INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Asks Computer, Computer & Cell Phone Repair Store in Toronto on How They are Navigating Through the Pandemic
Maaz Kamani, head technician at Asks Computer tells us how they repair computers and cell phones.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Maaz Kamani: Everyone is doing great and is healthy. Thank you for asking. We hope everything is the same for you, and hope this pandemic can be something of the past soon
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Asks Computer.
Maaz Kamani: My father started in the business in 1997. We are 3 brothers that became more active in the business in 2008. He started mainly with computers. Selling and some repairs. When we took over, we carried that as well as started to repair phone. We are now 90% of repairs and very little selling.
How does Asks Computer innovate?
Maaz Kamani: We have to innovate with every new phone and computer that comes out. We mainly do apple devices. So each new device brings its own challenges in terms of parts, repairs, etc. we have to stay on edge with technology. The main tool we have is our experience. With being open for over 21 years, going through tens of thousands of devices yearly, we have a good idea of how the new devices will work in terms of repair
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Maaz Kamani: I think it’s affected us like everyone else. Especially the lockdowns in Ontario. When the pandemic started in March 2020, we will get a bit of an influx of customers because many people were working from home and couldn’t contact their IT support. So we became the IT support for many people at that time
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Maaz Kamani: For choices in general, we definitely made some tough choices
1) Sanitization in the store is regular
2) The store frontage is only allowing 1 customer at a time
3) We stopped going onsite to customer places
4) Scheduling repairs
5) It’s more of a get in and out of the situation. There is not much of an interaction with customers anymore. No more browsing. The interaction is almost little to none which is a tough pill to swallow.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Maaz Kamani: We do a lot more online chatting, email, SMS interaction with customers. Not much in person anymore. But we try to help each customer the best way we can
Your final thoughts?
Maaz Kamani: I think as a whole, this pandemic has taught us as a society what is important, what is not important in life. Ultimately, the health and wellbeing of the people to who you are close to is the most important. The rest is secondary. I just hope that is can be something of the past very soon.
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