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Tech on line

As an online recruiter for an innovative new business, I speak to people from all over the country, and I hear many different takes on the businesses they are in.  I began recruiting in 2005, so you would think there would be few surprises in store for me, but the current group of guys I’m dealing with have completely changed my perspective. Everyone would like more pay, better conditions, and a boss they just love. These guys universally believe they have found all three, and aren’t shy about telling you.

Before I tell you about these enthusiastic and excited guys, I need to give you some background on the business they have joined. I am the lead recruiter for an online, DIY appliance repair company called Neli. This company has a radical new take on repairing home appliances, partnering DIY home owners with appliance repair technicians who have years of experience and expertise. Using Neli’s new technologies, the technicians guide the customer through a diagnosis or a repair of their broken appliance using chat and live camera sharing. The camera sharing, using Neli’s Virtually There™ APP, allows the technician to literally see what the customer sees, to freeze the customer’s screen and then mark on it to highlight key points.

Customers save a great deal of money by not paying for an in-home service call.  They pay only $19.95 for diagnosis and $24.95 for repair.  Doing it themselves also allows the DIYer to do it on their own schedule and saves taking time off from work. Obviously, Neli’s customers think this is a serious win-win, with little downside.  But what do the on line technicians think?

Who are these Neli Technicians, and what do they think of this new way to conduct their business?  They are highly experienced technicians, with an average of 15 years in their trade.  For the most part, they have worked with major appliance repair companies, but many are independent contractors in their own right, some even owning their own appliance repair businesses. 

What is it they find so appealing about Neli and its unique business model?  The answers are as varied as the technicians themselves, who come from all regions and lifestyles, but some basic themes emerge.  John, a 16-year appliance repair technician who specializes in repairing refrigerators, freezers, and icemakers, sums up what many Neli Techs think in one sentence, “I’m sick of being on the road.”  It is common for appliance repair technicians to spend half their day driving from one in-home service call to the next.  Tom, a tech from Bedford, Virginia, noted, “Just today I drove over 250 miles to answer 12 calls.  I was ready to get off the road.  With Neli, I can earn money when I would have been stuck in a traffic jam.”  A Neli Technician can literally sit in his living room while answering the calls of Do it Yourself Appliance repair customers.  Since the Technicians communicate only by chat, they can stay in their homes while helping a customer fix a dishwasher or repair a washing machine that won’t drain.

The flexibility Neli provides its customers then, extends to its technicians. David, an appliance tech who hails from the Bronx, NY, told me he is especially excited about the ability to reach customers anywhere in the world.  “Not only has Tin Lizze broadened my customer base beyond the limit of where I can drive, it actually gives me global reach.  Since Neli’s chat features language translation, I can conduct a chat with a customer in Finland, in his own language!”  Flexibility indeed, when you can work from anywhere you like, regardless of where in the country, or the world, your customer is located!

     A common difficulty traditional appliance repair techs encounter is dealing with customers who are upset at the high price of appliance repairs.  The customers are often annoyed to learn that a second visit is required because the needed part was not already with the technician.  Frank, a Neli technician from California, noted, “So many in-home service customers are surprised and angry when I present the bill.  They take that anger out on me.  With Neli, they know the price is low, and they have already paid it up front.  I love not having to deal with that!”  Neli advertises that with just a few tools and the experience of their techs, most homeowners can make their own repairs, saving themselves both time and money.  This innovative alternative does just that.

Another commonly expressed sentiment concerns the large companies for which many of the technicians worked.  Many technicians are frustrated with having to “up sell” or push extended appliance warranties that overpromise and under deliver.  “Neli allows me to take care of my customers with integrity,” said Kevin, “I don’t feel like I have gone into their house on false pretenses.  The big companies don’t always care if the customer’s dryer gets repaired.  They would rather I sold them the extended warranty.”

Neli offers a better way for homeowners to solve the problems caused by a failed appliance, whether it is a dryer that leaves clothes damp or a range that won’t heat up.  Neli Technicians are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to turn a frustrating situation into an empowering one that saves both time and money. Even when the repair itself is beyond the capability of an untrained homeowner, the Neli techs are a big help.  Fidel from New York captured this when he said, “Even if they can’t do the repair, if I talk them through the diagnosis and help them purchase the part at a better price, they already have saved money.  They also probably cut out one service call.  They don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by the repair guy, they can just say, ‘Change this part for me.’

But what about the better pay, conditions, and a boss they love? The technicians can work as much as they like, or as little. With no time driving between appointments or prepping vehicles, that is more time devoted to helping customers. They have the ability to double the national average pay for an appliance technician. And what better work conditions than working wherever the heck you please? Since WiFi access is the only limit, they can work on a park bench or their couch at home!  That just leaves a boss you love. All Neli technicians are independent contractors, so in effect, they are their own boss. So yes, indeed, they have a boss that definitely has their best interest at heart and who will do whatever it takes to help them succeed!

Neli is a hit with both customers and the appliance repair experts who make this new and innovative way to repair your own appliance a success.  Once, a failed freezer or a damaged dryer ensured a days-long, expensive, and frustrating process.  With Neli’s motivated and highly experienced technicians, appliance repair DIYers have help just a chat button away.  They merely ask a tech, and the answers to their problems are on their way.

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