This is the thirteenth post from our Business Advisory Guide entitled “What Every Business Owner Must Know About Hiring an Honest and Competent, Responsive and Fairly Priced Computer Consultant.” We wrote this guide to help business owners who have to outsource the maintenance of their computers.
This week we discuss:
5 More Mistakes to Avoid
When Choosing a Computer Consultant
1. Choosing a computer consultant based on a single phone call.
We recommend you invite them into your office and ask them for a written proposal. Be clear on what your expectations are and what type of problems you want them to resolve. As stated a moment ago, a competent professional should offer to do an audit of your network to diagnose your system BEFORE quoting you anything. After all, would you take a doctor’s word that you needed surgery if they hadn’t done x-rays or other diagnostics? Of course not! Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.
2. Choosing a computer consultant that doesn’t have a written guarantee.
In our view, a good consulting firm should be accountable for their services and fixing things RIGHT. If you aren’t pleased with a job that was done, they should (at a minimum) make it right for free; and if they simply cannot resolve an issue to your satisfaction, you shouldn’t get stuck with the bill.
The fact that they stand behind their work with a service guarantee shows they have confidence in themselves to make you a happy client. Don’t fall for the, “We don’t offer one because people will take advantage of us,” routine. In our experience, MOST people just want an honest service at a reasonable price. If you give them that, they are happy to pay. Are there a few unethical folks out there? Of course, but they are the minority, and we would rather bite the bullet on the very few dishonest ones, so we can gain the trust and confidence of the majority of clients who just want their problems fixed fast and fixed right.
3. Choosing a computer consultant without speaking to several of their current clients.
Check their references! Don’t just take the sales guy’s word that they are good – ask to speak to a few other clients that are similar in size and scope to you. If they hesitate or cannot provide you with references, don’t trust them! Another good sign is that they should have multiple client testimonials and success stories posted on their web site and throughout their marketing collateral. A lack of this may be a sign that they don’t have clients who are happy enough to provide a good reference – again, a warning sign.
4. Choosing a computer consultant who cannot remotely monitor, update and support your network.
In this day and age, a consultant who is not able to work remotely is living in the stone ages. You want someone to do this because it will dramatically increase your network’s security and will enable them to do faster repairs. That’s not to say they shouldn’t come onsite; but remote monitoring and repairs make fixing problems FASTER for YOU and help AVOID problems from cropping up in the first place.
5. Choosing a computer consultant who isn’t trained and experienced in the technologies you use to run your business.
Unlike many other professions, computer consultants and firms are not required to be certified by the state or even mandated to have any experience in the technology field. Literally anyone can hang up a shingle and call themselves a computer consultant. Many “computer consultants” have been laid off from corporate jobs and feel that it’s easy to run a technology consulting business from their basements. Hire someone with many years of full-time experience who has expertise in working with business technology needs.
In our next post we’ll discuss: Hire a trusted computer consultant by being informed. It’s easy!
If you want to skip this blog and read the guide, Download the Business Advisory Guide Here. If you’re not ready to do that, then just read these posts when they come out. However you decide to do it, when you finish reading the guide, you'll know for sure who to hire. Easy peasy!
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DTS InfoTech . . . computer networks that work