As fairly new homeowners, we were able to test the waters of working with service and repair providers early on, particularly in and around the Framingham area. It is constantly a fine line to walk, as we are torn between doing the repair or work ourselves (to potentially save money), or go through the process of hiring someone, because it is really beyond our expertise. When it comes down to it, looking for a reliable and experienced computer repair technician is no different than looking to have repairs done in and around any other element of the home. It comes down to four essential things.
First, social media and online presence are extremely important, only because that is usually where one begins searching, even after receiving a referral from word of mouth. Many people (such as myself) go straight to popular websites, such as Thumbtack, Angie’s List, or Google to get the scoop on service providers. Are they even listed or available in a search? Do they have a professional website, or is it just a dead end? I definitely find myself checking these out, as it usually tells a lot about a technician by how much time and effort they put into their online listings and website. In addition, on websites like Thumbtack.com (for example); computer technicians can go above and beyond by entering personal background information, credentials, experience, and even licensure, for potential clients to see when searching. I find all of this to be a huge indicator as to the professionalism and reliability of the business.
To add on to the idea of online presence, the second essential piece that I look for in a good computer repair technician is their reviews and customer feedback. Positive customer feedback and helpful reviews are necessary to read before proceeding with a hire. Did they receive a poor review? Well, why? I never jump to conclusions, as a lot of factors can play into a negative review. In addition, did people take time to leave reviews on Google? Thumbtack? Maybe even the businesses’ personal website? I mean think about it, how much more likely are you to leave a review with a BAD experience, than a GOOD experience? Good reviews are a huge sign of positive customer experience and satisfaction, therefore reading these reviews will help you ultimately make your decision. On the other hand, if you are a business looking to outsource your IT, many computer technicians may even be able to provide a list of references or credentials to ease your mind.
Third, and incredibly important to me is the idea of competitive and CLEAR pricing. It always goes without saying, "you get what you pay for." If you want cheap computer work, then you will most likely get exactly what you paid for. On the other hand, if you are like me, computers have become a piece of your every day ritual, and it is incredibly worthwhile to spend the money for the repair. Fortunately, you will typically find that a lot of technicians charge around the same hourly rate. Any outliers (to that rate) might as well serve as a giant red flag to stay away! In addition to clear pricing, many good technicians will provide specialty packaging opportunities, such as a data back-up package, or virus removal and OS re-install, etc. A good computer technician will offer these to you, and you should certainly take advantage, as they will essentially save you the most money!
Customer service is a term that covers more occupational fields then I can even fathom, yet it is crucial when searching to hire a computer repair technician. Personally, each positive and negative customer service experience that I have had guides me in my next search. Sometimes I find myself recalling how much of a headache a certain customer service provider gave me, or even how I was treated and/or talked to. Essentially, it comes down to the idea that you are paying for a service, therefore ultimately there should be a reduced effort on your part. When you initially make the move to call or contact the provider, you should not have to ask the probing questions or provide the information, as they are the ones selling a service to you! You as the customer should feel confident and at ease about hiring them. They should deliver empathy (because most likely your computer croaked), address and maybe even diagnose the problem, provide pricing options, and even an estimated time frame. Better yet, they should reassure you that the problem WILL be fixed and that you WILL be back to working order in no time! Honestly, many of these things that I just listed will just come naturally with good customer service.
After reviewing my list of essential things to look for when hiring a computer technician, I realized that equally as important is your choice to rehire the same technician. With that said, some things to keep in mind are: How did you feel after the repair or service was complete? Were you satisfied? Would you repeat the exact same experience again, if needed? Do you feel confident that if the problem comes back they will be there to assist you? Personally, the thing that I value the most is knowing my computer is in good hands, having my problem solved, and not regretting spending money to do so.
Have you had a negative or positive experience with a computer technician? Is there other information that you look for or want to know when hiring a new technician? Share your stories in the comments section below.