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 Post subject: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 1st, 2014, 13:31 
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Joined: February 28th, 2011, 21:04
Posts: 178
Location: United Kingdom
Im getting increasingly frustrated at customers not understanding data recovery does not cost £10. Im in the somewhat usual position i suppose of having a computer repair shop but with the added benifits of having a few pc3ks, ddi, atola equipment and a clean cabinet(started 10 years ago but have been moving into the recovery side of stuff over the last 5 years). We have tried various methods of sounding out customers and we now have a form that they fill in for recoveries which ask them if the recovery looks like its going to go above a certain about do they wish us to continue with the diagnosis.

We just like most places offer a free diagnosis. Form works fine for figuring out who is likely to go ahead with expensive recoveries but its pretty tricky to work out if im wasting my time for the sub £200 logical and minor physical issues.

Much as i like spending an hour or two figuring out whats wrong and what its likely to cost and quite often recovering all their data before being able to give them a cost, it does quite often feel like im wasting my life with a good few a week.

Has anyone come up with a good solution or do i just have to accept its part of the business?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 1st, 2014, 15:12 
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Joined: February 9th, 2009, 16:13
Posts: 2090
Location: Ontario, Canada
We just tell our clients our minimum price and suggest that they don’t bother bringing it in if it isn't worth our minimum price. It helps to have a price schedule on our website for them to see.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 1st, 2014, 20:54 
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Joined: December 8th, 2010, 11:37
Posts: 579
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I'm also in the PC repair business, but a newbie at DR, and I'm still trying to develop a sense of how much to ask for recoveries. To get a feeling for what the market will bear, I ask if they have taken it to another DR firm for an estimate/diagnosis. Sometimes they volunteer what they were quoted, so that tells me they have been alerted to the high cost of DR but are still looking; it also provides an upper-bound on what I could charge. I ask if they have a budget in mind, so I won't waste too much time on diagnosis if their budget is going to be inadequate, given their description of the problem/symptoms. I also ask what data is critically important and why. Also, what's the most recent backup they have? How urgent is it that they recover their data? If they tell me the wife is p1ssed that they don't have a recent backup and have lost all their pictures, that's helpful information. :)

Rather than just a few fixed prices, my prices are geared to the type of damage/cause of the problem (logical, media, firmware, PCB or physical) and range from very reasonable for most consumers to much higher for business customers (but still a bargain compared to professional DR firms). This gives me the flexibility to adjust my quote to match the customer's willingness/ability to pay. These failure categories are described on my web site and include price ranges.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 3:14 
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Joined: May 13th, 2010, 11:17
Posts: 2361
Location: Kuwait
lcoughey wrote:
We just tell our clients our minimum price and suggest that they don’t bother bringing it in if it isn't worth our minimum price. It helps to have a price schedule on our website for them to see.


Agree with you here lcoughey
thats what we do

In Addition, you should choose WHO (the most) you are targeting in ur Biz

End-User (daily problems)
Big Companies & Org.

we are focusing on the 2nd. not the 1st. (with Min. charges fees)

and if the End-User Agree then is like an Added value to the service not more

sometimes one-shot with Org. closes 3 months expensis or even more.. :>

All the best...

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The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. By: Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 14:28 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
Posts: 1869
Location: Providence, RI
My guess is that part of the problem is you're still running a computer repair shop. People don't expect to pay a lot at repair shops and are used to places offering stuff like $50 data recovery (of course they don't have PC-3000, just some crap software).

If data recovery is your main money maker, dedicate to just that. Once people recognize that they are getting a specialist, they might be willing to accept a higher price.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 15:20 
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Joined: February 28th, 2011, 21:04
Posts: 178
Location: United Kingdom
Hi, yes part of the issue is that we are often their first stop after something breaks. Computer repair shops usually act as a filter for dedicated recovery shops. Make plenty of money from repairs and have 3 members of staff doing just those so i guess ill just have to accept the time wasters for the time being while I continue to learn!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 17:22 
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Joined: November 29th, 2006, 10:08
Posts: 7215
Location: UK
Time wasters are an ever increasing problem, getting steadily worse.

A lot of the time they have been informed of the likely costs from the dealer before sending it in, yet still refuse the quote.

Quite often they'll say "I won't have it done now, but send my drive back and I'll send it back in when I do want it done" which usually means "now you've told me what's wrong with it, I'll have a stab myself or give it to my PC expert mate" :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 18:59 
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Joined: December 4th, 2012, 1:35
Posts: 3169
Location: Adelaide, Australia
my partners business is different, wedding business,but similar issues. For each client she needs to make up a detailed quote, 3 - 4 pages with research into each item. often the clients will come to her with anothers quote, or people in the industry will say that they had a client show them what looks to be like one of her quotes. She spends a bit of effort on the quotes, more than most, so quite easily recognised in our smallish city.

Her strategy is to try and spot the timewasters/bargainers early and quote higher, but spend less effort on details. If the initial take was wrong, and the client looks to be better than expected, then adjustments are made. She also needs to have 1 - 3 appointments with them to sort out details.

When it boils down to it, it is you that has to have a strategy and stick to it. You have to try and not leave details up in the air, and try and limit where possible quoting all different prices for different people and the same work. We all like to help out people, and while fixing the broken connector on a Yr12 student for $10 might seem charitable, you will never see them again, and there are dozens lined up at the door.

I also don't agree with 1 corporate job paying 3 months worth of expenses(sorry Einstein9 maybe I haven't been in the business long enough, or my business isn't in same direction...I am not judging), just doesn't seem right. In these cases, sure, charge every dime the job is worth, but adding extra just because it is gov, finance industry or edu? dunno about that.

often time wasting can be sorted out to acceptable levels by process.. in the same vein as Super Nanny.. naught kids - fix the parents, or Ceaser Milan - bad dogs? fix the owners.. :-)

if you come up with something that works, then it would be beneficial if you shared here!

good luck


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 6:00 
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Joined: October 31st, 2014, 15:02
Posts: 10
Location: Munich Germany
It might be a naive question, but why not charge the customers for initial diagnosis?

Time/Work that is payed for is never wasted, OTOH, if you diagnose for free many people will just go for it, as its free.. a fixed price diagnosis will sort out those that aren't willing to spend anything very quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 8:53 
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Joined: February 28th, 2011, 21:04
Posts: 178
Location: United Kingdom
We have a diagnostic fee for everything other than data recover . It seems to be an industry thing that assessment is free. You are right though, it would remove the time wasters. I think its something that everyone should introduce.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 9:14 
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Joined: February 9th, 2009, 16:13
Posts: 2090
Location: Ontario, Canada
As has been said to me in the past, "Will the added assessment fee deter the time wasters and make up for the lost business of clients who will just take their drive up the road to the lab who offers the free assessment?"

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RAID Data Recovery


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 9:37 
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Joined: October 31st, 2014, 15:02
Posts: 10
Location: Munich Germany
The assesment fee/analysys cost should be deducted from the overall costs if the client chooses to have it fixed, thus analysys is free for the ones that choose to have their Data restored.

But this is just my naive view without being in this business.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 10:41 
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 17:35
Posts: 3260
Location: Massachusetts, USA
It's a highly misunderstood complex industry solely based on its nature.
Additionally, the customer mind and spend ability is very complex.

Having an eval fee could be just bad as not having one.
There is a cost associated with everything one way or another, whether is it gaining or losing business as result of having an eval fee or not.
Things are unpredictable, unless you have a line outside the door, and typically that is not the case.

There is one thing everybody could control. That is to reduce the waste of time by improving a whole lot in their evaluation process. I know it involves spending time and money for better equipment and training, but it is really coming down to knowledge when it comes to diagnostic.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: December 7th, 2014, 4:38 
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Joined: February 15th, 2006, 3:38
Posts: 1089
Location: canada
more and more diy jobs :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas to stop customers wasting my time.
PostPosted: December 8th, 2014, 20:25 
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Joined: December 4th, 2012, 1:35
Posts: 3169
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Craig, it gets pretty complex.. such as what exactly a customer identifies as a data recovery company or data recovery shop.

As far as some are aware, any shop that has "data recovery" listed as a service, including the local PC shop, is a Data Recovery company. even if they just run "recuva" and haven't even heard of GetDataBack.

I am seeing a growing trend of customers that are so confused/scared of fees/scared of losing data that they don't actually get their drives fixed or looked at. They simply feel they lack skills to make a decision on how to proceed - and never do. And a large downturn in DIY....

We see it here because this forum is what it is about, but it is a skewed metric.


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