Lightning Tech Repairs emerges from lockdown to serve Cranbrook customers in a flash
Welcome to the first of our Shopfront and Personal series, where this month, the spotlight is on Cranbrook’s brand-new device repair shop, Lightning Tech Repairs. We caught up with co-owner Josh Page to find out why he and business partner Claire chose Cranbrook to set up their business, and how they’ve coped with lockdown.
How long have you been in the industry?
I originally spent four years building up my career in various mobile phone repair shops. At the age of 22, I felt the need to expand my skillset, so alongside mobile phones, I spent the next six years learning how to repair laptops and PCs. Then last year, feeling I had outgrown my role at the time, I decided to pursue my own business venture, in which I could focus on delivering quality components, quality customer service, and good value for money.
What made you choose Cranbrook?
Coming from the hustle and bustle, yet anonymity, of a large town centre – where the business community seemed somewhat lacking – last year Claire and I decided to set up shop here after visiting Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May. Almost immediately, we could feel the community vibe, which is great to see again now that we’ve reopened, with people regularly stopping by just to say hello and see how we’re doing. After opening our doors on 13th March and receiving a warm welcome from the town, just 10 days later we suddenly found ourselves in lockdown. I still travelled to the shop each day to continue with repairs and prepare for re-opening. But I must say, it’s great to be open again.
Yes, it’s great to see you open again and with plenty of space for social distancing. Can you describe your full range of products and services?
We offer a range of “no fix no fee” repair services including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and consoles, as well as stocking a number of accessories. We also offer network unlocking, Google account removal and password removal. In addition, we specialise in a range of PC builds (bespoke office builds and gaming PCs).
Do you like building PCs as a hobby?
Not so much a hobby, but I have always found technology interesting and I enjoy building bespoke PCs for customers as each specification is very different. In fact, we have just finished a build for a local pub manager who is delighted with his new machine.
How long does a standard repair take?
It depends on the device and whether we need to order in specific parts. So, for instance, iPhones can usually be fixed within the hour as we have all of the parts in stock – and we use original refurbished LCD displays, whereas some outlets use copies. The way I see it, there’s no point spending all that money on a phone and then ending up with a part that doesn’t match in terms of colour or feel. In order to be happy in my job, I have to take pride in the service I provide, and the work I do. If I wouldn’t put a particular part in my own phone or computer, then I wouldn’t want to put it in a customer’s device, either.
Some devices, such as Samsung, have much more expensive parts, which means we tend not to stock all of the parts all the time. But it’s easy to ‘overnight’ ship these parts so we can usually still offer a next-day service. Despite personally being able to spend days without my devices – after all, I work with them all day! – I understand that they have become an indispensable part of daily life for most people, and so I appreciate the need to work on repairs as quickly as possible.
Do you offer an express service?
To be honest, I’ve always been against offering different levels of delivery, because I pride myself on providing the most ‘express’ service I can. In fact, if I know the part can be delivered to the shop overnight instead of in two or three days’ time, I’d rather absorb some of the higher delivery costs to maintain customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business. It sounds like a cliché, but I’m much happier if I know I’m providing the best service I can.
In some outlets, the sheer volume of customers means technicians can easily go through 15 phones an hour, but that adrenaline soon starts to take its toll and it becomes challenging to maintain high levels of customer service. But with the steady stream of business in Cranbrook, I’m able to give customers a high-quality, yet highly personal service every day.
And finally, we have to ask: Are you an Apple or Android man?
(Josh laughs.) “It depends what I’m doing at the time and how I feel about it. For example, outside of work I build websites for people, so if I want to take my time on a particular project, then I use a Mac, but if I want to do something really quickly, I use the Dell.
Personally, I own an iPad, an iMac and two iPhones, which are great for connecting to Carplay, a system which brings up all of your phone settings (music, calendar, messages, calls etc) directly on your head unit. But then I also own a gaming PC and a Dell laptop, which I’d never let go.
Josh and Claire, we wish you all the best for 2020 and beyond – you’re a welcome addition to the town!