Why Geeks Rule
Aussies love a business that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so perhaps giving his business the self-deprecating name of Geeks2U is one reason for David Hancock’s success.
But not the only one. In 2005, soon after completing a university degree in business administration, David started Geeks2U with just one technician and a local letterbox drop.
Today Geeks2U has over 150 contractors servicing 30,000 customers around Australia and has experienced nearly 100 per cent growth over the last twelve months.
Geeks2U provides same-day, on-site computer help, with services including hardware and software repairs, system security solutions, wired and wireless network installations, virus and spyware prevention and removal, data back-up and recovery solutions. Increasingly, customers are also requiring help with convergence products such as televisions, mobile phones, BlackBerries, iPods and digital cameras.
From the first technician, the business had grown to Canberra within a year and offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth were opened in 2007. Adelaide and Hobart offices were then opened in 2008. David admits that it was a challenge to manage the rapid growth of the business and maintain customer satisfaction levels.
He points to a real commitment to quality customer service as one of the key reasons for Geeks2U’s success. The business has a same-day service or it's free offer and a seven day a week service, as a computer crisis rarely strike at a convenient time!
The Sydney operation is the contact point for customers and technicians, and the centralised system allows Geeks2U to efficiently respond to customer needs. Technicians throughout Australia are linked by GeekNet, a web-based software application that streamlines bookings, billing and customer-relationship management.
As part of its follow up service, Geeks2U rings each customer after a service appointment to check satisfaction levels and David says that this has led to repeat clients and strong referrals. The detailed information that GeekNet provides allows David to track customer satisfaction and ensure that the company’s rapid growth doesn’t lower its ability to deliver quality customer service.
As a business owner himself, David understands that computer problems can paralyse a small business, and he says outsourcing IT management allows business owners to concentrate on their core business. A small business will experience only experience about IT communication problem a month, so having an in-house IT specialist is unrealistic.
Staying close to its customers has allowed Geeks2U to identify their key issues. One of the concerns that customers consistently mentioned was how to back their up computers and how to protect themselves against system failure and data loss. In response, Geeks2U has become a channel for Acronis A/NZ, which sells backup and disaster recovery software. David says, “Our technicians have been using Acronis for a while and found that their solutions are powerful, reliable and extremely easy to use. When asked to recommend backup and recovery solutions by our customers, we made the decision to introduce Acronis products and make them available for our customers to purchase through our technicians.”
Despite the challenging business environment of the past year, David remains confident Geeks2U will continue to thrive. He points to tight cost management and, perhaps counter-intuitively, an increase in the business’s advertising spend. David says that although there is a temptation to slash advertising budgets during a slow down, there are some great advertising deals out there, which allows businesses such Geeks2U to build market dominance.