Written by @Shoan041
I recently had the opportunity to sit down and interview one of the Service Technicians from Micro Center in Marietta. My interviewee, Lance, is an Apple Technician whom I have had the pleasure of working with since I joined Micro Center in 2019. He has a great temperament, displays a high level of humility, and shows excellent professionalism. I have a great respect for Lance both personally and professionally. He is coming up on 13 years working with Micro Center, having started on a Black Friday back in 2010. In all the Black Friday flurry, he didn’t even get to perform his main duties as a Technician because he was so new. He mainly directed customers and helped them find the bathroom. Having been a customer for years previously, he at least had an idea of where some things were!
Technology has been an important part of his life since he was very young. Seeing the latest technology and getting to use it has fascinated him for as long as he can remember. His father helped nurture this interest in technology. When he was in middle school, Lance’s dad would allow him to join him at IBM during the company's Bring Your Child to Work days. Lance remembers his first build in 1998, where he got to build some of the beige computers at IBM and learn from his dad who was a tech since the 90s. He learned to enjoy building computers and learned enough Command Line in DOS to play games on his computer at home. Lance was so cutting edge, he even took a laptop with him to school back in the 90s! I know it doesn’t seem like much in 2023, but for those of us who went to school in the 90s, we remember most people didn’t take laptops to school with them.
During Lance's free time, he enjoys playing games and hanging out with friends. He also builds his own gaming computers!
Lance likes the feeling of belonging to a community that comes along with being an Apple Technician. He likes to get hands-on with the computers and build rapport with his customers, so they feel safe coming back to him and working with him time after time. Lance has been here long enough that many Apple users and Lance work regularly and know each other on a first-name basis. I have had the opportunity to listen to Lance work with his customers and he is always patient, courteous, and looking out for his customers. I remember that one of our Service Managers used to use Lance as an example of one of the best Apple Technicians in the area!
Lance sees himself basically as a problem solver. Something akin to a scientist using the Scientific Method to solve computer-related issues. When he gets in, the first thing he does is check his queue of units that need to be worked on. Afterward, he checks for anything that customers may have emailed him or notes that he or his team might have left for him to deal with later. Lance has a mantra that he tries to work by: “Mise En Place”. Literally translated as "set up," Lance embodies this by making sure all his tools are set to where they need to be and all his projects for the day are set up in a neat and orderly fashion. After checking that everything is where it belongs, he works through customer issues with their Apple computers and does his best to fix everything to customer needs, reaching out for clarifications and updates as needed.
As we all know, work will ebb and flow, so it’s busier sometimes than others. When Lance is caught up with his main work for the day or has time, he attempts to help the rest of the service team. Sometimes this is with setting up for success during the day with workshop organization. Sometimes it’s in the form of advice or even building computers for other customers. Lance is like the glue that helps keep the service team together. Paraphrased from his own words, he is like the baker in the kitchen who can also help the team cook an amazing steak!
Toward the end of his day, Lance makes sure that he breaks down his bench, puts everything back where it belongs, checks his email for customer contact for the final time, and checks in with our current Service Manager.
Lance loves talking about technology. That can come in the form of teaching people about new technology or tech they have yet to experience. Other times it's in the form of learning new things. He shared with me some of his favorite moments at Micro Center. One of them was seeing the joy in a customer’s face when they saw how they could play World of Warcraft with the highest settings and could see shadows for the first time. Another moment is when he has the opportunity to work with Make-A-Wish and help a Wish Kid. On one of these occasions, we were able to work with a Wish Kid to build his own gaming computer! I was lucky enough to work on that with Lance at the time as well. Lance was patient and worked with him through the whole build process!
One of Lance's other favorite things about the company is how customer-focused we are. Taking care of the customer is the most important aspect to us here at Micro Center. We work hard to treat our customers with respect and keep repairs and support simple and friendly. Lance also likes that other local companies will treat us as the Apple IT for their company. They come to us on a regular basis to fix their computers and service them. They will even bring in 5-10 or more units at a time!
Technicians and interviewers are not the only coworkers that Lance has to deal with. Sales associates will drop in from time to time to ask questions, generally Apple-related. The sales team coordinates with Lance to set up appointments and/or establish relationships with customers for their computer repair. Everyone that I have spoken with has a high level of respect and admiration for Lance’s work as an Apple Technician and we definitely let the customers know they are in good hands! Lance does his best to live up to the expectations of the sales team and the customers alike. He strives to provide unique and excellent customer service, so the customers come back and ask for Lance by name!
One of the hardest challenges for Lance was working on the 2013 Mac Pro Towers. They housed 2 AMD Video Cards in Crossfire and were difficult to troubleshoot. The entire machine had to be disassembled before attempting a fix. Afterwards, it had to be rebuilt and the lid had to be on perfectly and engaged before attempting to turn it on. This process can be a very lengthy process when he has to do it over and over when trying to fix the computer!
With computers becoming a staple of everyday life, more people are getting into the Tech Service world. Lance says that It’s okay not to know the answer immediately, but you have to have the ability and willingness to figure it out! Also, don’t assume that the customers know something that you consider common knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they know and understand. Take the time to explain it to them, teaching just makes it easier for you when they come back and helps build rapport. Notes are one of the major keys to Lance’s success! Unless you have a perfect memory, you need to leave yourself and coworkers notes. Multitasking is extremely helpful when dealing with a queue of computers that need to be fixed. Keeping detailed notes helps organize your work. Most importantly, you have to like the job. How can you be an educator and hate kids?
Love the photo and the article! Also I definitely agree with the Mac Pro Tower thing, the Apple Technician at my store said the same thing haha
Great article. Way to go Lance!
Thanks! That's one of my favorite photos of Lance. He hates taking pictures, so it took some convincing for him to let me use it lol
Lance seems very cool too!
I love that you guys to Make a Wish at your store, I'd love to bring that to the Sharonville store as well.
That photo is the money shot. It literally makes me want to know more about the person. Well done article.
Awesome job Lance!
Lance sounds like a beast! good work!
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