At last Wednesday’s Small Business Technology Forum, produced by New York Enterprise Report, one lady in the audience said she wants to USE technology but not have to deal with the hassles of getting it to work.
This is how MOST businesses want to work with technology. They know they need it, but when something goes wrong, what to do?
Having a reliable technology consultant is one way. I also advocate having a technology ADVISOR. Often both roles are fulfilled by the same person. Never have a technology advisor, however, who is only an academic. They “consult” but have never used what they are speaking about.
Another solution for technology support is to sign up for online computer support from a company such as Plum Choice.
According to their web site PlumChoice Computer Help is the leading online computer support company for the home and small business. The company is based in Bedford, MA with remote offices throughout the U.S. The company offers both virtual on-site (online) and physical on-site computer support.
The company’s extensive online service offering is available to home and business PC users, business travelers, telecommuters, persons with limited mobility and any PC user with Internet access. Due to the virtual/web-based nature of the company’s online computer support service, customers now have a more affordable, more convenient and easier computer support option at the click of a mouse.
Founded in 2001 by eighteen-year industry veteran and entrepreneur Ted Werth, PlumChoice Computer Help is a privately-held corporation.
1. Is PlumChoice good for those with new computers and who still can get help from the vendor or better for those with older systems?
At PlumChoice, we are well suited to not only guide the purchase of, but support new PCs because we have a true multi-vendor approach, have no hold times (service is appointment-based, more convenient) and perform the work directly (higher first-time resolution, increased satisfaction) through virtual on-site/online (84%) or physical on-site (16%) support.
According to our own research, it takes less than 90 days for a PC to get infected with some type of threat, show diminished performance or simply for a user to experience some type of ‘problem’.
A computer arriving at the door needs to be set-up, often requires multi-vendor support at the beginning for installing anti-virus software, specialty software or installing peripherals so that it works well right away and stays that way. And then, there is the training. If you are new to computers or using certain peripheral components to your computer such as cameras, scanners, doing back-ups, we can show the user how to use via the virtual service.
With PlumChoice, it’s a matter of convenience, satisfaction and a single source of resolution for all PC problems.
With older PC’s, we’re seeing more of the spyware (pop-ups) and virus issues. As a result, we’re assisting customers that have a slow PC, experience error messages or experience low system resources. In the case of these issues, PC users don’t know who to call for support. Hence, the ‘it’s not our problem’ response that many users get from software and hardware (and ISPs) vendors no matter how old the PC is.
12.4% of new computers have some type of problem upon arrival, according to a 2003 PC World survey of 29,593 PC users. Of PC users seeking help from a vendor, only 53% of respondents said their problem was resolved the first time they called tech support. 49% of respondents stated they had hold times of less than 5 minutes when calling for support. Finally, a PC user often has to call multiple hardware or software vendors (incl. ISPs) in search of resolution.
Many vendors have resorted to driving customers seeking tech support to online knowledge-bases, chat or email support in order to cut costs. Of the PC World respondents, less than 43% who used (this type of) ‘online’ support said it helped solve their problem.
2. What about those businesses who get support from consultants/resellers do they need PlumChoice?
PlumChoice offers a less expensive support option than what is typically available through consultants or resellers. We don’t require a long-term service contract and can resolve 84% of PC problems through the more affordable virtual on-site (online) support option ($80/hr.). Customers don’t have to wait for an on-site visit and you get the confidence of knowing you are working with a trusted, trained technician, backed by a company that cares. Hang onto the consultants for specialty software though.
3. Who does PlumChoice compete with resellers/consultants; vendor warranties; others…?
PlumChoice does not have any direct competitors in the marketplace.
[Editorial note – I hate when companies say this. They either do not know who their competition is, don’t want to mention them, or are simply clueless]
Unlike product-specific equipment and software providers, we provide support for all products. Unlike resellers and consultants, customers can watch us fix their computers through the Internet for less. PlumChoice prides itself in being a brand that can be trusted without the need to be without your computer for any length of time.
PlumChoice offers a better, more satisfying solution for less. We have 38% repeat business per month. The average PC user experiences.7 problems per year. Based on this, PlumChoice has a very high repeat business rating which supports its high customer satisfaction rating (94%). PC users simply do not know about PlumChoice yet.
Many PC users are not choosing to purchase 2-3 service agreements due to the cost and the fact they don’t know if they’ll really use it. Resellers/consultants are expensive (GeekSquad = upwards of $200/hr.) and vendor tech support is hit or miss in terms of satisfaction. The biggest issue facing today’s PC user is *resolution*. A close tie for second is *cost/convenience*.
4. How many customers do you have?
Thousands of active customers across almost all states in the US.
5. If you are virtual – what about issues that are hardware based wherein physical work is needed?
We are able to dispatch in-home or in-office technicians within 24 hours throughout the continental United States through regional partners. Again, this has proven to be less than 16% of our business – where the problem requires an on-site visit or the customer simply prefers the on-site visit.
6. Why the name plum choice? Why not apple choice?
A ‘plum’ choice is a ‘very desirous’ choice. We believe PlumChoice is a *very desirous* choice for PC support. Besides, apples have been over done and there are legal issues associated with our use of the term
7. What other services like yours are available and how would one choose and know which one is for them (like askdrtech.com) for example.
PlumChoice has set the standard for premium virtual on-site computer support and has perfected the ‘go-to-market’ model for quality virtual service delivery. We tell our potential customers, “It’s so simple you’ve got to try it!”
If you go out to look at companies claiming to have online services, check to see if they are doing it the PlumChoice way. Friendly, professional, competent, trustworthy, easy. PlumChoice is not a database, knowledge base, chat-based, voice only service. The PlumChoice service is a high touch service: live phone support in concert with using the latest desktop sharing technology to fix a computer while the customer watches. We don’t need to send the customer anywhere else, we help with all computer needs be they virus related, spam or adware related, OS performance issues, Windows issues, peripheral set-up, installing and configuring software, buying computers and computer products, data back-up, disaster recovery and training.
We invite PC users to try the service and determine if they have ever experienced an easier, more satisfying and convenient PC support solution. We have not seen any other company promote or deliver a premium virtual on-site PC support solution, including askdrtech.com. We don’t believe their service methodology is customer-friendly, comprehensive or scalable.