Does your computer take a full five minutes to boot up? Do you see ads popping up all over the screen every time you attempt a simple Google search? Has your teen’s laptop been on the fritz ever since he dropped it? You might be in need of a “nerd.”
Nerds to Go is a new computer repair and maintenance company located in Hoods Crossroads. “A lot of folks think it’s computer repair, which is just a subset of what we do,” says Owner and General Manager Paul Blanchette. “What we talk about is providing ‘technology peace of mind.’ We can come in and work on your system and be proactive with issues that come up versus waiting until the issue becomes an emergency and your computer system crashes or a computer goes down or you get a virus and it slows down your workflow. We try to get ahead of that, maintain your system, get it healthy and then keep it healthy.”
Nerds to Go has been in business in Guilford, CT, since 2003, but has only been franchising for the past two years. The Mint Hill storefront marks the company’s first location in North Carolina. The location is all part of the appeal for Mint Hill resident Blanchette, who worked in pharmaceutical sales for twenty-six years traveling three to four nights a week. When his division shut down in January of 2017, Blanchette found he enjoyed having more time at home with his wife and family and started to look for local opportunities.
With the help of a life coach, investigated franchise opportunities that fit with his interests and skill set. “This was the one that just made sense to me,” says Blanchette. “I’m not technical, but the world has gotten technical and more technical and it keeps continuing to get technical. The story I always tell is that when my folks were in their 70s, we’d go over to their house and their VCR would be blinking ‘12:00.’ I’d fix it; then we’d be back over in a couple weeks and it’d be blinking again, and this would go on and on. I’d joke with my wife, ‘You know, honey, I wonder what the technology is going to be that ‘blinks 12:00’ for our generation?”
For Blanchette, that’s the appeal of Nerds to Go: experts who can diagnose and fix those pesky technical problems that you don’t have the time or knowledge to fix yourself in your home or business. Their 24/7 call center is staffed by experienced nerds who can “triage” your IT problem and tell you the cost of repair upfront. Customers can also talk to Blanchette and his local team over the phone about whether their computer problem is something they can help with and schedule service.
“We are designed to be on site,” says Blanchette. “You don’t have to unplug it and lug it to us, we come to you. With everyone being as busy as they are in today’s world, you don’t have time to bring a computer in, have somebody look at it, and get back to you. We can come to you when it’s convenient for you and do the work on site, and it’s not interrupting your day.”
For Blanchette, what really sets Nerds to Go apart is the company’s – and his team’s – dedication to customer service. “It’s not about upselling,” says Blanchette. “We are not about that. We are about customer needs, customer focus. That’s something that really drew me to this business model when I was talking with the owners up in Guilford, their focus on customer service. We have a 100% happiness guarantee. We’re not happy until the customer is happy.”