Robert Janeway opened Superhero PC Repair in 2008. The sole proprietor repairs PCs and consults on computer upgrades from his home in Kemp, Texas.
The GoPayment Blog recently chatted with Janeway about how he got started and why customer service is so important for small businesses like his.
GoPayment: How did Superhero PC Repair get started?
Janeway: I’d been wanting to start my own business for awhile. I was working for a computer repair shop, and I realized that working out of my house I could charge lower rates, so I figured I could help people out. Now I’m fixing computers at home by appointment only. Typically, I make house calls, or I’ll meet [clients] in town.
What types of computer services do you offer?
I perform repairs like troubleshooting or fixing the power supply if it’s not working. Or, if they want to upgrade a computer and don’t know what the best PC is for them, I’ll talk with them and give them my advice on what I think they should look to buy.
What were your biggest challenges in getting started?
The biggest challenge is getting my name out there, but I also had issues with getting paid. A lot of people don’t have cash on hand or don’t want to write a check. I was searching really hard for a way to take payments online when I found the Intuit GoPayment product, which simplified things. That really solved one of my problems.
Who are your target customers, and how do you find them?
Typically, I’m looking for nearby residents. I spread flyers around town, and the website seems to grab a few people. I don’t have the resources to travel 100 miles for work, so I’m really targeting a specific area.
Do you get many repeat customers?
I’ve gotten several repeat customers. They have the money to buy whatever computer they want, and they don’t care to call customer service. They like somebody who can explain things in their terms.
You’ve been in business for four years now. Are there any mistakes you’ve made along the way? What did you learn from them?
The biggest mistake that I used to make was not calling customers to check on their repair. I’ve learned that that goes a long way to making a customer happy, and now I’ve really gotten into a habit of calling customers. Usually when I fix the computer, it works and they walk out the door. They may not call me, but if I call them back, they really seem to appreciate that.
My big push is to always try to find ways to do more customer service; I go out of my way to always have the best customer service I can. I usually don’t mark up on the parts. I don’t feel that I need to make money off buying the parts. If I need to order parts, I do, but I don’t charge more for them. I make enough money on the service that it doesn’t make sense. I’m always trying to help out the little guy: For instance, I help some school districts and teachers. They need a lot of help!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m hoping to some day get a little storefront.