View Full Version : Free help via Phone

Bryce W
02-16-2006, 05:09 AM
Does anyone else here offer free help over the phone? I always try to keep it to a minimum and turn it into a paid job.
Ive heard of some people charging for the time per hour but I have also seen people more than happy to do it as it strengthens client relations.

What do you do?

02-19-2006, 08:43 AM

Well for me its all got to be Customer Services as if you give help via phone and also e-mail, I find that customer come back and buy more expensive products. As for what ever I do I give full technical support but also sell a plan where people can have unlimited technical call out for a small fee.

I think customer like it when you can talk to a support tech and not be pressured into paying for a technical to come out.


02-22-2006, 06:00 PM
yeah..it might be costly to support a customer services but that's where alll the customer is coming back..the after sale servivces is very important and if they are happy,they will tell their friends about it..;)

Bryce W
02-23-2006, 02:17 PM
I think customer like it when you can talk to a support tech and not be pressured into paying for a technical to come out.
However, how can you run a business when you are on the phone giving free technical support all day? With the paid-per-incident phone support model, I dont think many people would like to pay for phone support. If they have the money to pay for phone support they would usually rather a techy to come out and do it for them instead.

Something Ive learnt in both the computer repair business and the web development business. People dont like to do things themselfs, and they dont like to learn, they just want to pay to get things done.

06-23-2006, 09:32 AM
I do what I can over the phone give them some idea can I do it give a quick answer if thats all it is no sense me driving out to a place for 5 minutes to charge them money for 5 minutes of work there and a 20 minute drive but I prefer to keep my calls local so they can turn into potential clients who pay for actual work

that said if people who join are local to me I might suggest when this place grows ad a section/listing of people who are here and thier local area for if people needed an onsite help or some kind since this would netowrk all the people together no one really fighting with another for the jobs and what not and most I know who do this do it on the side and have a more stable job for a more stable income

09-07-2006, 10:17 PM
One tactic I've found good is to talk about 'this type of client' in a jocular and exasperated way to other clients (usually after they know me a while), making it clear at what point it becomes annoying to you or just how many free calls are too much between paying jobs, "just when you're sitting down to some good TV on Friday, Sat, Sun night!", and, "they think once they've paid for a couple of hours they have unlimted 24/7 tech support". You have to be careful how you phrase it though, so as not to sound like you're grumbling about what would be considered reasonable contact, and not to appear unprofessional. You're merely making it known to the person you're telling this to that you are a professional and bill for your time. You'll be reasonably accessable (say for emergencies or advice), but there is a limit to how much work you will do for free on the phone and when you are available for non-essential problems (e.g. 'How do I download music" at 9pm Sat is not on).

Bryce W
09-07-2006, 11:20 PM
Right now I dont do too much towards prevention of the calls like wtfTamar just mentioned. I am currently just dealing with them when I get them.

These days I usually hear out their problem (provided it is within reasonable hours) and determine how hard it is going to fix. If it takes 5mins for them to fix (press this button, then that, then reboot and it should be fixed...) then I will talk them though it. However if its any more I nearly always turn it into a paying callout.

If they call me at 9pm on a Saturday night; I determine if it is an emergency and if not (and it rarely is..) I tell them to give me a call on Monday morning.

I will have to try out some of wfdTamar's tactics.

09-08-2006, 06:39 PM
I keep it to a minimum and see listen to them to see if it is something I should drive out there for. I is a nice way to keep customers and to reel in those ones who aren't too sure. I tend to first get a call for a big job and then get little calls after for the 5 minute jobs I can explain to them in 2 minutes over the phone. I get repeat business from many the people I have worked for so I must do something right if they want me to work for them agian. Obviously I do not mean repeats business for same problem for the same client.