A while ago I thought about starting an after hours helpdesk site. I did some searching and found Supportspace.com. Supportspace is a website that is bringing together techs which they are calling “experts” and customers. SS offers some powerful remote support tools such as remote controlling of the customer’s PC and a phone widget that allows you to enter your number and the customers and connects the call. SS takes care of the marketing of the site, but experts build their profile to market themselves for their expertise.
SS takes car of the billing and payments so that the techs don’t have to. The site is currently in private beta which I did have a chance to try and it’s a great idea. One of the issues I say was that after a customers PC was fixed, they want to just disconnect and skip the comments. ratings, and payment approval which help experts build their reputation and get paid. I’m sure that they will think of some way to prevent this in the future.
The experts run a “support app” which runs in the taskbar tray until a customer contacts the expert for support. Once the customer contacts the expert, they discuss the customer’s PC issue and agree to work together or find someone else who can assist them if the original expert cannot. I did find that when I was connected to the support app a customer would connect with me in ten minuets or less.
Here is a payment Q&A with some useful information from SS.
What will I be paid for?
All sessions conducted by a certified experts for which the customer approved payment
How much will I be paid?
For now, you will be paid $20 for each valid session. A valid session is one in which the 4 steps are completed and the customer agrees to pay. We’ll let you know if this policy changes in the future.
Method of payment
The total amount owed for all sessions will be paid by check upon receipt of a W9 form. W9 forms must be faxed to XXX.XXX.XXXX. Checks will be made out to the name and mailed to the address that each Expert entered in his profile on the SupportSpace site. Additional payment options, such as direct deposit, will be introduced in the near future.
Please check that your profile is correct and current and that you have faxed the W9 form before October 15th to ensure that you receive payment promptly. If you move, please make sure to send a new W9 form as well as updating your profile.
When will I be paid?
The first payment will be sent on the 25th of October 2007, and will cover all valid and “agreed to be paid” sessions by customers up till the 15th of October at 11:59 PM. Future payments will be made every month. The exact date will be decided shortly.