Aims to be ‘Dunkin Donuts’ of computer repair companies
A co-worker of Becky Peterson’s in the oncology department at Bristol Hospital saw an ad for Nerds To Go and told her about it.
“I Chuckled at the name,” Peterson says. “Then I started thinking.”
Peterson, a shoreline resident, says she was tired of calling her computer company, being placed on hold, then talking to a service rep from overseas who spoke broken English.
“I was on the phone for three or four hours for several nights,” she says. “Apparently, my computer had a virus.”
She called Nerds To Go, a two-year-old company based in Guilford.
She called Nerds To Go, a two-year-old company based in Guilford. They dispatched a “nerd” – a computer technician who got Peterson’s computer running again.
“They were wonderful,” she says. “they serviced by computer in 48 hours, and with no hidden charges.”
A story like that is music to the ears of Nerds To Go co-founder, Dave Colella.
In fact, Colella, 36, thinks Nerds To Go is ready to move on up. He says research shows that more and more people are getting online to download music and games. Also, as major PC manufacturers cut their prices their service has fallen off.
“We want to be the Dunkin Donuts of the computer service business,” Colella says. “I’ve been approached by people who helped build Wendy’s and Subway who tell me they’re interested in getting us to the next level.”
First Connecticut, next the United States.
Last year, Colella started a subsidiary, www.campusnerds.com to serve college students, who receive a 25 percent discount. Nerds was founded by Dave Colella and his wife, Kristina. Colella, who has an extensive business and technology back ground, saw the need in the market place for fast, reliable and friendly service. The Colellas developed a business model for serving smaller clients and the company began by servicing customers on the shoreline.
The company currently employs 25 technicians, but plans to have 50 to 75 people on board by the end of 2005. A former IBM manager, Colella says working for Big Blue and computer service companies convinced him that manufacturers service their customers poorly.
Nerds To Go charges $99 to visit a home or business and diagnose the problem. If solving the problem will cost more, the service call is waived.
Though there seems to be a plethora of computer repair companies in the state, Nerds To Go may be the only one designed to service private homes, home office computer users, and small businesses.
“We come to you,” says Colella. “You don’t have to pack up your computer and lug it anywhere. All our work is done on site.”
Colella says central Connecticut fits his company’s market profile.
“Where we really shine is servicing one to ten computers,” he says. “Our service techs will be around for months and years to come, and Nerds To Go is fully insured. We only go into an area like New Britain and Berlin when we have someone qualified who’s been trained by us.”
When hiring technicians Colella insists they have at least five years experience. They should be service-oriented and able to talk to customers in words the customer understands.
“We’re going into your home or your office,” he says. “We know your computer is your livelihood. When we cross your comfort zone it’s important that our service person be a professional.”
“People appreciate having a company they can rely on to assist them with technology, where their call is answered by a friendly staff,” says Nerds Marketing Director, Barbara McCormack. “Our ‘Nerds’ are dispatched to their home or place of business and deliver quality customer service. And, our ‘Nerd’ mobiles are great cars? They serve as fully equipped, rolling offices and they advertise our services.”
On Saturday, Feb. 12, Nerd mobiles will wind their way through New Britain and Berlin. Colella and Skip Peters, the New Britain area Nerd, will lead the parade; other Nerds will hand out business cards and T-shirts. Watch The Herald for details.
Nerds To Go can be reached at 1 800 390 Nerd (6373) or nerdstogonew.wpengine.com
By Scott Whipple