Of course not everyone who calls MyTechHelp for the first time signs up for a subscription, and even those who do might want to end their monthly payments at some point. Michael Wallace, the company’s CFO, explained that in these situations, the last month’s charge is automatically refunded and the customer can terminate their subscription. Billing disputes are reviewed on a case by case basis.
Still, the explosive growth of the company suggests that MyTechHelp is offering a service that fills a real need in our technology-saturated world. More than 150,000 people in the United States subscribe, and the company is signing up 26,000 new customers a month. The now “multimillion dollar business” is seeing its revenue grow by 20 percent a month, Aboud said.
The spacious Saveology complex in Margate has the same creative feel as the technology start-ups of Silicon Valley, although this one is somewhat incongruously situated in a strip mall off Coconut Creek Parkway. Inside, the headquarters is like a playground for grownups, with a putting green, a wall of jellybean dispensers and birdcages with enormous parrots. There is a barbershop and a comfy break room that encourages the informal interaction that is so often credited with generating innovation in technology companies. With the primary colors of the décor and employee achievement charts on the walls, the atmosphere is undeniably cheerful and everyone is encouraged to contribute to the development of the company.
There are two tiers of employees in an operation Bieber describes as “sales with a technology flare.” Tier I agents answer phone calls from first-time customers to diagnose their technology problem and sell them a subscription plan. Once enrolled, subscribers speak with a Tier II agent who can work with customers to resolve issues or “remote-in” to take control of the computer and work some MyTechHelp magic.
There is no traditional career path in such a new company, and there are many opportunities for moving between tiers and into management. Jonathan Silverstone, 20, is a thin, blond geology student at Broward College who wears his dark-rim glasses with pride and self-identifies as a geek. He began in April as a Tier II agent and quickly moved up to Tier I, welcoming the opportunity to exercise different skills and interact with customers.
“I love it,” Silverstone said. “I’ve been doing really well since I started here.”
If MyTechHelp is going to keep up with demand, the company is going to need many more eager agents like Silverstone. It is recruiting heavily at local tech schools like Atlantic Technical Center and Florida Career College, often sweeping in as many as 50 new employees at a time.
The majority of this growth will swell the ranks of the Margate team, although there is a small office in Utah of 60 employees to handle some of the late-night demand.
Aboud’s vision for the future of the company goes beyond tech help to “get into the hardware game and additional softwares.” He imagines a technology Costco, where membership comes with dramatically low prices on all kinds of gear and gadgets.
“Besides giving me 10 bucks a month, they [customers] go out and buy cases for their iPad, plugs, a new HP laptop. I want to be able to not only service them but also to sell them that,” Aboud said. “If you’re a member of our program, you can buy the hardware products at a heavily discounted price, and the reason for that is because I have no overhead, I don’t have a retail store, I don’t need salespeople.”
He also envisions MyTechHelp as the global leader for technology assistance, and the energy of this ambition touches every phone call, meeting and impromptu putting tournament at the Margate headquarters. The number one task right now, Aboud said, is to grow the company to keep up with the expanding subscriber base and offer an excellent service that people find they can’t live without.