SOUTHBURY — President Andrew J. Chapin founded Chapin Business Services, 711 Bucks Hill Rd., in 1995 with the idea of helping others.
He told Voices, “We felt that if we went into this venture with the idea of helping people first, success would follow.”
Twenty years later, he feels the idea has worked, acknowledging that time, economic conditions, customer needs and technology have shaped the evolution of services his company offers to residents and businesses of one to 100 employees.
“Windows 95 really brought the computer into everyone’s house. When we started, we did everything.
“Today, we’ve refined the business model to basically help people resolve their tech issues.”
Chapin Business Services provides networking support, on-site service, software instruction, hardware and upgrades, also producing the Connecticut Home Navigator magazine to share tech tips and community information such as real estate listings.
“We were producing the listings for a local board of realtors until 2008, when we had the opportunity to take over the publication. We had the resources in house and it made sense to do.
“Essentially, the magazine is a logical extension of our core business focus, which is customer service.”
He explained that technicians could offer solutions for existing tech or recommendations for new, customizing solutions for each specific situation.
“We believe in long term relationships versus the short term dollar and that’s why we have such terrific relationships with our customers.
“We don’t just walk in and tell anyone to buy everything new. We take budget into account when we diagnose the situation and offer multiple solutions.”
He advised, “Never grocery shop when you’re hungry and never buy tech unless you know what you need. We will work with companies and residents to determine a budget and encourage them to get what they really need.”
According to Mr. Chapin, response time is critical to the success of a business such as his, moving his customers’ focus from the tools and back to a productive mode.
Chapin Business Services is also proactive, paying for Field Technician James Chapin’s time to provide free computer help four hours each week at the Southbury Public Library and one hour each at Pomperaug Woods Retirement Community and The Watermark at East Hill.
“I learned from the start that I shouldn’t be afraid to hire people who know more than I do. Otherwise, I’d have been limited by my own knowledge and abilities. I think the people who work for me set my company apart from the competition.”
Another distinguishing feature is the approach to communication.
“One of the biggest concerns that customers have is the ability to understand what the technician is talking about. I’ve always made sure our technicians discuss the issue in a way the customer can comprehend because a customer who can grasp the problem and what caused it is more likely to be partner with us in the resolution.”
He noted that technology has changed so much since the mid-90s that technicians have an intuitive approach to these machines and work with a completely new level of devices and platforms such as social media.
“We don’t learn on the job, showing up at your house to play with your tech. We have a reasonable amount of knowledge before we arrive for the appointment.” He described how the company offers a free diagnosis so that customers understand the problem and their options before spending any money.
“We offer free information at www.chapinbusiness.com on a wide range of topics. Our goal is to empower customers to help themselves and tech is the cornerstone of that.”
Reflecting on the last two decades, Mr. Chapin said he’s grateful to customers who have used the company’s services.
“It feels good that people are comfortable enough with us to call us again and refer us to friends and family or other businesses.”
He added that most of his gratitude goes to his wife, Lorraine.
“We had three very young children, two dogs and had just moved into a house when I started this company. She’s been extremely supportive of what I’ve tried to accomplish and I’m very glad for that.”