The founder and CEO of FanTazTech, Nick Peist, calls his company the “Uber of the Tech World.”
The Lawrenceville-based startup has a smartphone app that provides remote computer and mobile support via iPhone and Android, audio chat and video. Technicians, all based in the United States and registered with FanTazTech, are able to accept projects as they become available wherever they are, and thee company provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Peist explains the name of the startup like this: “When I was in high school, I liked the Tasmanian devil from Bugs Bunny, the crazy character ‘Taz.’ And then I said, ‘Cool, let’s offer crazy fast tech support.’ We were thinking ‘TazTech,’ and then my dad thought of the last part, fantastic, which is ‘fans’ ― like people fans ― and we came up with FanTazTech.”
The startup was founded in July 2016, and Peist has been working since February 2018 with Shehryar Nadeem Iqbal, a Texas-based business systems analyst, to develop the mobile platform. According to Peist, it’s been phenomenal ever since. “They’ve developed everything we’ve needed, and it’s been a match made in heaven.”
FanTazTech is an all-virtual business. Peist explains, “We’re an on-demand IT platform connecting IT-competent people to non-IT-competent people, meaning instead of waiting online, waiting on hold, or searching the net for hours or waiting for someone to come to you, you can use your iPhone app or Android app, pick a task such as computer tune-up, smart home or Wi-Fi, whatever it may be, and then get matched with a U.S.-based technician ― who has undergone a background check and has five years minimum experience in skill sets.”
He added, “We make sure all of our technicians can provide quality support. That’s our highest priority. After getting matched with a technician, you pay a one-time fee, and you have five minutes or less ― the first five minutes is free, especially if it’s a quick solution like restarting the computer ― to share the type of issue via video chat or messaging. You have to commit to that time. It also gives the tech more comfort to say, ‘Okay, let me check the issue and say yes I can do it or no I can’t.” If the issue can’t be remedied by the tech, he’ll suggest another alternative (such as an outside vendor for significant hardware issues), so the customer and tech’s time is not wasted, and no fee is charged. If the job exceeds five minutes, the customer is charged for the service.
After the tech commits to the job and finishes it, the customer marks the job as complete. So, input from the customer is important. Computer support is $29.00, Wi-Fi support is $59.00, and these are the total fees no matter how long a job takes. After the first virtual visit, the customer receives a job report from FanTazTech, detailing what the job issue was, what the tech did to resolve the issue, and what the tech suggested the customer can do to prevent the issue from reoccurring.
“It’s more or less us trying to educate the customer, not just saying it’s done and that’s it,” said Peist. “That’s where most IT companies go wrong. They just say it’s fixed and the customer says, ‘Oh, okay, great,’ and the next day it’s not working. What we do is give a nice post-job report.”
FanTazTech has about 300 technicians registered on their platform, all of them U.S. citizens. “When I was in college, I actually had four years of experience doing corporate IT. There are a lot of people who are currently taking courses in technology who want to start doing stuff, and that’s why we have this platform where a person can say, ‘On my time, when I want, I can offer tech support. I can do what I enjoy but not be committed to a 40-hour work week,’” he said.
Peist admitted that FanTazTech has difficulties procuring customers. “It’s the hardest thing. It’s similar to the fire department. You call 911 only when something goes wrong. It’s the same concept with us. You only call tech support when something’s not working. So, we’re trying to get to one or two things: The customers already know of us, or hear of us, through more brand awareness. And the other thing is if people download the application, we’re trying to get them to be more proactive then reactive, so we encourage them to be prepared just in case something goes wrong, and use the FanTazTech app. We are still trying to find the best way to get customers.”
Peist also mentioned that his company had been invited to set up a booth at Startup Grind Global, the largest startup conference and Meetup in the country. Only 300 startups are accepted yearly out of thousands of applicants, and FanTazTach applied, was interviewed, and accepted. The FanTazTech name will be in front of about 8,000 potential customers. This is important for possible Angel investor funding, he noted. “[It would be good] If we can get someone who knows the margin, can put the money in, and say, ‘Let’s get this going, this is a phenomenal concept. Let’s make sure every person in New Jersey and the United States knows what FanTazTech is.’”
Peist gets asked about potential competition all the time, and he says there are two companies that offer “a ton of in-person support.” But, Peist continued, “there is the issue of the tech not showing up on time or at all. If the help was remote, there’d be no waiting. I challenge anyone right now to look up remote IT support, 24/7, where you can get matched with a technician in less than a minute or two. It’s as simple as picking a task, getting a match and hopping on a video chat. There’s no other application out there on the market.”