How to Hire a Great Computer Technician
The field of IT shares a problem with other fields where expertise is required. That is, not everyone is equal in competency, work ethic, or responsibility. What is different about IT that makes it particularly challenging for technicians is that Information Technology grew up practically over night (compared to plumbing, construction, electrical) and its pace has not slowed down. A good technician will keep up with technology and keep abreast of developments within IT.
In the absence of a good referral, there are at least 6 steps to finding the best computer technician in town. The first step is to narrow your focus. You want someone who has put thought into the formation of their company and is accountable for their mistakes. Do not hire a computer technician if he doesn’t have a company name, is the cheapest in town, or cannot communicate on your level. In most cases, do not hire a technician if he does not have a website or insurance.
The second step to finding a good technician is to go to any source that has reviews (such as yelp or yellowbook) and find the computer tech that has the most outstanding record. Be aware that some reviews may be bogus (so don’t put all your eggs in that basket).
The third step is to call several technicians and be aware of how they present themselves. Did they answer using their corporate name? Was their presentation fluid and relaxed? Contrary to what one might think, it doesn't look good if the technician makes promises about the diagnosis and therefore the cost involved as that would be premature and a novice mistake.
The fourth step would be to ask the technician for a few references. Be sure to call those references and note how old they were. Questions to ask the references would be: 1) “Is there anything the technician could have done better”? 2) “What did you like about the work performed”? 3) “Did the technician appear to be responsive and responsible?” The more questions that you ask, the more likely you are to get to the truth.
The fifth step would occur ideally if the technician offers a free consultation. If the technician does not offer a free consultation, it is ok to ask for one. You should ask how long the consultation will last for. The consultation is a great time to observe the technician and determine if he can communicate what he finds. I do not advocate grilling the technician because it is unnecessary. You need to be satisfied that the tech has a game plan and knows what he is doing.
The sixth step is about price. So far I haven’t talked about price because the cost that matters includes what will happen if you’ve hired an incompetent tech. One should not look at the upfront price as the only one, but hiring a top of the line technician will often save you money. If you have before you the best of the best, and his price is reasonable, and everything lines up, then I recommend hiring him for the job.
In conclusion, the best case scenario is to obtain a winning referral. However, that is not always possible, and so I’ve outlined the steps above. Of all the factors to look at, accountability, or the acceptance of responsibility for mistakes made is at the top.