Deploying remote technologies, Irish company Helpmypc.ie has just been in business for four months, but it has already attracted a strong customer following, and is aiming to hire 10 full-time employees in 2012 in the Irish seaside town of Tramore.
Ward Griffin, an auctioneer who decided to diversify into the online arena after Ireland’s property boom went bust, set up Helpmypc.ie this summer.
Based in Tramore, Co Waterford, the start-up provides remote online repair and support service to computer users encountering problems with their PCs or laptops.
The Tramore team is also working 24/7 to deal with issues, so the business has the scope to infiltrate the global online IT repairs marketplace.
Helpmypc.ie currently has four full- and part-time staff working from a call centre in the town. Speaking today, Griffin said the aim is to employ up to 10 people full time in 2012.
He said Helpmypc.ie’s online and freephone model allows customers access to an efficient online service without people having to fork out for costly callouts.
“A transparent pricing structure and secure payment system lets customers know before any work is carried out what it will cost,” explained Griffin.
Helpmypc.ie’s business model is based on using remote technology, so the service has already attracted considerable repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals from customers throughout the country, said Griffin.
“It is fully secure with the technicians sharing access to the computer with the owner while the work is carried out.”
He said the original idea for the business came from personal experience of dealing with PC repair crews.
“It involved making appointments, waiting while the personnel travelled to the location and then paying a fee that obviously had to cover their travel time and costs, as well as the time working onsite."
Taking technicians out of the loop?
Griffin asserted today that the online service can deal with 85pc of the problems that would previously have required either taking a computer to be repaired or having to call out a technician.
“Our customers since early summer seem to have really appreciated the service as – with little or no advertising. We’ve built up a good volume of business. The feedback we’ve had suggests customers, particularly home PC users, appreciate the convenience of our remote online service as there’s minimal time lost and we can provide better value as we’re not covering the cost of technicians travelling. They also like our policy of keeping tech jargon to a minimum!” said Griffin.
He said the team also expects to be busy during the holiday season: “If a problem arises outside of normal office hours, we are still able to respond efficiently. This should keep us particularly busy over Christmas as people use the internet on their home PCs to keep in touch with family and friends around the world. We are also finding people slower to replace PCs now, so inexpensive and hassle-free repairs are a good alternative,” explained Griffin.