Tales of Three Clients (And The Moral of the Stories)

Richard received an email from his web designer last month informing him she had taken an opportunity that no longer allowed her to maintain his company’s web site. He immediately forwarded the information to me requesting I “handle it.”

He knows his time and energy as a small business owner are best spent building his business and serving his customers. It’s wasteful for him to fumble around with computers, his website, and other tech issues.

Ever since Richard asked me to support his computer needs over seven years ago, he’s viewed our relationship as that of a trusted advisor. He knows we have his best interests at heart and will make the right recommendations and decisions for him because we understand his business and his technology needs.

For example, when the sales rep for his accounting software calls his office to process the annual renewal, he gives them my phone number and tells them to speak with me. He refuses to talk to them.

Because of this relationship, I can proudly report his computers and network have had NO major issues causing loss of data or significant interruptions in his business. The small, common computer problems are very infrequent and solved quickly.

But I have several clients – both business and residential – who are unlike Richard. They prefer to make changes or tackle computer problems on their own without consulting a computer professional.

Just today, as I’m writing this column, a client frantically called me within minutes of the Frontier technician leaving his office after installing the DSL Internet service. He discovered his two computers couldn’t communicate with each other. Nor could he print to either of his wireless printers.

A quick phone call to me prior to changing his Internet service providers would have prevented his moment of panic, his computer problems, and a costly emergency service call.

Here’s another story:

The other evening while wasting time on Facebook, I saw a friend’s post soliciting help in hooking up her Spectrum (formerly Time Warner) cable modem. She couldn’t find any place in her house with the connections for the cables.

One person commented, “Find a teenager in your neighborhood or call one of your grandkids.”

To many, setting up a cable modem should be easy and take less than five minutes. But I’ve had instances where it necessitated a 30-minute phone call to get it working after it was properly connected.

Grandkids who are “computer geniuses” and family members who “work for Microsoft” keep computer repair shops across this country in business. They know just enough to royally screw up your computer or network – leaving you to foot a hefty repair bill to clean up their mess.

So what’s the moral of these stories?

Find a computer professional you know, like, and trust.

Then let them handle EVERYTHING related to your technology – whether it’s at your home or your business.

Call them BEFORE changing service providers, installing new software, buying a new printer or other hardware, or disconnecting any cables.

The money you spend for advice and direction from someone who knows what they’re doing (i.e. someone who does it every day for a living) will be CONSIDERABLY LESS than what you’ll shell out to fix something you or someone else broke.

As the old saying goes, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Scott Hartley, President/CEO

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