Archive for June 2010

Episode 43 – Call That Girl!: A Marketing Success Story Part 1

Today we are going to talk with a computer support professional who created a unique brand for her business, learn how she did it and how the techniques and tools she used to market her services made her business successful. Part 1 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:20
Billboard 1:57

News and Comment segment 5:45
OnForce announced the appointment of Bill Lucchini as Chief Operating Officer of the company.

CompTIA will hold their annual CompTIA Breakaway 2010 August 9-12 2010 in San Antonio Texas.

Sponsor: Solve technical issues faster with GoToAssist Express. Try it FREE for 30 days..

The Summer of Podcasts II contest is underway. To enter go to www.podcastmadness.com, read the rules and regulations, listen to this episode of The Force Field for the code and enter the it in the form on the page for your chance to win.

Microsoft announced it has sold 150 million copies of Windows 7 since its launch in October 2009.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 3:10
Today we are going to talk with Lisa Hendrickson, owner of a computer support and repair company called Call That Girl!, hear how she got into the industry, learn how she created a unique brand for her business, and find out how she used social networking and something she calls “Lisa Marketing” to successfully build her brand and her business. Part 1 of a two part series.

Interview with Lisa Hendrickson 21:57

Part 2 Teaser :27

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net!

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

Episode 43 – Call That Girl!: A Marketing Success Story Part 1

Today we are going to talk with a computer support professional who created a unique brand for her business, learn how she did it and how the techniques and tools she used to market her services made her business successful. Part 1 of a two part series.

TechPodcasts Promo Tag :10
Intro 1:20
Billboard 1:57

News and Comment segment 5:45
OnForce announced the appointment of Bill Lucchini as Chief Operating Officer of the company.

CompTIA will hold their annual CompTIA Breakaway 2010 August 9-12 2010 in San Antonio Texas.

Sponsor: Solve technical issues faster with GoToAssist Express. Try it FREE for 30 days..

The Summer of Podcasts II contest is underway. To enter go to www.podcastmadness.com, read the rules and regulations, listen to this episode of The Force Field for the code and enter it in the form on the page for your chance to win.

Microsoft announced it has sold 150 million copies of Windows 7 since its launch in October 2009.

Commercial Break 1:00
Get Great Web Hosting at GoDaddy.com and save 10%! Listen for the discount code in the show. GoDaddy.com 1:00

Intro to Topic 3:10
Today we are going to talk with Lisa Hendrickson, owner of a computer support and repair company called Call That Girl!, hear how she got into the industry, learn how she created a unique brand for her business, and find out how she used social networking and something she calls “Lisa Marketing” to successfully build her brand and her business. Part 1 of a two part series.

Interview with Lisa Hendrickson 21:57

Part 2 Teaser :27

Wrap up and Close :46

Comments, questions or suggestions? Send them in to comments@theforcefield.net. Feedback on this topic will be read by the host and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at http://www.theforcefield.net!

©2010 Savoia Computer. All rights reserved.

 

http://media.techpodcasts.com/theforcefield/media.libsyn.com/media/theforcefield/The_Force_Field_43.mp3  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 24 2010 – The Association of Computer Repair Business Owners …

Authors: Blog entries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24 2010 – The Association of Computer Repair Business Owners Scholarship Awardees 2010

The scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to a deserving individual(s).Applicants must be high school seniors graduating in the spring/summer semester, whose plans include the technology industry through attending college, business school, technical training or actual hands-on in the industry.

This year’s selectees are Tiffany Read More…

Read more:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 24 2010 – The Association of Computer Repair Business Owners …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24 2010 – The Association of Computer Repair Business Owners Scholarship Awardees 2010

The scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to a deserving individual(s).Applicants must be high school seniors graduating in the spring/summer semester, whose plans include the technology industry through attending college, business school, technical training or actual hands-on in the industry.

This year’s selectees are Tiffany Read More…

Read more:

Time To Talk

I am very happy to announce that Bill Lucchini, a former Intuit executive, joins the OnForce team as the new COO. I would like to reserve this blog for Bill. Thanks, Pete. Now that I am officially part of the OnForce family, I would like to talk with you, our OnForce users. It’s a […]

Read more http://blog.onforce.com/2010/06/24/time-to-talk/

Time To Talk

Authors: Peter

I am very happy to announce that Bill Lucchini, a former Intuit executive, joins the OnForce team as the new COO. I would like to reserve this blog for Bill. Thanks, Pete. Now that I am officially part of the OnForce family, I would like to talk with you, our OnForce users. It’s a […]

Read more:

National service companies and their ethics: Where did we go wrong?

Normally I would post this in one of the private user group forums but I believe this is a topic that everyone should discuss as it is a general ethical question and one that anyone outside a particular platform could encounter either with a national or within their own operation and is something everyone who operates a business with a code of conduct needs to address.

For the protection of all parties and to avoid possible violations of confidentiality agreements the parties involved will remain anonymous.

Recently a national service company posted a job through a service platform for a tech to run a service event to one of their clients. This particular company normally provides the equipment used onsite at such events as part of their service to their customers and this case was no different, however something happened to the shipment and the equipment never made it to the site.

The national requested a tech to go to the site and bring specific equipment for the event to replace that which did not arrive. This was not equipment a service technician would typically have on hand, therefore the following request was made to secure it:

Should the tech not have the necessary equipment to provide onsite for the event, the tech was advised to go to Wal-Mart or Best Buy to purchase it (on the tech’s dime) and then return it to the store the next day.

Now, there are ethical questions about unfairly taking advantage of a big box store, but before making the call there are are three very important things to consider.

1. This equipment was intended to be used by the national as a one day rental to the customer
2. It was not one or two items, but a list consisting of over a dozen items, including several expensive hardware devices, accessories and recordable media.
3. The tech would not be reimbursed for any of it.

So the suggestion was to purchase the items, take them on site for the day and return them all to the place of purchase the next day for a refund.

This is just wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.

First, the national is renting out equipment it doesn’t even own and does not intend to purchase with no compensation to the tech who would own it after purchase. That in itself is just wrong.

Second, the national is suggesting the tech actually use the items for a for-profit event and then return it when finished to the place of purchase. The store will take a serious hit for the merchandise. That could constitute fraud.

Third, returning recordable media after it was used is, at the very least, dumb.

Fourth, should the store ask questions or investigate due to the large amount of merchandise being returned, it will be the tech on the hotseat and on the hook.

Fifth, should something happen to the equipment while on site, the tech assumes all liability. Would the tech’s insurance cover it? Possibly, unless it is used as rental equipment. The national would not assume liability, yet collect the rental fee from the customer. That is simply dishonest.

finally, if a national suggested a tech do something ethically questionable or wrong for their own gain and at the tech’s risk, it is not a company to work for.

The company did clarify the tech who performs the service event could keep the equipment purchased for the event “as long as its on their dime”.

So they will “let” the tech keep something the tech bought and paid for that they wanted the tech to buy for single use as “their” rental, for which the tech would receive no proceeds from, at the tech’s own liability and risk, that the tech wouldn’t have purchased for himself or herself otherwise.

How big of them!

Now, that’s just messed up.

Is this what our industry has come to? What was once considered a somewhat respectable business has become a quagmire of mistrust, disrespect and outright disdain for both the customers/end users and the dedicated, hard working, qualified professionals who service and support them.

Stories abound about nationals who demand immediate service from techs and are slow to pay or actually have clauses in their contracts placed there specifically to avoid payment (and in at least one case even bill the tech) for services rendered,  middlemen on national service platforms who require all manner of detail on service calls for lowball rates, platforms that claim to be neutral parties and assume no liability or risk themselves, yet control the customer/tech relationship and act as judge, jury and executioner of the tech should a dispute arise.

When did we, as IT service professionals, lose control of our own marketplace? At what point was it decided we are no longer contracted professionals, but day laborers with little power to negotiate with our clients and few, if any, rights?

Now we have nationals suggesting we cast away our code of professional ethics as well, telling us to put it all on the line for them at our cost and our risk, as if we are all that stupid and gullible to comply.

The scary part of all this is that, at least to some degree, they may be right.

The reason we got to where we are is because there are some “techs” out there who will comply, and for the lowest amount.

Then again, perhaps its me. Perhaps there are techs who think such a request is perfectly reasonable, who think spending an hour working on a server for $25 is good money and the moral or ethical issues of returning  $1000 worth of merchandise in a potentially fraudulent transaction is just business as usual.

What do you think?

Hardware Commoditization

Read more http://blog.onforce.com/2010/06/16/hardware-commoditization-and-services/

Read the rest of this entry »

Hardware Commoditization

Authors: Peter

Earlier this week, I read an industry article about an Access Markets International (AMI) report.  What I read was pretty interesting. The results of the study showed how small businesses are starting to make more hardware purchases online rather than visiting a retail store. Interesting concept. The report continues by stating that as these organizations […]

Read more:

Yext looking for techs

I recently received a call from Dan Martin, Sales Associate at YEXT Computer Repair. According to Dan, Yext was looking for a tech in my area to be the go-to guy for service calls for their customers. Since I no longer run service calls onsite I declined the offer. However, I did tell him about The Force Field and after some discussion I offered to pass along the opportunity to any other tech in the Charlotte, NC area who may be interested.

For those of you who have never heard of Yext, they seem to be like Service Magic. According to their web site,  Yext focuses on matching new customers with techs by offering a pay-for-performance type of lead generation. Techs sign up with Yext, receive a free listing for their business or services and customers search for them on the web site by zip code. Once the tech is contacted and runs the service call he or she pays Yext for the lead.

On the surface it looks like just another Service Magic. But it is more. Much more. Yext isn’t really a service platform. It is more like an advertising service, in fact it describes itself as a company that provides “superior local advertising services, local monetization services, and soon, phone service.”, according to its web site.

There is Yext ads, which offers a local advertising service, Yext Rep, a reputation management service that according to their web site, operatesin real time and the Yext Network, which serves up targeted ads to your local directory.

Dan wanted to know if I would pass the information along and I told him I would. Below is the e-mail he sent with the details.

Rick,

I am in charge of computer repair technicians along the eastern sea-board.  Here’s some useful information that will help your technicians get a strong overview of our network.

Here’s a link to our site: http://www.yext.com/computerrepair/

Here’s also a link to our debut at TechCrunch50: http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/14/tc50-yext-offers-local-businesses-a-smart-inbox-for-phone-calls/

I can be reached at 212.651.8978.

—————–

Dan Martin

Sales Associate, YEXT

Now, I am not personally endorsing them since I haven’t used the service myself, but  If anyone in my area, or any area is interested, feel free to check it out for yourself and let me know.

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