, and should prompt you to say, “To be clear, you are approving that we perform the repair at $250 to this device?”

Use Best Judgement

If the customer is adamant that they want to go through with a repair that may not fix the issue, tell the customer that the repair that is being done may not fix the issue that they are having. Strongly discourage them from doing this several times.

Pro Tip: Communication is a skill and it is not learned overnight. You can always get better at it with time and should always strive to.

Customer DevicesEdit

Handling of Customer DevicesEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
4 Keep track of the condition of the device as it enters the store. If it’s beaten up, scratched, pristine, et cetera, let the ticket notes reflect this. Difficult customers will sometimes use scratches on the case as a reason to not pay the bill or to create lengthy, unnecessary, drawn-out conflict that takes you away from productive work. By notating these on intake, you can confidently assert they were already there. Being confident in this assertion will usually shut it down without further conflict, but this assertion won’t sound confident if you aren’t sure.
5 Always notate if anything is missing or if there is damage on the device (drive, screws, etc.) We do not want to be liable for issues outside the issue the customer brought the device to solve.
6 If there is liquid damage on the machine, make sure to take the logic board out of the machine. Don’t assume that the board is clean just by looking at one side of the machine. Customers may return with a device that dies again if we only address one section of the machine without addressing the unseen liquid damage on the opposite side of the motherboard. One side of the board can look perfectly clean, while the opposite side looks like a train wreck. If we give the machine back to the customer fixed with unchecked corrosion, it will fail again, and they will be very angry.
7 All devices should have an addressable location, such as a slot number, or, if it was handed to a technician, who you gave the device to. All of the slot numbers in our store have a letter and a number assigned to them so that we can easily find where the machine is in the store. If you take in a machine without a slot number, it makes it difficult (if not impossible) for it to be located.
8 If the device is liquid damaged, remove any power source before leaving it in a slot to prevent more damage to the device. Leaving the battery plugged in means it will continue to degrade as it sits in the slot waiting for a technician to begin working on it.
9 If there is a device that we do not offer services on, try to refer them to another repair shop that may be able to help with the issues the customer is having. Refer to Rule 3.

If they ask you to work on a device that you do not work on, don’t just say no. Tell them that it requires experience to open the device properly without breaking it and that you fear that you may cause the device harm by working on it without experience, while another repair shop might have experience with that device. In that case, they would be more qualified & capable of the job.

10 When they leave the device, make sure to write in the notes where the device is in the store, what you quoted the customer for, the price and timeframe, anything discussed, and the model number. Mystery does no one any good. All of these are necessary details to keep track of.
11 If you take a machine from a slot, make a note of where the device is. You should be able to find out where a machine is at any time when it is in the store. It is incredibly annoying to go to a slot only to find the machine is not there because someone else took it. Further, we need to be able to tell where something is at any given time in case something must be retrieved from the device, or if it must be reassembled for collection by the customer when you are not here.
12 After working on the machine, if the machine looks dirty, use a microfiber cloth with a cleaning solution. Don’t assume that someone will clean the device before handing back or shipping back to the customer, and don’t assume it came into the store that way. If each person assumes the way a device arrives at their desk is how it comes into the store and does not clean it, this increases the likelihood of it being given back to the customer with stains/marks that were not there initially. It leaves a good impression when a customer receives a device back looking better than when they brought it.
13 Use an anti static wrist strap or at the very least touch a large metal "ground" to discharge any potential ESD when handling customers SSDs or other solid state drives, and when handling motherboards with a built in SSD, make sure to not handle them near the NANDs or SSD Controllers. Even though the risk of losing data may be small due to ESD, any preventable risk of losing customer data should be eliminated. Dead motherboards can be replaced, customers irreplaceable photos cannot, and this is a nightmare of a customer service situation to deal with.
14 Keep track of major parts such as batteries and LCDs and that were installed including their supplier, purchase dates and warranty in your CRM/invoicing system. If the customer comes back for warranty, it's hard to know where you got the part from, and if there's ever a major recall you need to perform, this will come in handy. This not only makes RMA's smoother, but potentially keeps more money in your pocket so you don't have to throw away parts or let them rot on a shelf that may be under warranty from your supplier.

Transfer of Customer DevicesEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
15 When a customer picks up a device, make sure to confirm them with a combination of a name, phone number, email, and ticket number, or whatever is necessary for you to believe in good faith that you are giving the right individual the right device. We never want to give people the wrong device.
16 If they are picking up a successful data recovery job, make sure to show them the data and what was recovered, and have them look through the data before taking payment. You want to avoid the callback two years later when they say, “Hey, this isn’t my data!”
17 If they are picking up a successful repair, show the customer the device working and have them test out the device before taking payment. Try to boot the device before handing it back so that you do not leave the customer waiting anxiously to see if the machine does work. A small number of difficult customers will use any part of the experience that is not perfect as a reason to bargain for a lower price or feed their own anxiety/distrust for repair shops, which often results in a litany of paranoid questions. These experience imperfections can include you having to find a charger because it won’t turn on when you give it to them (battery died in the slot), or the device booting up slowly.
18 If we could not do a repair or data recovery, apologize for not being able to do more for the customer, and give the device back. Many customers are already in a mood to leave a 1-star review when they expect a repair and we aren’t able to perform it – for whatever reason. Blunt the edge by letting them know you care about the fact that you couldn’t fix the device.
19 Try to understand what problem the customer is having rather than focusing on what part they ask you to fix. Even if you perform the service of replacing the specific part they ask you to replace, seek to understand the problem they are having that led them to ask for this to be replaced, because the customer might be prescribing the wrong solution to their problem. A customer might ask you to replace a screen cable when they have no backlight - even if their fault is with a DC In board, or with a backlight fuse. Offering to do the specific job the customer wants sets the expectation that when they pay for that service, the device will be fixed - and they will blame us when what they diagnosed to be the issue does not fix their problem. We focus on providing solutions, not on for-hire parts-swapping.

Answering PhonesEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
20 Don’t sound miserable when talking to customers. Customers are already unhappy to be calling us. Calling a repair shop is an admission that they have screwed up so bad they need outside help to fix a problem, and that they will be paying money to get back the same device they had last week. They are already unhappy; we need to shift them from unhappy to happy, not reinforce their misery. People often respond to how you say something as much as what you are saying, so do not sound miserable.
21 Give as much relevant information as possible before giving the customer “homework” Opening with the question of “what model do you have?” gives them less information than “screen replacement on that device costs $300-$450, but the price depends on the model number of the machine.” You want to give as much information as you can in the least amount of time. Giving customers extra “homework” to do such as researching the model # of their device gives them a reason to procrastinate seeking out the repair, and may result in the “I’ll call you back later with a model number”, which often means “I am putting this off and will probably never get it done.” $300-$450 is not specific, but it gives them an idea, while still in the same sentence asking for clarification of the model number.

Device Reassembly StandardsEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
22 When opening a machine, the drive must be labeled if separated from the computer. There is nothing worse than unnecessarily losing a customer’s data because the drive was misplaced. It is easy for the SSD for newer machines to slide away from the casing.
23 When taken from one location to the other, transport the whole machine, not just one single part. We do not want one part of the machine getting lost or mixed with another.
24 Everything the machine came with should go out with it, screws, rubber pieces, etc. Put it back together the way it should be put back together based on best practices (with the occasional exception of JTAG connectors). Customers should get back every part of their machine that they brought it with unless there is a specific reason for the part not given back to be missing.

Employee ConductEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
25 Do not be drunk or high at work. The brain will lose touch with reality and then bad things will always happen.
26 If using someone else’s tool, ask for permission, and give it back to the owner after using it, not when the repair on the machine is completed. If you are asking to use a tool, you probably need one yourself - speak to management about buying another for you. It is highly frustrating & demoralizing to have to hunt down the basics necessary to do your job - it destroys morale & productivity of your coworkers, and creates a corrosive company culture of resentment and low productivity.
27 Don’t be a prick to anyone, especially customers.
28 Do not gossip about other customers in front of or within earshot of existing customers. People should not be led to believe that they are spending money at a business where people are talking behind their backs. If you must, do it in private.

Proper Handling of ProblemsEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
29 Never assume that someone is going to solve a problem you notice. Businesses with staff who think issues are someone else’s problem become businesses where everything wrong is everyone’s problem until they go out of business.
30 If there is an issue with a device that may cause the customer to come back for a second repair, don’t wait for the device to fail again. Address the issue by talking to the customer or service manager. The worst thing for a customer is when they have a second problem right after paying to fix the first one.
31 If an area looks damaged enough, don’t wait for the customer to come back. Address the issue. We do not want to bill for repairs that will come back in the future.
32 When getting approval for a repair from a customer, make sure to get approval for moving forward with affirmative language. If they say, “Yes, that sounds good, but please call or email me,” or, “You’ll let me know, right?” that negates prior approval, and should prompt you to say, “To be clear, you are approving that we perform the repair at $250 to this device?” Imagine you are speaking to someone you have a crush on, and ask them out on a date. They say, “I’d love to go out with you, but …” Anything before the but is rendered irrelevant. Sometimes, customers can be wishy-washy about whether they want a repair done, and can become mad when the repair is done, even if they gave prior consent. Ask them directly if they wish for us to perform the repair at the quoted price. You don’t want to sound like the stereotypical used car salesman, but you want to be affirmative that they want the repairs done to avoid them saying that they never approved it.
33 If a customer calls and we have an update or the device is completed, tell the customer that they were on the list of people that we are going to call and tell them the estimate. If the machine is done, tell the customer what was done to the machine. You do not want to give the customer the impression that, had they not called us, they would have never heard from us. It is important to give them the idea that, if they call us before we have a chance to call them, we were just about to call them.
34 If a repair is completed, charge the machine before putting it in a slot. Do not give a customer a machine that is not charged, if shipped or walked in. It gives the customer the impression that we never tested their device or that something may be wrong if it is dead when we give it to them to try. The worst first impression you can provide a customer of our services is to give them back the finished product dead.
35 When reassembling a device, make sure to test out all the functions of the device on the checklist and make sure all connectors are connected before saying the device is completed. The repair is not completed until everything works, not when the problem that the customer is facing is solved. A customer who brings in a device for it not charging will NOT be happy if we give it back to them with WiFi not working or a dead spot on the trackpad. Customers expect that devices leaving a repair shop work and that, if there are additional issues, they are made aware of such issues. It displays a lack of competence and undermines their trust in our quality of service if we hand them back devices with unidentified issues.
36 Leave notes with as much detail as possible, assume that every customer will ask for every single detail on their machine. Leaving detailed notes will allow the person who is talking to the customer to relay everything that is going on with their device without having to talk to the technician(s) who worked or are working on it. Every time someone on the phone doesn’t know a detail that is important to answer a customer question, we look more like idiots who aren’t deserving of that customer’s confidence and trust, which makes it more difficult to deal with any issues that arise throughout the job.

Properly DiagnosingEdit

Customer ServiceEdit

Rule number Recommendation Explanation
37 If the customer is adamant that they want to go through with a repair that may not fix the issue, tell the customer that the repair that is being done may not fix the issue that they are having. Strongly discourage them from doing this several times. Customers will not hold themselves responsible if they prescribe a repair for themselves that is ineffective, they will hold us responsible. You should always have the best interest of your customer at heart, and that includes saying "no" to work that will not repair the problem, even if you stand to profit from doing the work.

Internal OperationsEdit


Specific to Louis: not industryEdit

Test out the device to see what it needs. If the front gets busy, give it to a technician to give an estimate on it so you can move onto the second customer while the first customer waits for an estimate.

When talking to someone on the phone, if they want an estimate over the phone, tell them that it’s a general estimate that may not apply to their device and that we would need to take a look at the device itself.

Workplace Best PracticesEdit

Aim to respond to any customer email immediately after they have sent it, using information from the knowledge base. Customers often email 3-5 places to see who will reply first. In this business, often, the first shop with a decent reply will get the business.

If a customer does not give you a model number, give a range and tell them pricing depends on the model and year. We seek to eliminate friction in the process that risks us losing them as a customer unnecessarily. If the customer is ok with the price range, you have answered their question. If they are not ok with the price range and want a specific price, then you can place the onus on the customer to figure out what model machine they have.

It is not someone else’s job to clean up common areas. Don’t assume that someone else will clean up or the job will not get done. If everyone assumes that basic decency is not their job, then it will be no one’s job.

If you see a part that has low to no stock, don’t assume that it is on the way. Contact the inventory manager. Sometimes, our systems fall short. In the case that they do, we trust that our staff serves as the last line of defense against being out of stock.

If you are going to be late, or leave early, or going to take off, let a manager know. If you are leaving for longer than a lunch break, let a manager know. We may have a task planned for you or have planned jobs around when we believe you will be here. This will allow us to edit our schedule.

Do not deface, steal, or misuse company or customer property.

Do not punch in or out for someone else.

Do not do anything that we believe, in our discretion, is averse to the interests of the company or customers.

Try to ask for a password for a device, whenever possible. Tell the customer that it is not needed for repair, but to test out the devices.

Try not to rush into an estimate for a customer. Inaccurate estimates create angry customers.

Always ensure that the tools you have are working properly; don’t wait for it to die. Some of the tools we use here are difficult to find and take lots of time to replace. The sooner you let someone know that it isn’t working, the lower the likelihood of downtime that results in lost revenue.

When asking a customer what is wrong with their device, try to get as much information as you can from them by asking a series of open-ended and closed-ended questions. Such questions include: How did the issue occur? Was there a liquid spill? If so, where did it spill? Is the data important? What is the history of the device? The more information we have up front, the better we can come up with a solution for them later. You wouldn’t want to be the one that has to inform a customer with the news: “Unfortunately, we cannot fix your device, but it looks like data recovery is possible!” if the customer said during drop-off that all the data is already backed up and not important. The more we know and have in the ticket at the beginning, the lower the likelihood we look like fools later.

Whenever dealing with a liquid damaged device, make sure to tell the customer that the repair price may go up because other components could be damaged because of the liquid. What we tell you is only an estimate: if the repair price goes above our initial estimate, you are welcome to opt-out of the entire repair. It is not possible for us to perfectly test every single part of a machine in an economically viable manner; it would lengthen the time for each repair to an unacceptable length and destroy any sense of workflow. At the same time, we do not want customers to think we are looking to pull a bait & switch, so explaining this upfront prevents conflict later. Our policy whereby the customer can cancel a repair anytime the estimate changes is to ensure fairness in these cases.

When showing a customer recovered data, as a courtesy give them some privacy. The customer may be trying to recover private or sensitive data. The last thing you want to do is make your customer feel uncomfortable during this experience.