A few days ago a customer called and said she was leery about updating her computer. Her computer spat out errors the last time she updated. She asked if I could take care of it for her.
The answer: "Absolutely."
This is one of my favorite things to do. Because I set my office set up for it, with gigabit Ethernet connecting me to the Internet (yes, that's 1000Mbps). And I have multiple displays set up with multiple Macs that I can use to control up to 25 Macs and PCs at a time. And I have a point to prove: The old "on-site" technician is a thing of the past. Set up your home the right way, the first time, and you will almost never need an on-site tech.
Within a few seconds I was connected to her network, screen sharing to two computers simultaneously: An iMac and a MacBook. I didn't just run app updates: It was time to update her MacOS to the latest version. Here's a screen shot from my MacBook, while I worked on her two computers:
Most people let their computer go without updates too long, which leads to other problems. On the other hand, updating the operating system, applications and even drivers, and your computer can run better than ever.
Why do people procrastinate and not update their systems? Because the traditional way is a pain. Either you go to an Apple Store, wait in line, ask for help, and camp out for hours, or you get referred to a tech you don't know, who you pay an onsite fee to come to your home, who sits there as the hourly rate clock ticks on while data downloads. If it feels uncomfortable there's a reason why.
It doesn't make any sense. In this day and age, local tech support doesn't matter anymore.
The problem is, not everyone knows that. The bigger problem? Apple doesn't know it.
Ask any Apple Store employee for a referral to an Apple consultant, and they'll point you to a web site - the Apple Consultants Network - where you start by entering your ZIP code or city. Think about that. In an age where we routinely crowdsource the best designers, the best lawyers, the best CPAs, and even the best loans, Apple's tech search engine looks in your ZIP code. This is only good for one kind of consultant: The one who wants to sit in your living room at an hourly rate.
Now, there's a big problem with technical consultants: They don't last. The better they get, the older they get, the more life costs. Which means they have to raise their rates. At a certain point, they go out of business, because there's always an army of unskilled, inexperienced consultants ready at a cheap rates. Which is disastrous for you, the customer. It's like going in for heart surgery with a kid doctor who just graduated from junior college without any surgery experience.
Remote support changes everything, because:
- I can take care of more customers because the audience is world-wide
- I can do it for less money because I'm not charging for onsite fees
- Customers get a better value because they're getting my experience and knowledge
The Internet changes everything.
Then again, I know some people who still don't shop Amazon Prime. They spend several extra hours per week driving around. I spend that time with my wife and my son, after I'm done upgrading someone's computer on the other side of the planet, while they enjoy a meal out with their family: