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  How to be a good client - 10 Tips  

One of the (few) drawbacks to working alone, is that there is no one to share special moments with, no one to amaze with stories of what one client actually expected me to do, etc.  In an attempt to set realistic expectations and set the scene from my perspective, I have created this page. 


This seems the least inappropriate place to note that I generally have more work than I can handle in the time available.  I would love to be able to turn around a job in a day or less, but I just can not (my target is 72 hours).  I try to assess each job as it arrives by spending 10 minutes looking for the immediate quick fix, but after that it has to take its place in the queue.  Having said that, if I think I need to order a spare part, I will try to reach that stage ahead of the normal time I would be working on a job. 


And assessing how long it will be before a job is finished is hard, verging on impossible.  It means guessing the cause of what is wrong with the computer, then estimating how long it will take to fix - for each job between the current time and the time the job in question can be started.  It means guessing how many times the phone will ring, and how long each interruption will take.  I have to make an assessment of how many "while you're here, would you do this" requests I have to satisfy, and how many unknown problems will have to be tackled. 


Enough said.  Here's the list.

  1. Although I am willing to continue charging considerably less than similarly qualified technicians, I am not a charity, so please do not delay payment until you receive the final overdue notice, as I enjoy fixing computers more than chasing late payers.  Invoices are due for payment on presentation; if you do let it run beyond the prompt payment date and receive a reminder with that discount withdrawn, don't pretend your cheque for the discounted amount was already sent. 

  2. Be friendly.  I took a big cut in income when I left the corporate world in exchange for a much reduced stress level.  If you are antagonistic with me, my stress level starts to climb.

  3. Don't assume that I know when you are dissatisfied, mystified or receive less frequent updates than you would like.  If you have a problem, tell me about it at the earliest opportunity.

  4. Leave feedback to let me know how I can make our next meeting an even better experience.  Your completing the testimonial question of that short form or leaving a positive review on another website would be particularly appreciated.

  5. When buying a new PC through me, if you choose not to progress a quotation, tell me why.  It takes about three hours for me to select what I think are the most appropriate components, confirm there are no inbuilt conflicts, check the performance of each to confirm they produce a balanced system and source the cheapest reliable suppliers.

  6. If you want me to liaise with a third party - maybe an ISP or warranty supplier - be aware that I will be less inclined to dial an 0871 number and be on hold for 45 minutes listening to a heady mix of advertisements, encouragement to log a call via the website I can't reach, and ghastly muzak if you give me an earful of grief when I report back to you.  I'm just the messenger in these situations.

  7. Although you are my most important customer, you are not the only one.  So I will balance my workload to complete jobs as fast as I can consistent with delivering a quality result, taking earlier submitted jobs before later, giving priority where someone's livelihood is affected by not having a working computer, perhaps helping those with no connection before those with the wrong coloured screen saver. 

  8. Whilst I enjoy fixing computers I do have a life outside the job, so if you're tempted to call at 9pm or on a Sunday, imagine how you would feel receiving a work related call as you are inviting your guests to sit down for dinner.   If I happen to be working late I may respond to e-mails, but not phone calls without prior agreement.

  9. If I need to order a component for you, please tell me in advance if you are willing to pay for expedited delivery, otherwise, be patient.

  10. Give your friends my details.  I don't have paid advertising and rely on satisfied clients to spread the word.