With partnerships with the likes of HP, Apple and Sumsung, and a strong focus on aftercare, consultant Lorenzo Notar-Angelo reveals to Jade Burke why the firm changed its name and how important its PC-help service is…
According to analysts, tablets are in decline. Have you noticed this in your store at all?
We’re not selling as many tablets, and what we’re finding is more computer illiterate people are using tablets that haven’t got a clue. It requires a bit of hand holding. For example, sorting basic configuration for them. From our part, this is a good gesture. We don’t earn any money from it but we’d rather they become more literate, then it’s less hassle for us.
What opportunities are there with Windows 10?
We’re running a beta version of Windows 10 at the moment, so obviously all the leading software houses are going to migrate to Windows 10 and they’ll offer their new version of stuff.
I’ve not seen anything brand new, so we’re always up for it if we see something, we’re more than happy to get involved.
How and when did the company begin?
The business started in 1992, but it’s changed its name since then. It started off as a company called Informatica and in Latin that means information technology, which a lot of people didn’t understand. So we then changed it in 2009 to Fix My PC. It seemed simpler: it does what it says on the tin.
We are a small store employing five people and we’re in the city centre. We’re affiliated to a number of larger manufacturers, including an accreditation with HP, Samsung and Apple; we’re also associated with Acer.
What services and products do you offer?
We offer a whole range of services from straight repairs to upgrades; we assemble our own PCs as well as selling branded PCs. We stock a whole range of consumables, interface cables and Bluetooth speakers.
We offer good customer service and support, and we pride ourselves on the aftercare. Clients can either sign up to an extra warranty where they can have same-day service and if they have a problem we can solve it by remote access in the machine.
We provide a free 15-minute consultation, where we can gauge what’s wrong with the device. And from there we are able to give the customer a firm quotation of what it will cost to fix.
Are there any new products you’re looking to stock?
We’re going to offer a gold, silver and bronze maintenance service for people, as we are beginning to see more of a need for it. As far as products, we’re always on the look out for new ones – if it’s new, we will offer it.
How do you compete with larger retailers?
We have more one-to-one sessions so we offer more of a personal service. When somebody buys a machine from us, we spend half an hour at least on the dos and don’ts so they can look after their machine. So that’s a service that the large boys don’t offer. We also offer a three-year warranty at no extra charge.
Plus, if a client has had a major repair, five days later we will call them back and see how they’re getting on and if they have any issues. Our forte is the aftercare, that’s key.
You offer your own computer help service, PC-help. How important is this to your customers?
Anyone can ring up, we’ll spend ten minutes with them. Sometimes there’s a motive behind it and we miss out because people take our help and then go elsewhere. It’s a risk you take but you can’t have it both ways.
There is a fine balance. If you divulge too much, then they’ll do it themselves. You have got to be careful, so we moan at ourselves sometimes that we have given too much away, but it’s one of the things and you have to live with it.
What does the future hold for Fix My PC?
We want to expand our business. Mainly what we want to do is more remote access and to try and standardise our product line a little bit.
We want to grow the business by about 25 per cent in the next two years. To achieve that we’ll stock more leading products and streamline our services.
Address: 40 St Peters Street, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 2NN
Telephone: 01234 27 3700