View Full Version : Customer Service - your suggestions please

12-17-2008, 08:31 PM
As a new computer tech, I find the vast majority of my customers are reasonable people, and very nice. I have a situation here that I am wondering how to handle, and have contacted a colleague for his opinion.

There's a lot of wisdom here too, so I would like to hear from you! :)

I discussed this another colleague today, and he somewhat agreed that this client has a bit of a cultural bias - as in if a woman tells her something, she might disagree, but if a man says the exact same thing then it is the absolute truth, Know what I mean? It happens.

This is a client who runs a daycare, and has done so successfully for many years. I had already made one service call; She has no knowledge of Office programs, and wanted me to 'teach' her how to do spreadsheets, tables etc. She worked as a bank manager and had underlings doing all the computer stuff, according to her.

Well, her computer came with factory installed Vista and 512mb of RAM. So it is SLOOOW. Also, the trial version of Office 2007 has expired. I said I would look into Office options and call back.

She was surprised to hear that I could not put a PowerPoint presentation together for her! Hey, Ma'am - I just install them, I don't play with them! ;)

She didn't want to pay me for "browsing" - reconnecting her computer to the internet via a common browser fix, opening her browser window and then typing in another URL to make sure the connection was working.

FF to yesterday. I phoned her about quarter to 5 yesterday, and told her that I had some recommendations - I knew she was busy, and I would email them to her.

She told me that she checks her email every 2 weeks; that cell messages disappear from her phone because she checks them so infrequently. She is very busy...last night she had some clients there til 7 pm. She had to take a little boy to the bathroom, and asked me to call her back. I called back about 15 minutes later, got her landline voice mail, and left a detailed voice message. I'm assuming she checks those messages anyway!

I have not heard back 24 hrs later.

Bear with me here...I recommended the following (this doesn't have to make sense, just to show that I clearly outlined my recommendations).

1. Install Office 2007 or 2003 (found a legal copy) for $150 each. OR, install Open Office which is legal and free.

2. Upgrade her RAM, which means a quick visit to her computer (utilities showed nothing), and then to Memory Express.

3. Uninstall expired trial of Ofc 2007 and MS Works.

4. Having he contact an office assistant type of person to do her Excel and Word docs, as well as putting together her PowerPoint presentation.

5. (I didn't tell her, but it occurred to me today - sign up for a basic community course on MS Office/Computers. She will learn from someone who can TEACH, and will have other class members to confer with).

I don't feel I can really teach her Excel and the other programs if she has never even looked at MS Office.

She still owes me for 1 hour. There was some "fluff" time and that is fine.

At this point I feel like printing out her invoice, snail mailing it with the newsletter $10 off coupon) AND a letter outlining my recommendations. I could do a lot of this in person when the kids are there, as they do not go upstairs and are not allowed into the computer room. But - she would rather be there for every single thing I do.

She is available Saturdays, possibly evenings. One of my colleagues is tied up with family Christmas things all evenings this week, so can't accompany me.

So - snail mail thing?

Should I have a male tech phone her and set up the appt (and tell her exactly what I told her, in case it means nothing coming from me?).

Would appreciate your suggestions! I AM holding a bit of resentment over the 'browsing' thing and am feeling we are not connecting well...but I don't want to wreck the gig for the company over this.

I mean - if this was important to her, don't you think she would check her email at least ONCE?

Thanks....vent over....

12-17-2008, 08:40 PM
I think she may owe you for for the hour, plus the time you took to write out your post, your billing and wondering about the suggestions.

Put it in the fricking mail and tell her that you are a tech and have problems with MSO.

When I ran into problems like bosses that didn't know enough to get things rolling, I told them I was a moron.

I learned Word and Excel on my own, then when I HAD TO TAKE a class I knew a little more that I needed.

Give her a list of the Dummy books too.


Will your business suffer if you 'skip' over this client?:confused:

12-17-2008, 09:10 PM
Actually, RICHARD, one of my colleagues - we are all members of the company but are independent consultants, though we share clients with each other when needed - agreed with the snail mail thing.

The next time she needs a tech - someone else can go! ;)

12-17-2008, 09:33 PM
I would say you are wasting your time. This chick has passive aggressive issues and you could be Bill (or Willamina!) Gates and it wouldn't help! :p I take big issue with people claiming to want "help" yet unwilling to help them selves! I consider myself a superior customer service person but if someone wants help and doesn't even have an answering machine to leave the info, I'm done. Same goes for email, voicemail etc. If you expect people to communicate with you, then you need to check them. And often. :mad:
You're done. Move on! ;)

PS We are all freakin busy. Your time is just as valuable as hers.

12-17-2008, 09:51 PM
Actually, RICHARD, one of my colleagues - we are all members of the company but are independent consultants, though we share clients with each other when needed -

LOL, you can get a 'virus' sharing clients like that!;)

Snail mail! Then let her figure things out on HER CLOCK!:D

12-17-2008, 10:34 PM
Snail mail! Then let her figure things out on HER CLOCK!

Yep - and who cares if she gets TICKED!!!! :D:D:D:D (I crack myself up sometimes...lol).

Thanks folks!

12-17-2008, 11:33 PM
Sounds like you've figured out which way to go with this. I agree, sending her an
invoice for the time already spent makes sense. You did make some changes on her computer and have offered to make future changes if she is interested. She seems to want to get two services out of one person, installation and teaching.
I doubt she is going to find a teacher willing to install or a tech person who installs, willing to take the time to teach. She's just going to have to bite the bullet and pay multiple people for all of the things that she clearly needs.
Your time is important and she owes you for that hour. :)

12-17-2008, 11:49 PM
Yep - and who cares if she gets TICKED!!!! :D:D:D:D (I crack myself up sometimes...lol).

Thanks folks!

And remember, She'll be here all week!

12-18-2008, 08:40 PM
1.) ABSOLUTLEY invoice her for the time you already spent. The coupon is a good idea. Also, Snail Mail is a good idea for ALL invoices. Paper trails are a good idea if you ever have a customer who does not pay.

2.) Send your recommendations along with the invoice. You are the lifeguard and she is the drowning victim. If she does not want to heed your advice/help... Its her loss. Don't take it personally. From what I see, if she says anything bad about you to others, she will be a liar.

3.) Don't sweat the stuff you cannot control. I.e. A client with a crappy attitude. There are always going to be those who don't like you for whatever made up reason. You cannot control that.... Bill her for your time and move on.

Good Luck!

12-18-2008, 09:50 PM
Mailing her an invoice is the way to go, make sure you have a copy too of course. There is no reason for her to not pay you for the work you've done and if she doesn't like it she can call another tech and see if she gets any better of a reception lol.

I've run into clients who can't seem to get ANY tech to even look at their computer because of them having a history of not paying techs and generally making their lives miserable.