Topic: Career Talk

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!

Unleash Your Inner Super Tech this Holiday Season

Posted on December 29, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Career Talk

Stop the guesswork on service calls and become a Master Samurai Tech. Troubleshoot and repair appliance problems that none of your competitors could. Win the hearts and minds of legions of customers. Take pride in your work. Use coupon code SUPERTECH2016 when you enroll in any course or course bundle at the Samurai Tech Academy before January 6, 2016, and get a 10% tuition discount!

SuperTech 201
 

7 Tips for Becoming an Excellent Public Speaker

Posted on September 4, 2015 by - Business Talk, Career Talk

As an appliance tech you may not have to stand at a podium and speak very often, but every day you are dealing with customers, and that is also a form of public speaking.

Check out this cool infographic and think how these tips can help improve your customer interactions. Each one of these corresponds in some way to your communications during a service call, such as knowing what you need to say about your company's way of doing business, being calm, pacing yourself appropriately, being confident (even if you don't always feel it!), and judging your "audience."

The "soft skills" of customer relations require study and attention just like the "hard skills" of technical training! We cover these skills in both the Professional Development for Appliance Repair Technicians training course and Operating a Profitable Appliance Repair Business course. If you enroll in a course bundle, you'll receive one of these courses at a deeply discounted rate!

 

bi_graphic_the-ultimate-guide-to-becoming-an-excellent-public-speaker

Why is it so hard to find good help these days?

Posted on August 1, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

cost-of-bad-hire-chartIf you’re an appliance repair operator with a fleet of service trucks, you may be finding it difficult to keep them all on the road these days — not because your trucks are broken down but because you can’t find skilled service technicians to staff your growing business.

Why are qualified techs in such short supply? Because, unfortunately, ready-made appliance service techs with the background, experience, technological knowhow, and interpersonal skills you need to keep your business flourishing are nearly as rare as unicorns.

 

It’s not just the appliance repair industry that’s feeling the pinch of skilled trade scarcity. According to the National Association for Business Economics, there's a shortage of skilled technicians and mechanics across all sectors of the U.S. economy. The Association reported that in July 2015, 44 percent of small businesses came up short in their search for qualified technical personnel. That adds up to a lot of jobs going unfilled — and in our industry, appliance repair business lost.

A lot of this talent shortage can be blamed on the too long and too recent “Great Recession” of the first decade (plus a few years) of this century. So many people who lost jobs simply gave up looking for work and remain unemployed or underemployed to this day. How many of those people, properly motivated and trained, would find excellent and rewarding careers in the appliance service industry? This is a subject ripe for speculation.

Another real problem is the 20th century emphasis on four-year college as the only valid pathway to achieving the American Dream. Thousands upon thousands of young people who took this mantra to heart now find themselves with expensive educations and crippling debt, but no real skills to enable them to pursue rewarding and productive careers. What if a significant proportion of those young people had been encouraged to train for technical or trade jobs that didn’t require the magical BS or BA degree but did offer intellectual stimulation, job stability, good pay, and personal satisfaction? If they had, the jobs outlook for the long-term employed might not look so dismal today — and our industry would be able to find the qualified techs we need, when we need them.

Of those young people who did find themselves in the appliance repair trade, many if not most have learned on the job. Unfortunately, that means they may not be trained to a level that allows them to cope with the increasingly sophisticated electronics and computer-controlled mechanisms of modern appliances. As a result, the appliance repair trade is full of parts-changers calling themselves technicians. Too many of them are really good at taking things apart and (maybe) putting them back together, but troubleshooting, schematics, circuits, and the expanding complexity of 21st century home appliance technology are far beyond their ken.

And to be blunt, some of the blame for lack of good help must rest with repair service owners themselves. Some owners are very skilled and up to date on current and emerging technology but don’t have the time to pass on their knowledge to their techs. Other owners may not have kept their own skills current so can’t properly train their staffs. And a certain percentage of owners simply don’t see the value of comprehensive training or think they can’t afford it.

If you fit into one of those categories (we won’t ask which one), Samurai Tech Academy can help you develop the your technical team’s skills. We are a reliable resource that is convenient and effective, and our courses are offered online so techs can complete modules at times that fit with their work schedule. We’ve found that having a trainee spend an hour or two a day working on the courses, then spending the remainder of the day alongside an experienced tech, gives them an ideal combination of theoretical and practical experience that improves learning and knowledge retention.

A trained, skilled workforce may be easier to find than you think. Samurai Tech Academy can help.

 

Multi-truck appliance repair companies: Invest in online technician training now, reap the benefits for your business’s lifetime!

Posted on July 7, 2015 by - Business Talk, Career Talk

tech-group 400For most service companies, summer is the busiest season in the appliance repair business. Refrigerators especially seem to need attention during the hot months, possibly because customers want to keep the condensers dust-free and the gaskets tight to keep the motor running efficiently — or perhaps because they forget to do just that and their fridge gives up the ghost from overwork.

Whatever the reason for your busy season, during the summer months your appliance repair technicians are probably booked from clock-in to quitting time covering service calls, which leaves little time to attend appliance repair schools to update their training.

 

But as experience tells us, summer’s hectic service call schedule will taper off when the temperature begins to drop. So now’s a good time to plan for continuing technical education that your techs can take when their workloads are more manageable and your entire operation swings into a more relaxed mode.

At Samurai Tech Academy, we specialize in on-demand, self-paced online appliance repair training that your techs can take at any time on a learning schedule that works best for them.

You can use our courses to train newly hired appliance repair techs this year or fill in knowledge gaps and enhance the skills of your seasoned service staff ten years down the road. Our courses are updated continuously to incorporate the latest systems and technologies, so they’re always up to date — and there’s no extra charge!

Check out our website today for more information about Master Samurai Tech appliance repair school online training. Pay for your courses now, when business is booming; use them later, when techs have more time flexibility.