Online learning has changed every industry, even appliance repair. You can learn how to build up your business, find parts online, and watch what industry experts recommend as best practices. But you can’t learn everything you need to know online. Here are four skills that only hands-on courses provide.
1. Practice speed and familiarity.
Tools take time to master. Everyone knows how to use a screwdriver, but not everyone knows how to use one quickly or how to deal with difficult screws and bolts. Training your hands on how to deal with problems that aren’t by the book is a large part any appliance repair job.
While you can pull out your phone to watch how to deal with one stripped here and a rusted bolt there, that slows down your service time. It also reflects poorly on your brand. Hands-on training gets you familiar with the wide array of tools you’ll need to handle every day.
Some tools are also hard to understand without seeing them work in your own hand. Multimeters and wire diagrams represent ways of thinking most people aren’t used to. Getting comfortable with them means you need a physical appliance in front of you to manipulate and test.
2. Get used to poor visibility.
Working inside an appliance is hard. The lower access panel conceals most of the internal workings you need to test and replace, but it’s not for everyday access. Hands-on training helps you get used to the frustration and complications of trying to reach parts that you can’t completely see. Hands-on training also gives you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the layout of new machines by touch. You’ll be reaching into the backs of machines to adjust pulleys and locate pumps; hands-on training helps you feel more confident that you have the right part.
It’s also important to know what backup equipment you need. Online tutorials and repair videos teach you how to dismantle a clean, factory-standard appliance on a wide-open studio floor. But working on a machine by hand is different, and you’ll start to build up a collection of the flashlights, small containers for loose screws, and kneepads the videos don’t include.
3. Learn how to work around size limitations.
Just like with visibility, appliance repair doesn’t give you a lot of room to make adjustments. Sometimes a standard screwdriver isn’t the right tool for a small space or a bad angle. It’s far better to learn what tools you’re missing on a test appliance than in a customer’s home. Build your skill set to include good workarounds, substitute tools, and other ways of reaching hard to reach pieces.
4. Learn how to troubleshoot.
There’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do next. Online videos are usually edited to show viewers direct, simple repairs without secondary problems. After all, those videos are designed to be very specific resources for a very generalized audience. They help you solve problems only when you already know what the problem is or when there’s only one problem.
Hands-on courses help you complicated and far more common situations. An old dishwasher with one broken part is likely to have others. An oven range with a burned out fuse doesn’t just need the fuse replaced; you have to find the source of the problem. As you learn the basic skills, instructors can give you more and more complex situations, with guidance as you need it, so you don’t get stuck on the job.
Just like online courses can’t give you all of the information you need, hands-on appliance repair training is only part of what it takes to run your business. That’s why our instructors also give you guidance on how to communicate and troubleshoot with customers, how to network, and how to mix your hands-on expertise with online resources. Go to Fred’s Appliance Academy here to get started.