During my nearly 30 years as an Office Equipment Dealer I have been asked many dozens of times what is the best “brand” of copier. My answer is always the same; relatively speaking, most copier brands are capable of doing the same jobs for any given company. The differentiating factor that will determine the end user’s satisfaction or lack thereof is the level of copier service and support provided by the company from which the copier is acquired.
Even though the writer of this blog has predominantly provided one brand of copying equipment during my 3 decade career I have to admit, albeit grudgingly that “my brand” of equipment doesn’t offer any significant differentiation in reference to the tasks that it can accomplish. Almost every potential customer that I’ve spoken to comes back to a common viewpoint, “I just want the copier to work and when I need copier service I need it to be fixed quickly because I can’t afford for the machine to be down.”
Whether you are looking at Xerox, Ricoh, Sharp, Konica Minolta, Toshiba, Canon or Kyocera Mita copier any of these well known brands are equally as able to consistently accomplish the mundane copying, printing and scanning tasks asked of them. This brings us back to the critical variable of quality of service and support that is provided by the company from which the copier is acquired.
4 Important Things That Determine the Quality of Copier Service and Support
- Proximity of Service Center to the copier being supported: One of the key questions to ask when acquiring a business copier is where the company is located that is responsible for providing copier service. How quickly a service provider can respond to your repair calls is paramount to a customer’s long term satisfaction. I would hesitate to consider a company that is located more than 30 minutes away from your company as proximity will determine the ability to quickly respond to calls especially towards the end of the day.
- Parts and Supply Availability: Many office equipment service providers maintain a very limited quantity of parts and supplies in their local facilities and instead rely on ordering parts as needed. This practice allows copier service providers to control their inventory costs but often results in delays in completing repairs on a customer’s machine. I advise customer’s to visit a vendor’s location to get a first hand feel for the level of parts, supplies and loaner equipment that is readily on hand and ask to see the parts and supplies kept on hand that apply to the model being considered for purchase.
- Experience of Service Personnel: It takes years for a copier service technician to reach a high level of competence and I would always recommend finding out the levels of training and experience of the local service manager and any field technician that is likely to be called upon in a service situation.
- Reputation: Ultimately, any company can make whatever claim it so chooses and these claims may and may not be accurate but are most certainly biased; a more reliable indicator of the quality of service to be expected by any company are testimonials from other local companies in your same area. I always recommend asking for at least 7 or 8 referrals of companies in your same geographic area to determine the level of service satisfaction that is being delivered. You don’t have to call all 7 or 8 but don’t it’s important to know that there is a wide sampling of customer’s that are willing to add credence to the claims made by the service provider.