View Full Version : New customer

03-30-2008, 05:21 PM
I went to a new customer yesterday, he was referred by my other customer. It wasn't a big deal - fixing email not being able to send/receive (account issues), various other small things (more like tuning up the PC). However, I probably should h ave done the whole thing in about an hour and a bit. At least for what he asked me to do anyway. But I was there for 2 hours, installed some new utility for cleaning up temp files, cookies, etc. Also, I tweaked XP to shut down some services.

He seemed to be okay as I told him I would spend some more time to make the PC runs faster. But I'm not sure for a 1st time customer, should I just do what I was told? I don't want to make an impression that I'm spending more time than I should.

One little thing though, he called me this morning and told me his email stopped working! It was a little thing but I stopped by his house and fixed it in few seconds. I took out Office Outlook as he used to Outlook Express, after the un-install, Outlook Express wasn't set as default so he couldn't double-click on Email to open.

03-31-2008, 04:06 AM
I find that being up front with the customer can get you out of a pickle. I charge X amount per hour or part there of and generally tell them that if they would like their system scanned and sped up, it will cost them 2 hours work. I don't offer that as a free service unless when I arrive it is only a 2 minute job to fix their pc, to get their moneys worth and for you to leave without them feeling ripped off, I'll run a couple of scans so it looks good.

Bryce W
03-31-2008, 04:21 AM
I tend to do what I am there to do first. If the time comes in at under an hour I do tune up, patches and updates. I charge for the first hour whether I am there for 5 minutes or for the full hour. I make my customers aware if they ask me if I have found or fixed the problem.

"Yeah, the problem is fixed now, it was _________. Right now I am just patching your computer to make sure it remains internet safe. This prevents problems before they happen. Since I have to charge for the full first hour even if the repair takes a few minutes, might as well make full use of me."

If I am over that hour, it depends on the situation. If the system has many potential issues like being totally unpatched, unfirewalled and no antivirus. I tell the client:
"I just noticed that your system is very vulnerable to viruses and other internet nasties in its current state. Would you like me to make it internet safe? It will take around 20 minutes more."

At this point its up to them. If they are short of money I get paid and go on my way. If they have the money they almost always tell me to go ahead with the patching/updating.