Posts By: Susan Brown

Webinar Sample: Troubleshooting Appliances with Tech Sheets

Posted on April 14, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

MST Academy students have real-time access to the Samurai every Monday evening at our live webinar "Office Hours." Sometimes it is just an open Q & A, other times it's a presentation that dives deeper into an appliance technology topic.

One of our most popular webinar formats is Troubleshooting with Tech Sheets, where the Samurai simulates troubleshooting scenarios using actual tech sheets from several real appliances to show how to kick appliance bootay the Samurai Way!

Attendees get to interact along the way, offering up possible answers to the problem scenarios and asking questions of their own.When possible, we make a recording of the webinar available to those unlucky few who can't attend live.

We call these live training webinars Office Hours and they're held every Monday evening-- details on this page.

If you're curious about what goes on during Office Hours, here's a 16-minute sample from last Monday. It shows just one of the five tech sheets that were covered in the full webinar. But this is a good peek into the teachings of the Samurai and the life of a master appliance tech.

 

 

Is Online Appliance Repair Training Right For You?

Posted on March 10, 2016 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

Online appliance repair training at Master Samurai TechOnline learning may seem like the new kid on the block, but it is really just a new and improved delivery format of the old “correspondence course school” model for training that has been around for over 100 years.

Online appliance repair training is a proven and effective way to improve technical skills for the right kind of student. How do you know what the right kind of student is? That's exactly what I'm going to explain in this post!

The strengths of the online training model are many:

  • on-demand
  • self-paced
  • affordable (few if any hard copies of material to produce)
  • easily updatable
  • interactive
  • multimedia

However, there is one component that is critical to the success of online learning that cannot be provided by the online school: student motivation.

Of course, student motivation is a necessary ingredient for any type of education to be effective, but at a traditional brick-and-mortar school there is a regular face-to-face interaction with the instructor that can help to keep the student accountable.

At the Master Samurai Tech Academy, we do everything we can to encourage our students, to provide accountability via quizzes and exams, and to give them help when they need it. However, we are not there with the student day in and day out.

To achieve a successful outcome with the MST Academy, a student must have one of these two characteristics:

  1. Self-motivation with a strong desire to learn (gets help when needed, works to improve test scores), or
  2. A supervisor who is keeping a close eye on the student’s progress (more on how to do that here).

When one of these two factors are in place, then the results of learning appliance repair in an MST Academy online training course can be spectacular! When neither are in place, then the results are something less than that.

So, before investing in any online training, evaluate your situation honestly. If you are signing yourself up, evaluate your commitment and motivation to doing what it takes to achieve the results you want. If you are signing up techs who are under your supervision, set up a system where you will monitor their progress closely and intervene when necessary.

Team Samurai is dedicated to excellence in appliance repair training. Our online training courses are a comprehensive and cost-effective way to improve technical skills. And we offer several powerful interactive teaching resources to help you understand the material:

  1. Interactive question and answer help in the Student Forums where students post questions about their coursework and we reply with additional instructional explanations. This can go back and forth quickly as many times as it takes until the student grasps the concepts they’re trying to understand. But it requires the student to have the initiative to ask a question. If the student doesn’t ask, we can’t help!
  2. Weekly, live webinar meetings with the Samurai. We call these weekly meetings Office Hours. Think of the webinars like Office Hours at a regular school where students can drop by for extra instruction and ask questions about their course work, live and in real-time.
  3. Manually-graded open answer questions on the Midterm and Final Exams in the Fundamentals course. These open-answer questions allow us to see inside the student’s head so-to-speak and identify more clearly how a student is misunderstanding a particular concept. We can then work with the student to resolve this misunderstanding.

If you bring your effort, energies, and motivations to the table, we have the tools in place to ensure that you WILL learn how to be a better technician!

Keeping Track of Student Progress

Posted on March 1, 2016 by - Academy Talk

Whether you want to track your own progress or that of a tech under your supervision, we have a great "at-a-glance" tool for you!

The Members Area page shows the progress and grades for each course a student is enrolled in. When you log in to MasterSamuraiTech.com this is the page that you'll be taken to first. If you are already logged in, you can just click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the window to get there.

Here's an example of what you'll see at the Members Area.

Members Area 1

You can get a more detailed report for each course by clicking on the course title.

Members Area 2

 
If you are supervising an MST Academy student, then all you need to know is his or her username and password to be able to keep track of their progress and performance.

Master Samurai Tech to Provide Online Appliance Repair Training for Mr. Appliance

Posted on February 14, 2016 by - Academy Talk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

New London, NH, USA, February 14, 2016 - Master Samurai Tech, a nationally-recognized online appliance repair training academy, has been selected to provide technical training to Mr. Appliance franchisees and technicians.

Master Samurai Tech will create a custom training website exclusively for Mr. Appliance franchisees, incorporating the online technical courses from the Master Samurai Tech Academy. The custom Mr. Appliance site will launch in spring of 2016.

Mr. Appliance LLC is the largest appliance service franchise company in North America. Entrepreneurs have been starting new appliance repair businesses under the franchise brand of Mr. Appliance since 1996 and benefitting from the nationally-recognized Mr. Appliance brand.

The Master Samurai Tech Academy was founded in 2014 by Scott and Susan Brown, who have over two decades of experience in the appliance service industry, both running a service company and providing support and training for technicians online.

“Sometime during the last three decades, critical troubleshooting skills have gotten lost in the appliance service industry,” says 56-year-old Scott Brown, aka, Samurai Appliance Repair Man, “As a result, most working techs today do not possess these skills and there’s a huge need for trained appliance service technicians to service today’s computer-controlled appliances.”

"With this training resource, Mr. Appliance technicians can now get the training they need to master the troubleshooting strategies and techniques required to successfully service modern appliances, resulting in higher First Call Completion rates and greater customer satisfaction," Brown added.

“The proven and effective training courses at the Master Samurai Tech Academy are appropriate and affordable for both new and experienced techs,” says 50-year-old Susan Brown, aka, Mrs. Samurai. “Many working techs today have never received comprehensive, structured education on the digital and analog skills required to troubleshoot and repair modern appliances. These skills include: basic electricity, electric circuit analysis, reading schematics and using them to troubleshoot, single- and poly-phase electric motors, digital communications, and refrigeration systems.”

Learn more about Master Samurai Tech and their online appliance tech training courses at their website: http://subzero.mastersamuraitech.com/

Contact:
Scott M. Brown
scott@mastersamuraitech.com
mastersamuraitech.com
phone number: 603-290-5516

ENDS

What to do with a new tech who has more enthusiasm than experience

Posted on September 9, 2015 by - Business Talk

Ready4TrainingLet’s say you have just hired a bright, energetic, and enthusiastic person who shows a lot of promise but lacks seasoning as an appliance repair tech. What’s the best way to bring this new hire up to speed in the ever more complex field of appliance repair?

Obviously, training is paramount. We’re assuming this person has gained some familiarity in a trade — perhaps welding, electrical, or plumbing, for example. Those occupations have less to do with technical troubleshooting and repair and are more about installation, fabrication, or simply replacing an obviously bad component such as a faucet, outlet, or switch. However, the skills and work ethics your new tech learned in other shops demonstrate an ability to learn and adapt — valuable traits in an appliance repair tech. What the new hire needs now is specialized training in appliance service repair.

 

Here’s what we recommend:

1. Enroll your new tech in the online, self-paced Tech Bundle (Fundamentals, Refrigeration, Advanced Schematics, and Professional Development) at Samurai Tech Academy. This formal training should start in the first week of employment, if possible.

The courses in the tech bundle will not only lay a solid foundation for the essential skills and technologies your new technician will encounter, they will also expose the rookie to the modern, advanced computer-controlled appliances with multiple electronic control boards. By demystifying the inner workings of those appliances, the tech can avoid the all-too-common “Hail Mary pass” — replacing the control board and hoping they're right — a desperate strategy too many so-called technicians fall back on today.

2. Assign a mentor (maybe the owner). It’s imperative that the rookie have a seasoned technician (who ideally has also taken the Samurai Tech Academy courses) to show him or her the ropes — not just where the break room is, but the ins and outs of your business, technical and otherwise. An interested and supportive mentor will greatly improve chances for career success as an appliance repair tech. In a smaller multi-truck operation, this mentor may be the owner himself.

3. Start running calls as an assistant. A critical component of learning any skilled trade is actually doing it. It is vital that any book learning be accompanied by time spent as an assistant to an experienced tech on actual service calls. That way, the rookie can learn the hows that accompany the whys presented in the online training. Plus, putting course lessons into actual practice really speeds up the mastery of a topic or skill.

4. Review and correct. The mentor or senior tech observes, comments on, and corrects not only the rookie’s performance on real-life service calls, but also reviews the trainee’s progress in online training. It's actually very motivating for a tech student to know that a mentor, manager, or owner is available to help with questions that arise in coursework or on the job and periodically checks on the trainee’s progress in both. Nothing says “get to work” like your boss asking “how's it going on ___?”

5. Expect mistakes. Even the most experienced of us make mistakes, hopefully fewer and fewer as we gain knowhow. But remember back to your own fledgling days and expect your new tech to inevitably screw up something. When that happens, keep in mind that we humans often learn more through failure than through success, and losing your cool in the face of a trainee’s (or employee’s) mistake never makes anything better. Explain the error matter-of-factly and patiently, demonstrate the correct way to perform the task, and move on. Trainees who know you won’t blow your stack at every little flub will learn better and faster, to the benefit of your business in the long run.

Finally, how can you be sure you won’t lose your new tech once you’ve invested in all that training? This is rarely an issue if your business provides a positive workplace and has a competitive compensation plan — and providing training as part of the compensation package is a good way to instill loyalty to you and your company. However, if you’re worried your new tech will jump ship, you can have the technician pay for some portion of the training, to be reimbursed in the form of a bonus or other compensation at some time in the future.