With great enthusiasm, a young man named Bill Egert contacted me asking about reciprocal linking between his LiveTechs.com site and my own Ask Dave Taylor.com. I rarely reciprocally link (among the reasons is that it doesn’t help either site with SEO in most cases) but I was intrigued by his idea of a live tech support business and arranged to interview him to learn more about his business…
Q: Tell us about your day job, to start off. What do you do, where do you work, and what’s that experience like?
My day job. I’m an IT consultant for a private firm in Central New Jersey. Our demographic is mostly Catholic churches and schools or the “ecclesiastical” demographic. I’ve been there for about one year now and despise it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve formed some pretty awesome relationships with the parish workers and even a few deacons and priests. It’s my boss who gets to me…
Q: What’s your background in tech? What credentials or certifications do you have?
I went to the Chubb Institute in 2005 , and have more or less worked tech intern positions (my church, a skincare company) until I landed my job in 2007. I have my CCNA, my MCP, my Network+, and my A+.
Q: What motivated you to create LiveTechs.com and how is the business structured?
LiveTechs.com was largely motivated when I read the book “The Four Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris. I realized the untapped potential to make money on the internet. A little brain storming is all it took, and it wasn’t long before I hired a web designer create the website.
I should actually mention now that after some research, we are going to be making the switch from LiveTechs.com to ITHelpDesk.net. ItHelpDesk.net is a keyword rich domain that is very relevent to what we do: provide business’ with outsourced IT support. I have a 301 redirect from LiveTechs.com to keep my link popularity =)
Also, LiveTechs or ITHelpDesk.net is now targeting the business sector. Let’s face it, businesses are just ready to spend more.
I privately contract a call center in Dallas Texas and am in a long term agreement with them currently. We provide the client:
– An American, 24/7 call center
– Their own 800 number
– Access to a database of client/customer information
– A unique “brand name” experience where our service simply runs silently in the background.
We are in talks with a large online university and a website for Independent films. SLA’s have already been sent and we are close to sealing the deal on these.
Q: How many other people are involved in your business?
My two close friends, Jon Macapodi and Scott Basgaard.
Scott is innovative and constantly comes up with great ideas in terms of what would make our site more appealing. He’s also quite saavy in HTML/PHP.
Jon is excellent with the clients. He was the one who single-handedly landed this deal with the online college. He’s ultra-professional, great on the phones, and an excellent communicator.
Q: Walk us through a typical transaction. How do customers find you? How do you connect with them and manage their computer to diagnose and fix it?
Customers have typically found us on Adwords thus far. (90% of our calls are people that think we are Dell tech support, Linksys tech support, AOL tech support, you name it. The content network hasn’t been doing us much good. I’m just getting my feet wet with Google Adwords, and I believe what’s really been causing my problem has been “broad” phrase matching.)
When we connect with a legit customer – we provide them an initial quote. If accepted, we draw up an SLA and send to the client. An initial training period takes place where reps from my call center in Dallas and myself get familiar with the client’s systems and proprietary software. We then implement a base/per incident price structure: A base price is offered which includes X amount of incidents, followed by a per incident premium.
Q: How are you marketing and promoting your business, and how’s it going?
Adwords and pay-per-call. It sucks. However, IT Help Desk is a targeted phrase that gets about 2000 hits a month so it shouldn’t be hard to get rankings there. Also there’s less competition for the SEO phrase “help desk” then there is for the term “tech support”.
Thanks for your candor, Bill. Dear reader, if you have a problem and need live tech support, why not give their biz a shot and see how it works out? Then come back here and report to us!