Impressing our expert judging panel with its continued efforts to support customers during lockdown, Inspiration Computers has been named Which? Trusted Trader of the Month.
Impressively, Inspiration Computers is no stranger to the Trader of the Month award, having secured the title twice before – once in 2018 and again in 2020. Clearly, the Yorkshire-based company continues to operate at an extremely high standard, despite the recent challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
So, what’s the secret to running an award-winning business? To find out, we caught up with Alison Grant, company director and co-founder at Inspiration Computers.
Do you think your company has what it takes to win? Read our guide on how to be the next Which? Trusted Trader of the Month.
A growing base of happy customers
Husband and wife Lee and Alison Grant are dedicated PC technicians with years of experience in fixing broken tech.
The pair decided very early not to employ staff, with Alison explaining: ‘It wouldn’t work for everyone, but we just love working together. You’ll occasionally find our two young daughters in the back of the shop, and Dolly the cockapoo is usually there with us as well!’
Inspiration Computers has a flawless customer score on the Which? Trusted Trader website, based on 170 reviews. Those glowing reviews praise a ‘friendly’, ‘helpful’ company that knows its stuff, and we’ve heard stories from plenty of customers who have stuck with Inspiration Computers for many years.
Alison told us: ‘We respond to every single review. We’re very proud of our reviews and always direct new customers to the Trusted Trader website for their own peace of mind.’
Reacting to the September 2021 result, Nadia Djeebet, Which? Trusted Traders account manager, said: ‘[Inspiration Computers] is such a deserving winner. Despite all the problems that came with the coronavirus pandemic, the company still has time to focus on its customers and provide tech support.
'It’s very clear to me how much the company cares about its community and customer service.’
Working through the coronavirus pandemic
Businesses up and down the country have had to adapt due to the coronavirus pandemic and Inspiration Computers is no exception.
Alison told us: ‘We’ve had a very tough year. Our retail business had to be closed for several months due to the government rules and some aspects of the business are yet to recover. The business has adapted to the rules as they have changed – we’ve carried out emergency repairs on people’s driveways, or sat in our car tapping into the customer’s wireless network to try and fix a broken printer. We're just very relieved to still be here trading in the business that we love.
‘Many of our customers are elderly or vulnerable, so we’ve had very secure Covid systems in place. That involves full-height screens, sanitisation of equipment and an electric door lock that ensures only one customer can enter the shop at a time. Our customers are our top priority and we need to look after them and keep them safe.’
Finding time for charity work
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the team at Inspiration Computers hasn’t stopped supporting the local community.
In fact, Alison told us that the company has donated free tech support to Give a Few Words, a social enterprise that gets people to write to those who are isolated, or individuals who would benefit from a handwritten letter.
Alison added: ‘We’ve also donated a day of food during the pandemic for the local children who were struggling in the holidays via a local enterprise.’
Inspiration Computers has recently donated another laptop to Teachers 4 Zambia. The tech support company has done a lot of voluntary work on refurbishing laptops so they can be used by trainee teachers.
These efforts didn’t go unnoticed by our judging panel. One of our judges said: ‘I love the community feel to this Trader of the Month application. Inspiration Computers has had a tough time during the pandemic, yet the company has still made time to focus on its customers. Donating laptops to those in need is also amazing.’
Another judge added: ‘Donating food is so lovely. The company clearly cares about the local community.’
Going the extra mile
As we were looking through Inspiration Computers’ application for Trusted Trader of the Month, two stories jumped off the page.
Alison told us: ‘We had one job that involved helping a family. The mum had sadly died at a young age and the father and son were left with a mess of passwords as they tried to access vital documents. Lee spent hours unpicking the details, which allowed the family to retrieve their precious data.’
Another tough job had Alison and Lee rebuild an old PC running on dated technology for an elderly gentleman.
‘We had to overcome several tricky technical problems so the customer could continue with his hobby of video editing for the town’s film club. The club has a wonderful archive of films, detailing social history for over 100 years. We wanted to support the customer with his important work, especially as his wife had recently passed away.
‘These are just two examples from recent months where the hours we’ve put in are not charged to the customer. Improving their mental wellbeing was worth spending the extra time on. In cases like this, the customer is charged a standard fee. The rest of the time isn’t charged – we just want to do what is right.’
Inspiration Computers has been running for nearly 18 years on reputation alone, Alison said. ‘We don’t really advertise – all our work comes about through word of mouth and people reading our reviews. We always try and treat people with respect and kindness and that makes us proud.’
Showing off the Which? Trusted Trader logo
Alison and Lee proudly display the Which? Trusted Trader logo as often as possible.
‘We continue to use the Which? Trusted Trader logo in all areas of the business. It tells people we’re a trusted business that’s safe to trade with, which is especially important for vulnerable and anxious customers.
‘The logo is present on all of our workwear. It’s also found in our shop window, on our documents and the Inspiration Computers website. We have branded pens, desk stickers and even a gazebo with the logo which we lend out to local organisations free of charge.’
We asked Alison if she had any advice for other traders considering signing up to the Which? Trusted Trader scheme. In response, the Inspiration Computers boss said: ‘Being a Which? Trusted Trader immediately gives new customers confidence in who they are dealing with. The fact that all the reviews are fully verified by the Which? team reassures the public that they are genuine.
‘The Which? Logo is universally well known and respected and it’s something that really is worth putting on all your paperwork and promotional items.’
Congratulations to Inspiration Computers for winning September 2021’s Which? Trusted Trader of the Month award.