“Hey, my buddy works on computers, you should give him a call.”
In this day and age, almost everyone knows someone that works on computers. The big question is how you can find a qualified tech that will not only fix your computer problems, but will also provide superior customer service along with fair and honest pricing.
These 10 simple steps will help you to accomplish just that, as well as hopefully find you a lifelong tech that you can count on!
The computer and technology world has a lot of ins and outs. You need to make sure the tech you choose knows how to fix the problem on your computer:
The list goes on and on, so make sure the tech specializes and has experience in what you’re looking for. There are also several certifications and degrees that techs can earn to help show their expertise in certain areas, though certifications and degrees are not everything as they are generally easy to obtain though costly. Also, certifications and affiliations can sometimes be forged, so ask how you can verify these.
With that being said, we have often seen that many techs are fantastic with new technology… though are lacking in knowledge from ‘legacy’ or older technologies. History and experience, not certifications, are king in this area. Well experienced and well-rounded techs are able to pull from years or decades of experience to solve your problem (even when you’re using ‘new’ tech).
Ask your social network of friends, family, and coworkers. Be sure to ask if they have actually had the tech work on their computer (it’s surprising how many people just ‘know’ a tech). If they have used the tech and are satisfied and happy with the service, you likely will be as well. Just knowing that someone works on computers does not mean they are qualified, knowledgeable, friendly, honest, or a good value for your money.
Does the tech you’re looking at have a website with reviews posted? To be honest, just having a bunch of good reviews does not mean that they don’t have bad reviews as well, or that they just didn’t write all their own reviews; so check more than one source. There are many 3rd party review sites that you can check as well; Google Maps, Angie’s List, and Yelp are just a few. Also, use social media to your advantage. Check to see if they have a Facebook Fan Page and read the comments there. Note: You should not need a Facebook account to just read a professional business fan page.
Keep in mind also, awards are not everything. In today’s market, many publishers will honor an advertiser with a very awesome sounding award, though the question that needs to be asked, “What did they do to get this award”. Did they only advertise with them (essentially, did they pay for the award), or is the award also backed by consumer reviews? Can you easily verify the award?
Does the company have a published pricing policy? Also, if you call and the specialist can’t tell you how much a service will cost, it’s a clue that there may be something ‘a bit off’. That said, some companies do charge by the hour rather than per service, so make sure to ask. If they charge per hour, ask for an approximate time for the service, and find out what happens if they go over the quoted time, and if there is a cap on the number of hours.
When can they actually work on your computer? Good techs often can get extremely busy, so make sure to get an actual appointment scheduled. If they can’t get you an appointment within the time frame you need, obviously keep looking.
Not every problem on a computer is an easy or quick fix. Sometimes, especially with viruses, small pieces /traces can be missed. If something like this happens, does the tech stand behind his/her work or will you be looking at another bill to get the same thing actually fixed?
Do you really want to work with a company that doesn’t even treat its employees well? Many big name retail computer service companies spend a lot of money on radio, TV, and print ads, but then pay their techs very little. An unhappy tech isn’t likely to take much pride in their work or provide you with the best customer service. Often-times, ‘techs’ for big name retailers are just running off a script, much like a telemarketer calling you to sell you something. These ‘techs’ aren’t there to actually fix your computer, but instead to sell you the fix.
Make sure you ask questions before, during and after the service. You are your best, and often only, advocate when it comes to your computer. If you don’t ask the questions, no one will, and if the tech won’t or can’t answer your questions in a language you can understand, they aren’t worth your time.
Are you getting your DC Power Jack fixed on your laptop, then why does your tech want your password? Intake forms are made to get as much information as may be needed for many different situations. If a tech is asking for information that you don’t feel comfortable giving, ask them why they need it. If they can’t give a reasonable and honest answer, refuse to give them the info and take your computer with you as you walk out the door. If it is an onsite service, type in your password yourself if they do need access to your system or temporarily disable it while they are there.
Be sure to check-in periodically on what they are doing. Make sure they aren’t installing a bunch of other programs or toolbars on your computer without your permission as some companies will install their promotional materials to your system that will slow down/bog down your computer. If the service was outstanding, you won’t need a computer program or toolbar to remind you to use them as you will be more than happy to keep their good ol’ fashion business card on hand, or maybe placed in a plaque next to your computer.
Make sure you check the tech’s work as soon as possible. If they were optimizing your computer, make sure it is actually responding faster. If they installed a new LCD, watch a high quality video and look for inconsistencies. If you notice an issue, contact them immediately.
Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list. Most importantly, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right when speaking with a tech, you should probably move on to the next one.
We hope this helps you to find an honest and reputable computer repair tech in your area that is able to help you with all your computer and technology needs.