I have some questions that I cannot seem to find answers to.
1) Does anyone have a procedure in place to use "Rescue" for new customers who call and need help? What do you do first, second, third and so on?
i.e. How do you collect billing info (Credit card info and so on)? And how do you charge them - before or after the session?
2) What works better, a flat rate or hourly?
3) What is the range for charging that seems proper for this type of service?
I normally do onsite consulting and charge $75 - $100 an hour depending on the work and business type. I think Flat rate sounds good for this remote support though.
I listened to the webinar given by "rent-a-geek" and the owner said that one customer session pays for the monthly price of Rescue and they do flat rates. Does this mean they are charging $99 flat rate per session?
I just need some nice people to explain to me the proper way to run this type of remote support business.
I have done a lot of research on this topic and can't find these answers.
I am currently working on a disclaimer idea that I will make available to the forum shortly.
There are no easy answers to your questions James.
As far as procedures, we point the potential client to our pin code entry form, and create a connection as soon as possible. The ability to remotely connect - answers more questions than any conversation can. If the client does not want your assistance - you or they can always disconnect.
I like a combination of Flat Rate promo type prices, and time based for anything that is not easy to catagorize.
We charge our clients credit card at the conclusion of the session. The rate for this type support ranges from about 1-2 dollars per minute.
Thank you JohnB.
You have provided more information that is helpful, than what I have been able to find online.
I was thinking $50 for the first hour then $1 a minute after the first hour.
And not charging if their problem is not fixed.
Have you had any problems with customers arguing about paying after the session is over (provided you fixed their problem)?
If so is this common? Or the customer gives you bad credit card info?
What if they have a bad component? I would think to charge for the time to diagnose the issue, but it's impossible remotly to replace the bad component.
And what if the customer's PC is really slow, is it something that you take into account when charging them? Or if you have to defrag do you tell them to call you back when it is finished so you don't bill them for the defrag time? Or would you stay connected and just not charge them until it is done and you continue helping them?
My biggest problem is, is that I try to always make sure the customer is happy with me and sometimes this means losing money when someone else would have charged them for the same thing...
Anyone please feel free to provide your $.02 on these issues individually or all of them.
I think together we can assemble a great instructional thread for others.
The best reason for flat rate prices is that you are not required to work consistently on only one unit at that moment. I think, if you charge for time - you'd better deliver your undivided attention to that client.
Most of the technical issues that I deal with are related to malware "poluted" pc's. There is no fast cure for these systems. I get my clients off the phone after the first 5-10 minutes and tell them I will call them back in about an hour. I have the luxury then of starting the tasks and working on something else at the same time.
My credit card processing is "real time" so the only times that a card did not clear, I was able to get an alternate before I let the client go.
Some things will take 2 min and others will take 2 hours but lets face it, you can be running a bunch of sessions at the one time and you really dont do anything when a scan is running for example.
Sure you will take a hit on some things that do take forever but put yourself in the clients shoes, fixed fee is always going to appeal better than an hourly rate etc
The chances are that they dont know you so there is an element of trust that needs too take place, at least with on site stuff you have a face and they can see you. I just think a fixed fee takes away the unwillingness to call you in the first place.
I have a visa machine, but online payment stuff is probably better. I take the payment after the session. Again its a trust thing.