Mikel Fields likes to keep his goals simple. He wants his business in to provide a service to his community and help others.
Fields was a loyal customer of Cracked Up Mobile, a technology repair shop, when he discovered the previous owner was switching career paths and leaving the business.
Fields saw this as an opportunity to purchase a shop that would allow him to help, lead and inspire others.
“It was an opportunity to help almost everybody I know,” Fields said.
Fields and his wife, Luana, purchased Cracked Up Mobile in April 2019. The business repairs mobile devices, laptops, computers, tablets and game consoles, as well as providing installation services for smart home devices and security cameras.
The business partners with contractors who have a background in technology to complete the repairs. Mikel Fields handles business operations and marketing; Luana Fields manages the financial aspects.
Cracked Up Mobile has been a business since 2013, but when the Fields purchased it, they saw a chance to expand and rebrand. The store’s colors and logo have changed, along with the list of services they offer.
Mikel Fields said they are one of the only few stores in the area that repair game consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. The addition of smart home installation services is also new to the business.
Cracked Up Mobile can also install smart light bulbs, security cameras and other home devices that sync with a customer’s mobile phone.
The business is expanding physically by opening a new location closer to the MU campus. Both owners believe that will widen their customer base by reaching more college students.
About 25% their customer base is students, Luana Fields said, but their new location could help grow that number to 75%.
The business will continue to operate at its current location on Broadway and use it primarily for customers to schedule repairs and order parts for their devices.
The new location has a much larger space to allow customers to wait while their devices are repaired.
Cracked Up Mobile also plans to begin off-site repairs. They will operate a mobile operation out of a van that can travel to customers unable to bring their devices to the physical location or who would prefer to stay home.
The mobile operation will schedule and perform off-site repairs throughout mid-Missouri, such as Boonville and Moberly, where customers may find it inconvenient to travel to have a device repaired.
Both owners emphasize the importance of what Mikel Fields calls “happy transactions.” The goal is to focus on the culture of customer service, he said, and to stick to repairs that the business knows they can do well.
Luana Fields believes personal customer service can set a business apart from its competitors.
“Mikel is the owner of the business, and almost every time, you will most likely walk into the business and you're going to see him there,” she said. “He is going to be there, and he's going to try and help you.”
Customer Richard Robertson said Mikel Fields is always in the store when he needs repairs. Robertson heard about Cracked Up Mobile from a friend and said he has been a loyal customer since taking his cell phone to the business for a repair. He said the job was excellent, and the customer service keeps him coming back.
“It was quality of service and the way I was treated. Those are things that are important to me,” Robertson said. “If you give me good service and treat me with respect, you’re gonna have a hard time getting rid of me.”
Mikel Fields attended Columbia College to play basketball and study business and marketing, and his wife has a background in finance and banking. They may not have a background in technology but said they are eager to serve the community.
“I've always wanted to put myself in a situation to be able to help people in a genuine way,” he said.
“I would just like to have those connections to be able to help some people, and I don't think mobile devices are going anywhere, anytime soon.”