When it comes to computer support companies, not all are created equal.
Have you figured that out yet? – I’m sure you have.
You’ve done enough shopping around to know that there are several “levels” of IT support companies out there. In case you haven’t thought through the categories, here they are:
- The Lone Ranger – This is the guy who knows just enough about computers to be dangerous. He may have printed up business cards on his home computer, but he doesn’t have a company. He just drives from frantic call to frantic call. He’s like a med student trying to do neurosurgery. He has no insurance, no backing, and little skill – but he’s cheap.
- The Local Computer Repair Shop – There are people in this niche of IT support that know what they are doing, and there are just as many that are entirely clueless. It’s a gamble putting your computer in their hands. They deal mostly with home users and usually have little idea how to optimize computers for business workflows.
- The Travelling Circus – There are several franchise models of IT support that wrap vehicles in brightly colored logos and imagery – resembling a circus wagon – and go from business to business doing computer repair. The assumption of the customer is, “If they are part of the franchise, they must be good. Someone must have vetted them for competence.” Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Most often, franchises are awarded on the basis of who has the cash to buy into the franchise, not their skill set. Although there are thousands of great technicians working within the traveling technician model, there are just as many who don’t have a clue.
- The Outsourced Break/Fix IT Consultants – This group of technicians moves us into a higher level of IT support. Generally, they are a part of an established local business with ties to the community and a skill set that is up to the task. They work on hours plus materials basis and focus on getting your business computers and network up and running again when you break down.
- The Subscription-based, Maintenance-Focused IT Consultants – This group of IT professioiss are convinced that keeping your business IT systems running is a better plan than waiting for the systems to break down and come scrambling to fix them. This type of IT support company – called Managed IT Services – is trained, local, and business-centric.
Because there are so many different models, levels of expertise, and goals within the computer repair “community,” it’s not a surprise that there are secrets that some of the people that do computer repair don’t want you to know. So, here they are.
Secret #1 – “Strategic Partners Matter, And We’re Not Aligned With Your Manufacturer.”
IT support companies align themselves with specific vendors to get better support and pricing from those vendors. In addition, they honestly believe that those vendors have the best product for the customers that they serve.
Professional computer repair companies often partner with six to a dozen different IT hardware and software vendors in order to pick and choose the most appropriate product for the particular application.
Unscrupulous computer repair companies pretend to be experts at everything just to get your business. If you have Dell computers, then they love Dell. If you’re an Apple fanatic, they are too! – Strange how that happens, isn’t it?
The truth is, they can’t be experts at everything, can they?
So, it’s important to understand the strategic relationships that computer support companies have formed with vendors, so you know where their expertise – and their loyalties – lie.
Secret #2 – “We Could Fix Your Problem and Then Walk Away, But Ongoing Maintenance Saves You Money.”
This is something you never hear your computer repair people say.
With the exception of the continuous maintenance or managed services model, all other companies are focused on making money from your company when your computers, servers, applications, or cloud assets malfunction. Downtime for you means money in their pocket.
But that’s not good for your business.
Downtime for you means lost revenue and lost productivity.
So, how do you get off the break/fix roller coaster?
Hire a company that specializes in management, maintenance, and monitoring of business IT systems.
Usually, this model is referred to as Managed IT Services.
In the Managed IT Services model, the computer repair company is most profitable when they keep your IT systems running flawlessly and don’t have to invest in off-hours, emergency manpower to fix sudden computer problems in your business.
In the long run, continuous computer maintenance and monitoring saves you money.
Secret #3 – “There Is No Regulatory Body For IT Support Companies.”
Yes, it’s true. So be very careful who you hire. Get references and check them out. After all, you don’t want to give all of your passwords and control of your IT systems to someone that you haven’t properly vetted. That’s not good for your company’s IT security.
Outside of the inherent security risk of hiring a dud, there is the problem of hiring a dud that doesn’t know what they are doing.
How do you know?
Well, because there is no regulatory body for IT repair companies, you have to rely on the manufacturers of the hardware and software. These vendors have established training programs for their products. When a technician has completed the training program and shows competency in the hardware or software in question, he/she receives a certificate proving that they have successfully completed the training course.
Asking companies what certifications their technicians have achieved is one way to find out if they are serious about keeping up with current technology or not.
Secret #4 – “Your Device May Be Sent Out Of State For Repair.”
Do you want your computer – with all of your confidential information – to leave the state or even the country to be repaired?
Of course not!
But it happens every day.
Companies that don’t have the in-house staff with the right expertise will outsource their work to another business in another state or even in another country across an ocean.
Because it’s cheaper and easier for them.
But it’s not more secure for you, is it?
Ask the questions and get the answers you need before leaving your computer with a computer repair business. You need to be informed and feel comfortable with what they are doing with your device.
Secret #5 – “This Is Above Our Capability. You Should Go Somewhere Else.”
You never hear a computer repair company say these words, do you?
If a doctor couldn’t perform the operation, he’d send you to a specialist.
Computer repair isn’t the same.
Technicians tell themselves, “I’ll figure it out.”
And sometimes they might.
But the flip side of the coin is that sometimes they do more damage than what was done in the first place.
This is why it’s important to find the very best computer support company in your area that has technicians who specialize in cutting-edge technology. Their expertise may cost your business a few extra dollars, but at least you will know that they have the skills to get things fixed right the first time.
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