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MobileTechie
02-04-2010, 10:26 AM
I'm not currently into remote support much at the moment, but it appears some of you are making good business from it.

I'd be interested to hear how you guys work it.

What things do you fix remotely?
Do you end-up having to do a visit for things you started off remotely?
Do you routinely do pre-visit checks remotely?
How does your charging look compared to workshop or onsite fees?

Cheers

MT

callthatgirl
02-10-2010, 12:56 PM
My remote support is the same as my in shop prices.

I do almost everything with software remotely, including reinstalls and repairs with the OS! I talk them through the procedure.

I will ask novice users to bring in their machine for bad viruses and blue/black screens though.

My rates are very low compared to my competitors and none that I know of, other than GS does as fast support/appts.

If I can't connect in remotely, I ask they bring it in. Almost all do. :D

NickCat11
02-10-2010, 01:40 PM
I use it for little things like tune-ups, printer installs, configuring router settings, program installs, simple virus removal, etc.



including reinstalls and repairs with the OS! I talk them through the procedure.


That's pretty good. I don't think I have the patience to do this especially since most of my client base is older and "non-techy". Plus the fact if something went wrong and they didn't live close by :eek:

One time I uninstalled Norton remotely and it left the machine paralyzed (Thanks Norton). Long story short they were over 2 hours away in North Jersey so it took a great deal of time over the phone to get them right. They were happy in the end but that's something I'll never attempt again.

chrisaroz
02-10-2010, 02:43 PM
Tune-Up
Virus Removal
Wireless Network Install
Follow-Up

inspektabrain
02-11-2010, 04:18 AM
I'd like to hear a little more about this too. Wouldn't some virus infections make it hard as heck* to get a good remote connection? I've had a hard enough time with a few machines right in front of me much less with the lag of a VPN going on too. Looks like I'm going to have to get a good wireless head set for home though, so I can talk people through stuff while doing other things. :)

*for lack of a better word ;)

PS. Golden Years Computer Repair!!!! That name is GENIUS!!! Seriously thinking of twisting it for a name of my own!

Datech
02-11-2010, 04:38 AM
Even though I'm sure this has been asked before in many different ways, shapes, and forms, I'd like to hear the different ways the posters remote to these machines. I'm just getting started, so I really only have knowledge of a few things.

chrisaroz
02-11-2010, 01:56 PM
I use GoToAssist Express. I have had trouble getting connected (just once so far), and I guided the client through the installation of MalwareBytes which cleared it up enough for me to connect and finish everything up.

I'm in Oklahoma, and have been able to garner new clients in California, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and others. I've even started receiving remote referrals. It's a great service to provide if you can. My wife is very active on several parenting message boards, and that's where most of these clients come from, which means I have no advice on advertising or getting started from a marketing perspective.

Datech
02-11-2010, 07:32 PM
I had a security expert use GoToAssist Express to walk me through a new AV program once, and I liked how easy it was for both of us. I've used the free version of LogMeIn for family computers, but I understand it has some limitations. What piqued my interest was the mention of more robust programs like Kaseya which automate remote IT tasks for you. I'm not in a position to expand to something like that by any means, I'm just seeing whats out there.

jay c
02-12-2010, 06:44 PM
I like GoToAssist also, but LogMeIn is cheaper.

Anyway, I'm curious about virus removals via remote. I don't think I've had an infected computer I'd be comfortable doing that with. GoToAssist lets you boot into Safe Mode (or so I've heard; I haven't tried it), but with most viruses, I prefer to boot from a cd so the OS isn't running and so I can look at and replace system and driver files if need be. Sometimes removing a virus kills network connectivity.

DavidF
02-12-2010, 11:11 PM
I've just started using Ultra VNC Single Click (thanks to another post here) after using Team Viewer, Mikogo, Logmein and a bunch of others.
What a revelation - it's everything I had been looking for, particularly the simplicity for the client.
As for what can be done remotely, yesterday I had a client with a business on an island in the bay here which makes it a little awkward to get to. He physically installed a NAS box I supplied and a proprietary surveillance/recording system. I remoted in and configured the NAS box and surveillance system, set up a dyndns account and configured the router and web interface for the cams, set up a block list on the router, mapped the NAS box on all his computers, resized the XP partition in Parallels on his Mac and a bunch of trivial maintenance stuff.
All over a wireless broadband connection with very average signal while they were ftp'ing several gb of photos to their offsite storage.
I just wish I could remember who's post it was that put me onto Single Click so I could buy them a beer.

callthatgirl
02-13-2010, 04:40 PM
Here is how to do my jobs.

Call comes in, I figure out what level of support they need. I also ask right away if their internet still works, if yes...I almost always book a phone appointment. Even if it's a home networking/printer setup. I can remote into up to 10 computers, so it's a breeze to do home networking.

If their internet is not working (due to viruses)...I have them log into safe mode with networking, then I can usually get remoted in.

If their internet is not working becasue of modem/router, I talk them through fixing it over the phone. I also talk them setting up wireless routers.

I only need to go to homes for very few things. Usually new computer set ups and data transfers. But to save time, I will log in before hand to get the data move going. Since that can take hours for some folks.

What comes in my shop:

Dead/blue/black screen computers
heavy viruses ridden machines
Data recovery (I can do this remotely too actually)
OS problems/repairs (I have talked folks through doing this too over the phone)

PBComputer
02-15-2010, 09:23 PM
We normally only do remote support for current clients, or very small jobs which takes a few minutes (which dont get invoiced) also it depends on my clients knowledge if i even suggest remote support, for some of them it would blow there mind how it works.

We normally fix simple problems, install programs, set AV scans to run, or even check a PC before decided if they should bring it in or we will go out to them

Paul

AllenHBlackburn
02-16-2010, 01:36 AM
I have had great luck using CrossLoop Pro. After I visit a new customer, I install crossloop on their system and hide the icon in their documents folder. I have had many a customer call at all hours because a webcam didn't work or the laptop won't connect to the wireless. Remote support accounts for about 15% on my business. I have cleaned systems, installed printers, explained and shown how to burn DVD's, etc. There are times however that a service call is warranted. At that time, I don't charge my repeat customer. All new customers wanting remote support pay up front first. You can see my payment page and Crosslopp page at the following link if you wish.

http://www.crossloop.com/AllenBlackburn

http://www.oakhurstcomputerservices.com/payments.html

RhodyTech
02-16-2010, 10:38 PM
Darn, how do you do it? I don't even have the patience to walk people through changing screen resolution! Seriously, in my experience, it's faster to go out and do jobs onsite that require anything beyond a few clicks.

The only remote support I do is when I have DON'T need to have someone on the phone. :)

My remote support is the same as my in shop prices.

I do almost everything with software remotely, including reinstalls and repairs with the OS! I talk them through the procedure.

I will ask novice users to bring in their machine for bad viruses and blue/black screens though.

My rates are very low compared to my competitors and none that I know of, other than GS does as fast support/appts.

If I can't connect in remotely, I ask they bring it in. Almost all do. :D

callthatgirl
02-18-2010, 04:06 AM
How do I do it? I have been in support for 15 years, repair is easy..helping people is not so easy and having patience is all on you my friend.

For me to drive anywhere in my metro area, is time consuming. I prefer to remote in, but if need be...like no internet, I will do the "ok, click on the start button. Oh, you don't know what that is? it's the little colored square on the very far bottom of the left side of your computer screen".

LOL

I just love what I do, I don't love hardware!

JimO'C
02-18-2010, 06:07 AM
I don't love hardware!

Well if your "company" dose Support with Windows only, then thats ok.

But to be an IT, Computer Tech, hardware is 90% of the job, and you don't have to love it, but 9 time outta 10 you have to work with it, not all problems in this world can be solved remotly, and its also a bit more professional if you show up instead of lets say walking a client through a major change. Its even more important to be on location when there a new client.

I do alot of things remotly, I remotly manage clients servers, whole networks, hundreds apon hundreds of computers, and I still prefer to sit at the desk with the computer thats having the issue

chrisaroz
02-18-2010, 01:33 PM
But to be an IT, Computer Tech, hardware is 90% of the job, and you don't have to love it, but 9 time outta 10 you have to work with it, not all problems in this world can be solved remotly, and its also a bit more professional if you show up instead of lets say walking a client through a major change. Its even more important to be on location when there a new client.

Actually you don't. A lot of people make a very nice living solely off of remote support (and sometimes they don't even live in the same state).

JimO'C
02-19-2010, 02:15 AM
Actually you don't. A lot of people make a very nice living solely off of remote support (and sometimes they don't even live in the same state).

Yea but it is not as personal as going to a clients meeting them, befriending them, stealing there children, I meen fixing there computers.

Its ok, but when clients think of remote support they think of india

they want personal interaction

atleast here in NYC and LI thats the way it is

Datech
02-19-2010, 03:53 AM
Yea but it is not as personal as going to a clients meeting them, befriending them, stealing there children, I meen fixing there computers.

Its ok, but when clients think of remote support they think of india

they want personal interaction

atleast here in NYC and LI thats the way it is

From my perspective you need to start off personal, and then as the relationship develops you can move some clients to remote. If I wasn't already relatively comfortable with computers, I would have a hard time shelling out $50 or more for someone to send me a uVNC SC invitation, fly through a bunch of screens, and then tell me its fixed and send me an invoice.

For anyone just starting out and not shooting for a national call center, like me, I would imagine going out at least twice or more before mentioning remote. After that period of time many will probably be open to the idea, especially if you charge a little less than the callouts.

DavidF
02-20-2010, 12:47 PM
I'm gearing towards doing much more work remotely.
I already have numerous clients who are used to the idea of remote support and I have them on autodial through logmein for my convenience.
EG: A client rang today about an email problem while I was on the way to the shop, he was at his son's cricket match and I was buying a coffee. He described the problem and I remoted in a few minutes later and sorted it out.
Nett result: His problem is resolved while he is doing the stuff important to him without having to do anything except make a phone call.
I send an email to him which he gets via his phone to tell him what the problem was and the resolution. The invoice is attached as a pdf.
He pays when he gets home and is more than happy because all he has to do is make a phone call.
I can't conceive a more win/win arrangement.
Thats an example with a long term client, I also had two calls this week after we had 7000 fliers distributed, both were older people wanting tuition. They baulked at the onsite cost but immediately bought in for remote support when I offered a minimum of 1 hour at our normal rate minus the callout fee.
I use VoIP for outgoing calls so again, win/win.
Remote support should be used as a billable service, not a convenient occasional tool, at least thats what I now know I've been doing wrong.
Talk about a belated realisation.

Xander
02-20-2010, 05:10 PM
I really don't like the idea of a tech leaving remote access software running on a client's system. In a corporate environment sure, but private? No way.

It leaves a door open where a tech could log in and view private information at their discretion. Not saying they would but they could. I sure as hell wouldn't want someone leaving that running on my system and I wouldn't do it to a customer.

Second, to leave it running like that suggests to me that the tech *expects* to be logging in to correct problems and undermines their confidence in their job.

DavidF
02-21-2010, 11:50 AM
I should probably clarify my last post.
Remote access config'ed/running as a service on the client's machine = priority support, ergo premium charges.
I expect to log in repeatedly to these users, in fact several times monthly is not unusual as they have considerable financial interests which depend on the reliability of their computers and software, particularly email which is why I have them on an easily accessible connection that doesn't require OK'ing a connection window at their end.
Sometimes a call is nothing more than a missing desktop shortcut, other times it is something far more demanding. They don't care what the problem is, they just want it sorted and are happy to pay for what I know, not what I do
These are the clients I try to get and keep.
For casual remote access I'm a convert to UVNC Single Click, this is where the day to day money is at, it runs for the duration of the session then disappears, no installation or config, nothing left on the user's system.
I don't see any moral dilemmas here

Digital Regenesis
02-22-2010, 03:58 AM
Second, to leave it running like that suggests to me that the tech *expects* to be logging in to correct problems and undermines their confidence in their job.

If you are that concerned, use a remote solution that they need to run or agree to each time you need to connect. Logmein Pro can be config'd as such, and connecting via UVNC-SC, LMI Rescue, etc requires the user to initiate a connection.

As for your second point, we all have repeat clients, so it's not as much a case of logging in to correct what should have been fixed the first time as being able to log in quickly to resolve future issues. Issues come up (else we wouldn't be here or have jobs, lol) and it's great to be able to resolve them without them staying at home or by the computer for a block of time.

kagman
02-23-2010, 12:38 PM
I use gotoassist first to make the first connection then I might install logmein free as a back connection. Now at times people might get scared that you will access to there data which is understandable. At that point when I use gotoassist I tell the client that they can see what in doing and they can cut the connection at any time by hitting the red buttion in the screen . Lol

Back in the day I used vncsc but the program would continue to call me after I would close the session. . That was not good.


--Jose--