A couple of months ago I needed to get my racing bike repaired. There was a problem with the gears. They had developed a rather annoying problem of slipping when transitioning from low-to-high gearing. The first bike shop I took it to implemented a fix but their solution never got to the root of the real problem. But perhaps the most distasteful aspect of this experience was that during the course of their “repair”, they recommended that a new set of front brakes be fitted – not just the brake pads but a whole new braking mechanism. I was flabbergasted, I explained how the brakes worked perfectly for me. I asked them to further elucidate on the “problem” which they found. For a few seconds the technician stumbled for words and then said he would have to call me back. Miraculously, within the space of twenty minutes, the brake problem disappeared with the technician sheepishly declaring “those brakes should be ok”. The next day I collected the bike with the intension of never darkening the doorway of the business again.
Two weeks later the exact same gearing problem had manifested itself. I took it to a second bike shop and the experience could not have been more different. They identified the problem immediately and implemented a solution which is still working perfectly 4 months later. Moreover, the technician fixed (gratis) a problem with the handlebar stem which he said might give problems in the future. He also gave advice on how to prevent the gearing problem from re-occurring. He also fine-tuned the gears which made gear changes go from being crunchy to silky-smooth. I asked for his professional advice on the front brakes – they were perfect. The repair was completed for a fraction of the price which the first shop charged.
This experience got me thinking about IT support and some of the qualities which make a service-based business not just good but exceptional. First of all, it’s nice to do business with people who are honest and don’t take their customers for mugs. Secondly, it’s nice to do business with people who are passionate about their craft. They’re not just going through the motions to generate an invoice at the end of it. These service providers don’t have to do much selling or marketing. A core group of customers already knows there’re good and their marketing is done for them. And the third thing which my bike shop experience highlights is the importance of proactive advice. Whether you’re dealing with a dentist, car mechanic, accountant or any other service provider, proactive advice is what separates an average service experience from an exceptional one. You appreciate the car mechanic who tells you your brakes only have another few months left in them when you instinctively know he isn’t trying to up his bill. You value the dentist who spots a problem with your teeth, which might save you a lot of pain (and money) down the line.
In the context of IT support, it’s nice to be warned that your backup disk is running out of space or to be told your security software is not doing its job properly. This is much better than trying to resolve an IT problem in midst of preparing for a tender deadline or completing a job for an important client. Service professionals who dispense proactive advice not only show their passion for their job, but they also garner the trust of their clients. In a city like Dublin, which is really just a big village inhabited by people who love to talk, these qualities are more important than ever.
RealClear IT have been dispensing proactive advice to their clients since 2003. We provide IT solutions for Windows, Apple, networking, Office 365 and offer a complete range of IT security solutions. You can contact us on 01- 686 4833.