In December, we’re celebrating customer service joy. There are many positive stories that can get overlooked amid accounts of negative and inadequate customer service. These positive accounts are proving contagious, as increasingly companies across the country are making top-notch customer care a top priority.
A closet geek, I’ve spent most of my professional life addressing computer and technological challenges on my own. I just couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of paying an IT consultant who I feared would communicate with me in tech-ese, tell me what couldn’t be done instead of concentrating on finding solutions, then charge solely based on time spent versus factoring in results achieved.
After suffering a computer meltdown in October, I decided to seek out help going forward—both to address longstanding issues and make a progressive, proactive plan going forward. I put out a request on NextDoor.
One of the first recommendations was for Michael Powers of Graywin LLC, a computer consultant who has done work for several people in my building and is well-known in the area. (Graywin provides a surprisingly comprehensive array of business and residential services beyond what I’m addressing. They’re detailed on the website.)
Getting him on board is the single best IT-related decision I’ve made during 36 years in business. Besides exemplary knowledge and experience across a wide variety of IT issues—both hardware and software related—his customer service is a sight to behold.
Punctual, professional, personable, proactive and peace-of-mind-generating are the first five attributes that come to mind. He does what he says he will do, often takes initiative to go above and beyond the specific challenge, passionately and creatively seeks solutions, is incredibly responsive, and offers extremely attractive pricing. This blog is named HappyCurmudgeon; Michael brings out the “happy” in me without triggering any curmudgeonly tendencies. Those who know me will attest this is somewhat rare. Finding it in the IT consulting sector is akin to fulfilling the impossible dream.
Here are just a few of the ways his approach establishes a benchmark for other IT consultants to aspire to:
- He’s very straightforward about what he knows, what he doesn’t know, and what he’s willing to do to discover answers. There is no deception or misleading. And unlike so many consultants who base charges on hours instead of accomplishments, Michael has proven extremely generous in gray areas. When challenges take longer to meet than he thinks they should—even when beyond his control—he factors that into his total charges, which already are surprisingly affordable.
- Establishing customer peace of mind comes standard. From day 1, I felt comfortable and in good hands—instead of suffering the trepidation that caused me to go it alone for so many years.
- His approach is non-disruptive. He does house calls! For me, that’s huge. Availability of my computer and associated technology is critical. Generally, he’s done what’s needed on-site so that there’s no substantial downtime. When required, he can take the equipment back to his office for repair, upgrading, etc.
- He has a penchant for problem-solving and challenge-meeting. I’ve had a longstanding challenge of making sure my Outlook email archives are backed up sufficiently so that a computer meltdown won’t compromise them. With Michael’s creative as well as straightforward solutions, I now have a multi-tiered Outlook backup system that makes me confident and comfortable.
- He just knows stuff—lots of stuff! As a relatively savvy technology user, I have been thrilled with Michael’s ability to make my day-to-day navigating much easier than it’s ever been.
In case it’s not already glaringly apparent, I give Michael Powers kudos, kudos and more kudos! I’ve already recommended him to three people near me, and plan to serve as an enthusiastic advocate going forward. Speaking of recommendations, thanks to Carol Miller in my building for providing the recommendation to Michael.
Mark Lusky is a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience. Author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage, Mark (aka The Happy Curmudgeon) is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm celebrating 36 years in business in 2018.