Computer Connection finds approach pays off

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New Hampshire Business Review, May 1984, "The Office" section, p.7

Reprinted with permission of the New Hampshire Business Review

When Computer Connection opened for business in downtown Hampton a year ago, the excitement it generated in the community was barely discernable. In fact people yawned for miles around "Just what the Seacoast needs" he said. "Another computer store."

One-year later nobody's yawning. The company everybody thought would be just another retail outlet in the burgeoning small computer business turned out to be considerably more than that. And it earned the respect of a steadily growing segment of the business community in the process."

The computer business is unlike any other I know of, "says Dan Burger who, with partners John McAdam and John McCormack, founded Computer Connections early last year after leaving Computer Town in Salem.

"In fact, he says, "selling computers and software is only a small part of what we actually do. We're much more concerned with providing reliable information, technical support, training and matching the right systems to the right jobs. We have to be."

McAdam agrees. "People can buy computer hardware and software almost anywhere," he says. "But what they really need, if the promises in the slick brochures are to be kept, is the technical expertise to make them work the way they were meant to. It's called service. I know it sounds like an old cliché, but that's what we provide -- service."

"Computers aren't like cars or stereos," McCormack adds. "You don't just plug them in, or turn the key and drive away. When people buy a computer system from us, they're actually buying us. We offer what is probably the most comprehensive back-up service and support net in the industry. And that's saying a lot".

According to Burger, "It's really very simple." Computers are complex, powerful tools that are supposed to make people more productive, and make their work easier. We make sure they do just that. And we know that for us to be successful, our customers have to be very pleased with what they buy from us."

What their customers find at Computer Connection are systems built by Apple, Wang, Kaypro, Hewlett-Packard, Epson and others, plus a wide variety of peripheral devices and virtually all of the most popular business and home computer software currently available.

Other facets of Computer Connection's business involves free training seminars run by representatives of the manufacturers of specific systems, free customer training, installation and start-up and complete field and on-premises maintenance and technical service.

An even larger part of their business is providing specialized systems for vertical markets within the business and professional communities, such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. This requires a high degree of specialization in the hardware and software systems developed for each market, and in the salespeople who service each.

Professionals within each field are called in to help develop and evaluate specialized software packages and hardware systems to ensure that only the best and most appropriate ever get to Computer Connection's specialized customers. "When we sell a package to a real estate office," Burger explains, "we make very sure it's been designed to do what real estate people need it to do. That involves a lot of testing and evaluation on our part but in the long run, it's well worth it."

In the year since it opened for business, Computer Connection's approach to customer service and support seems to be paying off handsomely.

"What we're seeing more and more," Burger says, "is that people who originally bought their systems somewhere else are coming to us for repairs, upgrades, everything. That says a lot about what we're doing."

Note: Computer Connection was located at 12 High Street in Hampton between 1983 and 1989-90.

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