What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Typically when I receive a call or a Thumbtack request, I will contact the customer as soon as possible so that they know that their issue is a priority. I try to make the process as easy as possible, I'm open to varying my office hours or travelling to a customer if they have a hard time getting to me.
During the process I try to give regular updates where it makes sense so that a customer isn't left wondering what's going on with their computer while it's in my possession. When it's time to finish up a project I try to explain what the cause of the issue was and how I resolved it, then I happily accept cash, check or credit card.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I attended Murray State University where I received a BS in Computer Science. Immediately after graduation I took my first position as a Repair Tech / Programmer specializing in Access Database Programming at Benjamin Hill Consulting in Louisville. While there I was trained to troubleshoot common computer issues, repair and replace hardware, and install and manage network infrastructure. I was there for two years when I was offered a position at Infinite Solutions LLC where I was also a Repair Tech and Programmer.
At Infinite, I specialized in troubleshooting Accounting Applications, Database Programming, and Visual Basic Programming. I gained experience in Systems Management, Remote Management, and Proactive Maintenance. I was taught printer repair and maintenance by an experience colleague and was able to improve upon my network infrastructure knowledge through Microsoft and CompTIA Certifications. I was employed at Infinite for 6 years when I decided to start Computing Concepts and venture out on my own.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Standard pricing starts at $65 for the labor on a basic project. Any hardware that needs to be purchased (Screens, Hard Drives, Keyboards, etc) will add onto the cost, but once the labor price is set it won't change.
There are projects that I know will take longer (Virus Removal) and I will price them at $85. On the other side of that, a keyboard replacement in a Laptop is a pretty easy task, so I will lower the price to $45.
I have one pricing policy that hasn't changed from the beginning, if I can't fix it, then you don't pay for it.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have always been interested in technology, but I actually went to college to study Accounting. After a single semester I decided that there had to be something that fit my interests better and I switched to Computer Science. My primary focus was on programming but I had classes on everything from computer basics to robotics and my technological skill set has continued to grow ever since.
What types of customers have you worked with?
When it comes to home users, I have worked and will work with anyone that needs my help. I've repaired items from Laptops to PCs, Ink Jet Printers to Corporate Copiers, and LCD TVs to iPhones. I'm just happy to help.
When it comes to businesses I typically work with small businesses. I have a CPA Firm, two small Doctor's Offices, several Not For Profit Organizations, a few Direct Mail Offices, and an Electrician that I count as my main client base. They are all 20 - 30 users or less which is about the sweet spot for a small IT firm. Again, I'm just happy to help.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
If you're looking to hire an IT Guy/Computer Repair Specialist/Phone Repair Specialist etc, I would definitely recommend you take into account the reputation of the business, the experience they have, and the overall sense of professionalism that they give off.