Computer Support for Independent Service and Support Technicians.
Audience Focus: IT Professionals, Consultants, Independent Service Technicians, Exclusive stores offering IT Services including retail. This article is not designed for Affiliate Marketers, Outsourcing or those providing outsourced services and Man in the Middle service marketing.
For the PC Technician: Update your resume, 2014 will offer you a Walmart Greeter Job that also doubles as your PC Repair drop off point!
If you have worked the commercial electronics industry as a technician or a sale person you know that changes are always in your future. Some are welcome while others are not.
In this case and as I stated in the About section we are looking at a change fueled by the mobile communications industry or Telecommunications industry.
I remember in 1994 while in Europe listening to a German Engineer talk about a "Unserviceable Device". What? Unserviceable? Nothing is Unserviceable! That's what over 250 electronics technicians said. When the engineer pointed out a few of the design features the next thing you heard from the crowd was "We're all unemployed now." In this case at Motorola it was true, over 400 technicians were sent home over the following 2 years as the new Unserviceable Devices replaced older equipment.
With change we as technicians have to adapt and 99% of the time "Guess" our direction.
Let me offer my guess so you don't have to suffer if you are just starting out. Plan for a long period of time where no service comes walking in the door. It's going to happen sooner or later. It's not that you're a bad service shop or that your prices are high. It will be the consumers buying habits and wanting newer technology instead of fixing or repairing their old technology. Now, the issue changes, you can continue supporting boxes running older OS but those will be on the low end markets which is not demographically a service technicians target market. Not if you plan on continuing $100+ service rates.
Let's take a simple view at what Best Buy is doing now. Actually it's not limited to just Best Buy, Stables, Office Depot and most likely soon Walmart, and other large consumer electronic stores will start offering services from MindShift.
Let me put in print now, your Tablet, Smartphone will sooner than you think replace your laptop and desktop. We have access to accessories that allow us to connect full desktop components to a seriously nice smartphone. Why would I need a Laptop if all I needed to do is connect to my VDI ?
Now, with smaller devices we have warranties and pricing that comes into play. Replacing a screen for $99 is going to be ending by Dec 2012. We see people ordering the screens and replacing them on their breaks at work. It's not hard, just watch a video and you're done for under $20.00. I see department stores setting up Kiosk repair and replace smartphone centers which will also handle tablet pcs. What did I hear? No way? Ok, if you think I can't train a 50 year old on how to replace an iPhone screen you're wrong. I learned in 10 minutes and it takes 12 minutes including cleaning.
So what is in the future of our PC Technicians? The list isn't very long at the moment but I'm sure with new applications we are going to need more configuration. Also the door is open for small cloud and private server home offices which should keep you busy over the next 10 years. The cloud services are fine but you'll find more people will trust local private virtual servers than big global server clouds. Trust and Data are key in your future. Make sure you are registered and have a background check available to your new customers.
Or you might be waiting in line for the WalMart iPhone Repair Kiosk like I am.
Additional post info that soon will be edited to reflect today's changing IT world.
At a Glance: How many service offerings do you offer 100% of the time during your normal business hours?
- Telephone Technical Support (Not appointments or contracts)
- Online Chat Support (100% business hours)
- Online Remote PC Repair (Without appointments)
- Local Shop Drop off service (Physical customer location)
- On-site Service (Home and Business)
- Online Support Subscription Services. (Knowledge based or forums)
Do you offer ALL of the above services? If you do, great, you can stop reading here and continue with your scheduled daily events.
If you DO NOT offer all the above services then you might like to read a little more.
Traditionally people in the Electronics industry have worked very well with others in the same industry.
IT on the other hand seems to have taken a path (at times) toward solidarity on an individual level. This might be due to the competitive nature that the IT has always had. Who's better, who's bigger, who has the infrastructure, etc.
Even with that said, IT people are inherently creative. When collaborating as a single group many possibilities emerge and when given common goals often times you find ground pounding change and occasionally success.
Infrastucture at a Glance:
What you'll need to be able to use the services correctly and as by design.
- Your own website with HTML and Script access levels.
- Website with valid TLD with domain email address.
- DNS access to your TLD for Portal routing and your branding.
- Have 5 years or more service related experience in the IT industry
You can be a website developer which we need or a SEO person fielding requests specific to your trade. The requirements remain the same for all members and must be kept up dated and you must support the services you offer 100%.
How it works at a Glance:
Each service site will have its own branded service portal and online / offline service icon image, image link or text link to your service portal. The service portal like the one you see hear can be different and will offer your company name and links to your website. Customers that enter the portal will be your customers because it is your portal even if it's on a share server. If you are not available or not showing online and a customer has submitted a ticket or chat request another technician in our group can pick up on this. We will not let a chat go unanswered.
This service order cannot be taken by the service technician if the service technician is qualified to do the work. We all will know who's to field what as we test each other in the processes.
Basically the other technician is your outsourced technician but your customer is never sent to the outsourcing website. This breaks the mold of your typical affiliate marketing 24/7 service sites.
You'll see more once you're inside the group and have a portal login.
How you earn at a Glance:
This is where you might like to see some big numbers. Well, sorry, the service business isn't about getting rich. But I am all about making a living.
What you earn is determined on what you do and how much work you put into your service. If you never work and offer little then expect to never earn or earn very little.
Details on the earnings is inside at the technicians portal. This section will be updated to show the public just what you are earning per service call so they can see why it's best to go directly to the technicians and pass up all that middle management, affiliate and franchised sites.
Costs to you at a Glance:
Fees are to cover infrastructure and licenses.
For now, XtremeComputer.Com has picked up the tab during the building and testing but after the second week in July the fees most likely will be $100.00 to cover the license setup and portal configuration time. Not to worry, it goes to the core infrastructure so when you retire we'll have another new technician pick up your license. Who knows, we might be using your software that you designed while using our online technical support groups services.
Test your own or "Submit a Ticket" from the Portal at http://portal.xtremecomputer.com !
Try it out, if you like the portal and the idea but don't feel working as a group is what you need the download link is at the bottom of the portal.