Retail Observer

August 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 63 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM AUGUST 2020 64 C harles Darwin said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor is it the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." The independent appliance service industry, and the way we do business, are constantly changing. Unlike many other industries, the technicians who work in our industry are not required to have a college degree or industry credentials to prove their competency. Anyone who can turn a screwdriver can call themselves a technician. And, as is the case with some irresponsible companies, fogging a spoon or being able to turn a screwdriver is the only requirement needed to be sent out to the unsuspecting consumer under the guise of a true professional. Such practices put a company's reputation at risk; indeed, they impact the entire industry in a negative fashion. We have all seen news reports that documented poor or even illegal practices by service technicians that had a negative impact on all service providers. Certification helps define the practices that will lead to a positive service experience for the customer. Certification raises the level at which the consumer views the independent service provider and proves to the consumer that their shop has the credentials necessary to meet their expectations and competently complete their service repair. The consumers' demand for certified professionals and world class service, coupled with the independent service professionals' need to differentiate their business from the rest of the competition, are the driving forces behind the certification movement. As independent appliance service professionals, you understand the level of competency and proficiency at which you are expected to perform. Today's sophisticated appliances and educated consumers demand skill levels and aptitude that can only be achieved with education and experience, and proven by the credentials that only industry-based certification provides. Industry certification gives the technician the credentials to give the consumer the confidence that they are one of the best in the industry, measured among their peers. The appliance service professional is not the only vehicle for certification – it's recommended that the entire service company strive to be recognized as a Certified Service Center (CSC). This certification covers the entire business entity and quantifies various business facets such as the storefront, Code of Ethics, Equipment, Customer Service Program, Technician Certification, Manager Certification, Appropriate Licenses, Insurance, Service Warranty and Appearance. These are all important areas of the total business that protect the firm and add to its value in the eyes of its customers. If you are not a certified appliance professional, and if your shop is not a Certified Service Center, I challenge you to consider the advantages of becoming certified. Visit for more information on certification. I also challenge the manufacturers and TPAs to look seriously at the certification movement and begin to offer their support to those shops that exhibit their professionalism and pride by becoming certified. Remember, if you want to be successful, it's simple – love what you're doing, believe in what you're doing and most important, know what you're doing. And when you love doing something, you'll want to do the very best when performing that task, and you'll want your profession to be recognized by others as worthwhile. Certification and your certified performance are the crowning achievements in those efforts! CERTIFICATION AND THE INDEPENDENT APPLIANCE SERVICE INDUSTRY S E R V I C E D E P A R T M E N T RO Ralph Wolff, MCAP, CSM, CSC Industry Relations, PSA Certified Service Center

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