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The Y2K Accessories Success Factor: Customer Service Meets Product Innovation – An Interview with Mr. Tan Chee Wai, Co-Founder
Mobile phones and tablets are ubiquitous these days it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use or own one. Because of this, Mr. Tan Chee Wai, co-founder of Y2K Accessories, a mobile phones, mobile phone accessories, and tablet accessories retailer, gets up from his bed excited every day. “It’s about helping people find what they need or want,” the young entrepreneur says when asked about what gives him a huge kick doing this business.”
Speaking of finding what one needs, Y2K Accessories is widely known as the place to find all sorts of accessories that one can imagine—from charger to casing– both for well-known and little known phone and tablet brands. This reputation has helped establish Y2K as an unparalleled brand. Always keeping a tight pulse on the current demands of customers, Y2K brings in the latest accessories, making sure that customers consistently find what they came for. Since it opened in 2002, Y2K has grown by leaps and bounds despite new competitors emerging who are just as eager to bite off a huge chunk of the market.
The Success Factor: Customer Service + Product Innovation
Interspersed with the sound of mobile phones and tablets ringing or sounding off alerts are the voices of customers in a quest to find their desired accessory. At the Y2K shop, a day goes by fast as one customer after another leaves the shop content with his or her exploits.
Chee Wai shares, “Success is trying to do something that helps people. When customers come in, I talk to them and ask what they need. So we try to help them out to buy the accessory that will make their mobile phone or tablet experience extremely delightful.”
Chee Wai trains his staff – mostly composed of mobile technology-savvy youngsters – to serve the customers with keen attention. Chee Wai believes that the success of any business relies on customers who come back time and time again.
Early Years: Overcoming Setbacks
In the course of more than a decade, Y2K has faced and overcame challenges that only made them stronger in the business.
Chee Wai shares, “there was a time when we imported too much of the stuff that we had to export the excess to other countries at extremely reduced prices it was almost a give-away.” From this experience, Chee Wai learned that success in business required perseverance and true passion. After all, it was Chee Wai’s passion for the mobile technology, for making people talk to each other even if they are not face-to-face, that fuelled his business to success amidst challenges. It is also passion that makes work for Chee Wai enjoyable.
When setbacks happen, the only way to go is to move forward. No matter what, keep moving forward.
A Look Into The Next Five Years
Apart from retailing other mobile phone and tablet brands, Y2K Accessories has also ventured into manufacturing their very own accessory line. The Y2K charger has been safety approved by SPRING Singapore. All other products are of top-notch quality, it is no wonder the market is picking up this brand. Chee Wai sees expanding the business to include starting Y2K’s own mobile phone brand in the next five years.
He advises, “To succeed, you have to try to do things differently. Don’t just copy what’s out there.” The only way to edge out competition is to keep innovating.
In over ten years in the business, Chee Wai’s most satisfying moment was when they exported their products to India and Malaysia. To him, it signaled the start of an expanding and highly successful business up ahead.
“People will always want mobile phones,” Chee Wai confidently declares, and with that, Y2K Accessories will always have a market, ready to be engaged.