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DC Computers on 'Givers Gain'

Posted On - 08/05/2015 09:52:34

DC Computers, SwindonWith the 2015 Retail Price Comparison NOW OPEN we're continuing our series of RPC blogs with Darren Chapman of DC Computers in Swindon.

Did he think taking part in 2014 was worth it? Well, read this and find out. And then decide if you'd like to take part this year.

"It all started 20 odd years ago"

…says Darren. "Back in the days when PCW charged £1,000+ for a computer a mate of mine built me one for £300" he says. "It got slow and when he popped round to fit more RAM, took off the case and did the job I was fascinated. Plain hooked."

He continues, "In no time we were building and selling computers to friends and family. 10 years later I jacked in my Sales and Customer Service job at Royal Mail and went into business. I've never looked back."

10 years in business – what's your secret for success?

"Customer experience" Darren says. "Anyone can have service statements and customers charters – the difference is doing them, not just talking about them" he states.

Darren's secret for success: focus on customer experience"We think we're really easy to deal with, reliable, contactable and honest. And we live those things in how we behave – what we actually do with customers. Take our services prices" he says.

"Everything we do is fixed price. But the ‘fixed' is just that: we don't waiver if the customer objects and we don't add things on if the job costs more. So we're completely honest, clear and reliable."

What caused you to take part in the RPC?

"This may sound all fluffy but it's obvious to me" Darren starts. "Yes I wanted to find out about my pricing but for me there was something bigger - it's all about what you put in you get out."

He continues, "I wanted to make the effort because the more who take part, the more everyone who does benefits. To coin a phrase it's ‘Givers Gain'" he says. "I genuinely saw it as a chance to get the best help by helping others."

What did the Retail Price Comparison tell you?

"There's huge pressure to lower prices from online" says Darren. "Now I'm not saying you have to price match but the difference needs to be right – it needs to be what customers would feel reasonable in buying from a person in a shop."

He goes on, "I was about to lower my prices - I felt I really needed to. But it stopped me. When I looked at the data I could see my pricing was OK. Lowering them would have been throwing reasonable profits away."

Did you make any changes as a result of taking part?

The Retail Price Comparison helped DC Computers increase prices up to 35%"On products I simply didn't lower prices" Darren goes on, "But for services I've made several." He continues, "For example, software reload up 25%, repairs up 30% and health-check up 35%. I knew we were too cheap – I just needed the confidence to make the changes."

He concludes "I honestly felt huge fear in changing my prices, it's such an unknown. But in the last 6 – 9 months we've not lost business and either our customers have stopped complaining about prices, or we've got new ones who just don't."

Was taking part worth it?

"Yes" says Darren without hesitation. "If any business seriously wants to understand where it's making and losing money, it's a no-brainer."

He continues, "Plus it gives you so much confidence. We now all know – not just think – know we're well priced. And that along with ShopTalk's "Instant Profit" training on price objections means we're completely better at holding our ground. It's all so worth doing."

What would you say to anyone worried over taking part?

"Pricing right is very difficult. It's so subjective. Getting the best prices of hundreds of other like-minded businesses is amazing. That's why this is so valuable."

He concludes "Take part."

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