Thanks to the internet, it has become so much easier to find a good locksmith in your area. It really has. Because prior to the internet and the rise of online directories and review sites, you basically were stuck with the Yellow Pages or word of mouth. Both of these are inadequate. Seriously.
Because if you’ve ever used the Yellow Pages to get a locksmith, chances are, you’re basically rolling the dice. Sometimes you end up with a good provider who turns out to be a professional. In other situations, you are completely off the mark and it seems that this person’s main goal is to rip you off and separate you from as much of your hard-earned money as possible.
I know that sounds crazy, but this is the nightmare scenario of any kind of Yellow Pages. That’s the bottom line. Whether it’s the Yellow Pages that you physically touch and involves you turning pages, or it’s the kind of Yellow Pages that you view online and you scroll through links and whatnot, the problem with Yellow Pages is that almost anybody can get listed on them.
You have absolutely no idea what their qualifications are. You don’t know whether they are a tried and proven option. You don’t know their capabilities. You don’t know their specialization. You don’t know much. All you have is a number, a name, and some basic information.
Now, let’s get real here for a second. By and large, most issues that involve the services of a locksmith don’t really require you to get the best and brightest locksmith in a ten-mile radius, okay? Let’s get that out of the way.
If you got locked out of your car or you somehow slammed the door behind you and you got locked out of your home, it’s not the end of the world. It’s fairly easy for the typical rank and file locksmith with basic training to get into that building or vehicle.
Sounds good so far? Here’s the problem. If you are in a building that has a very old lock or has some sort of intricate security system, it may be very hard for a basic locksmith with a basic understanding of his or her craft to get you in that building.
In other words, you need somebody with a little bit more experience. You need somebody who has been around the block a few more times and who is more professional. In any profession, there is always a hierarchy of skill. At the top are those who have been around for a while, who know the ins and out of what could possibly go wrong in their profession, and have trained accordingly.
Whether they got their training through formal means above and beyond their regular training, or they have simply been trained by good old experience, whatever the case may be, they have the experience that their clients or customers need to get those people out of a bind.
Unfortunately, when you use the Yellow Pages, you’re basically taking a shot in the dark.
How to Evaluate and Find a Good Locksmith in Your Area
Here’s the nitty gritty and the inside scoop on figuring out how to evaluate and find a good locksmith in your area.
The first thing that you need to do is to call as many locksmiths as possible.
Second, you have to ask key questions.
You have to ask them, “This is the kind of lock that I have. Have you done this before? Is there anything that I need to be aware of? Is there anything special about my case that might lead this to become some sort of special issue that requires different services?”
You have to be upfront about this. You can’t be shy. Worst of all, you can’t assume that the locksmith will figure it out for you. Remember, they’re not mind readers. So be prepared to fully describe your situation to them.
Don’t leave any details out. Instead of thinking that there are certain details that are so obvious to an experienced locksmith that you don’t need to share them, don’t leave anything out. It may be the determining factor. It may be crucial to your case.
It’s much better to look like a fool in the eyes of a good locksmith than to forego the services of one. Remember, highly professional locksmiths understand what you’re going through. They’re in the business of getting people out of a bind, after all.
So, start with the interviews. Once you get that out of the way and you have a shortlist going, the next step is to check online reviews. This is where the internet can definitely help you.
You have to understand that when people offer a service to the general public, they will develop a paper trail. They will come up with some sort of record based on the people interacting with them, using their services, and otherwise sampling their professional expertise. People will talk.
But the general rule is, for every ten persons who had a good experience with any kind of service provider, only one or less than one will post it online. In other words, bad news travels faster than good news. This goes with the territory.
When was the last time you got the service that you expected at a hair salon or with your accountant? I’m sure you were happy, but you were not so ecstatic and beside yourself that you went out of your way to go online and post a glowing review of your service provider.
I’m sure that happens from time to time with you, but most of the time, that’s not the rule with you. Well, imagine how other people respond. They basically respond the same way.
So, if you notice that a vast majority of the reviews regarding the prospective locksmith that you’re considering is somewhat lukewarm or slightly negative or even flat out negative, your best bet is to step away.
As the old saying goes, when there is smoke, there is fire. There’s a reason why these people are saying what they’re saying. Sure, even if you count for the fact that some of those reviews may be fake and are posted by competitors, it’s unmistakable that there is a pattern there.
So, use this to your advantage. Look for patterns. Try to connect the dots. And if you see that something seems off, it’s much better for you to just go on down the list.
The great thing about the internet is that it’s very easy to come up with that list. It’s very easy to get a hold of those people. In fact, you only need to tap on a couple of buttons and you would be on a voice call with these individuals.
Don’t hesitate to call them and ask them your questions. And the more specific your questions are, the better off you would be. Once you have gone through this filtration process, you can pretty much rest assured that you will find the most professional locksmith that will do the job the first time around and who won’t charge you an arm and a leg for it.
Sounds like a perfect solution? Well, this happens quite a bit. So, do yourself a big favor, just come in well-prepared.