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ProTech Support
06-09-2009, 04:09 PM
I know ACG touched on this lightly in a previous post, but I am really intrested in everyones full process for remote support. I am talking about from the initial call all the way to final payment. Although I already provide random remote support for some clients, I currently do not advertise it or use it as a service. I have been considering it, but feeling a little shakey on the whole process.

So how do you handle it?

Do you take the call, send a work order, get a payment, then connect?

Or do you connect and bill later?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

ProTech Support
06-09-2009, 07:27 PM
The customer calls or emails me, (if they email, I call them back), and after we determine to do remote support, I have them go to my website and onto the "Purchase" page where they can use PayPal to send me a payment for an hour's time. If I can't fix it remotely within that allotted time, then we either add more time as needed, or if the issue has been determined that it can't be fixed remotely, then I go onsite. After I've been paid for the remote support, they download a UltraVNC SC that I've compiled and run i while on my end my VNC will be "listening" for the reverse VNC server connection coming in from their PC.

As for the technical side of it all.......


I personally use UltraVNC SC (Single Click) for the customer to use, which sets up a temporary VNC Server on their PC and uses a reverse VNC connection to my Windows PC, which is listening with UltraVNC 1.0.5.6. Creating this is very easy to do. If you don't have a static IP address, (I have one), then you should also setup dynamic DNS from DynDNS.org so that you get a hostname from them to use, and which you can com;ile into the UltraVNC SC.

Lastly, you'll need to setup some port forwarding to your machine in your router and also make sure that your router always assigns the same NAT address (i.e. 192.168.1.10) to your machine that is running the UltraVNC Server in listening mode.

As a side note, if you want extra security, you can compile encryption into the UltraVNC SC and also run it on your end as well. If you want even more security, run a Linux box on your end so that way if the Windows machine is somehow infected, it won't pass over onto your machine since you aren't running Windows.

Yes, I currently use UltraVNC SC too with the encryption plugin. I like it a lot, one because there is no messing with firewalls which is a pain to explain to a customer, second its a quick download for the customer, and third you can edit the GUI to make it look more professional. Only problem I have with it is I always find it to be a bit laggy when dealing with Vista box's.

What do you do in the case that you cannot fix it remotely and they do not want you to go on-site? Do you just send them back the money via PayPal? Also do you send them any sort of invoice or work order besides the one PayPal generates for them? Basically trying to see how everyone is keeping records of the work along with making sure the customer is signing off on something to acknowledge work that was or was not done.

Thanks for your response, I really appreciate it.

ProTech Support
06-10-2009, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the reply, you have definitley helped give me some insight on this issue. Once I get my issue with Vista & SC straight I am going to start putting this project together.

Anybody else have input on how they handle this?

cmonova
06-10-2009, 04:40 PM
We have a business model thru onlinecomputerconnection.com that we do remotes and we also do it from our normal cmonova site. The way we do it is a customer calls for the nationwide one and we get their name and number, find out the problem then tell them our procedure for fixing it. We ask all that upfront to make sure it's something we can do and for me it's also a way to feel out an individual.

Now this is the crazy part. I do not take credit card info etc up front. I tell them the rates and that they will pay afterwards and how they can pay (credit card/paypal). After that we start the repair. Only once did I have a problem with a customer paying. I contribute that to my office staff not weeding out the person. Typically you get a good feel for the person when talking. I do not like taking credit card info up front for a few reasons. First, the person might think all you care about is getting their money, second if you don't fix it the person might think you will run their card anyway.

Some might say it's a "chance" the way I do it, but I don't see it that way. Once the fix is completed I get the info and then I e-mail them an invoice showing them what they paid. Or i'll stay connected and transfer the excel (converted to pdf) invoice and put it on their desktop and open it for them to show them what we did.

I can run cards online without signatures so that is not a problem and paypal is direct so i see the payment.

Plus, I use the Bomgar so the entire connection process is recorded if I ever needed to push the issue of if a fix was done or not.

Like I said may seem crazy but never a problem.

ProTech Support
06-10-2009, 08:44 PM
See that is the problem I am running in to.

I do not want to charge first, because I want to make sure we can do the fix and not fuss with refunds. Secondly I do not want them to think we are trying to rip them off or only concerned about the money.

On the other hand if we do not charge first we run the "risk" of fixing something and not getting paid for it.

Not sure if it is me just thinking about it way too much, or if it is something I should really worry about. I just like to have everything streamlined and efficient as possible. Thanks for the reply cmnova.

JRDtechnet
06-10-2009, 10:46 PM
I do not like taking credit card info up front for a few reasons. First, the person might think all you care about is getting their money, second if you don't fix it the person might think you will run their card anyway.


I don't think people would think like that, it's be established that you pay for something before you can use it. I usually get their credit card information up from and simply run an authorization to make sure their card is valid. I explain to them that their card won't be charged until the job is completed.

ProTech Support
06-10-2009, 11:23 PM
I don't think people would think like that, it's be established that you pay for something before you can use it. I usually get their credit card information up from and simply run an authorization to make sure their card is valid. I explain to them that their card won't be charged until the job is completed.

That sounds like my solution, did not even think about that. Good man :cool:

@ncient geek
06-13-2009, 09:59 AM
I know ACG touched on this lightly in a previous post, but I am really intrested in everyones full process for remote support. I am talking about from the initial call all the way to final payment. Although I already provide random remote support for some clients, I currently do not advertise it or use it as a service. I have been considering it, but feeling a little shakey on the whole process.

I am very interested by this thread, as I am extremely sceptical about your customer compliance.

How do you find customers for remote repair? Are these just people connecting to your website and then following your contact procedure? Or are these existing customers you regularly service in this fashion?

We have been supplying remote servicing to our customers since the late 80's through modem/telnet first, Internet later. We have always worked with existing customers (people we had personnally met first, checked and mapped they're networks, acquired the necessary IPs and passwords, and usually had business procedings first). It is true that most of our older experience pertains to corporate server networks and only rather recently to smaller businesses and individuals.

The business idea is very interesting. I'd be very happy if some of you guys with experience in this could give some statistics about your customers : how many first time customers do you get per annum, via which type of advertising, how many return customers, what is you tier on customer satisfaction, how many remote customers do you actually have to visit in person to do repairs after remote hasn't worked satisfactorily, how many of your remote customers you do not acquire credit card information from do never pay you or do just hang up at the end of the repairs. How many contacts do you get from free mail adresses (AOL,Yahoo, Gmail) and how do you react to and handle this type of inquiry. What about the absence of a signed work order, how do you go about legal processing of your "reticent" customers?

We have always had GREAT difficulties to get customers to trust remote connections and data confidentiality, especially thriving businesses.

Very, very interesting all this !!

mmanna
06-14-2009, 02:23 PM
I don't think people would think like that, it's be established that you pay for something before you can use it. I usually get their credit card information up from and simply run an authorization to make sure their card is valid. I explain to them that their card won't be charged until the job is completed.

I do the same thing. Authorize the card up front, then charge it when finished. I email the customer a detailed sales receipt from QB. For my commercial accounts and some of my residential regulars, I don't require payment right away and just send an invoice (or add the charge to their next invoice). I typically don't do remote support for a new customer, only an established one.

ProTech Support
06-15-2009, 06:24 PM
I am very interested by this thread, as I am extremely sceptical about your customer compliance.

How do you find customers for remote repair? Are these just people connecting to your website and then following your contact procedure? Or are these existing customers you regularly service in this fashion?

We have been supplying remote servicing to our customers since the late 80's through modem/telnet first, Internet later. We have always worked with existing customers (people we had personnally met first, checked and mapped they're networks, acquired the necessary IPs and passwords, and usually had business procedings first). It is true that most of our older experience pertains to corporate server networks and only rather recently to smaller businesses and individuals.

The business idea is very interesting. I'd be very happy if some of you guys with experience in this could give some statistics about your customers : how many first time customers do you get per annum, via which type of advertising, how many return customers, what is you tier on customer satisfaction, how many remote customers do you actually have to visit in person to do repairs after remote hasn't worked satisfactorily, how many of your remote customers you do not acquire credit card information from do never pay you or do just hang up at the end of the repairs. How many contacts do you get from free mail adresses (AOL,Yahoo, Gmail) and how do you react to and handle this type of inquiry. What about the absence of a signed work order, how do you go about legal processing of your "reticent" customers?

We have always had GREAT difficulties to get customers to trust remote connections and data confidentiality, especially thriving businesses.

Very, very interesting all this !!

At this very moment I only provide remote support to our existing business customers. I do not advertise the service, I just suggest it when I feel we can both benefit from it. What I am trying to do is start advertising it as a service, for both business and residential customers, but I do not want to get burned - monetarily and legally (ie. customer claims I charged for work I didn't do).

PCERTtimh
06-15-2009, 07:09 PM
ProTech Support

My company also is selling the remote support to only existing customers, as four any first time clients we rather meet face to face.