Determining how to find a locksmith isn’t as simple as it seems. That’s because the profession has grown more complex with the rise of advanced technologies. Today, locksmiths handle a wide array of services.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the scope of those services. We’ll also walk you through the steps needed for finding the right one for you. So let’s get this thing open, shall we?
What Services Does a Locksmith Offer?
The quick answer to this is that it depends on the locksmith you’re talking to. Some offer a simple unlocking or repair service.
Others get into the more advanced types. Some examples:
- Cam and drawer
- Electronic cabinets
- File cabinets
- Display cases
- Keyless entry deadbolts
- Surface mount closures
The above list is hardly an exhaustive one. So start your search with a simple homework assignment:
1. Determine Why You Need One
To get locksmith services without paying too much, you first need to pinpoint the issue. Are you dealing with a broken lock? Would a simple repair or a full replacement suffice?
When making the determination, focus on a few key factors. Particularly, these:
- The object being locked
- The internal contents being protected
- Your available funds
- The cost of not securing your valuables with the best available technology
To this last point, living in certain areas that are prone to burglaries and break-ins can make traditional locksmithing solutions a recurring cost you’re not prepared to handle. In such cases, it can be more worthwhile to spend extra on a fix that offers a longer-term solution.
2. Ask Your Circle of Friends
Referral marketing has been the surest way to grow a business across a variety of industries. In fact, 77 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to make a purchase if learning about a product or service from a friend or family member.
You probably already know this from your own consumer habits, even if you’ve never heard it articulated. That’s a good instinct to have. So when trying to find locksmith services, start with your group.
That could be people you know intimately. Or, it could be people whose opinions you respect and trust from your social networks.
3. Look Up Your Locksmith Choices Online
Of course, it’s entirely possible your closest friends and acquaintances haven’t used locksmithing, at least for a significant period of time. And if they do have experiences, those may no longer be relevant.
Go online for a deeper dive in such instances. The Internet — through either mobile or desktop/laptop computers — can connect you with a skilled, reviewed, and local locksmith in seconds.
That said, don’t let the locksmiths who know how to market well on a search engine be your first choice. They may very well be the best choice, but you’ve still got a little more digging to do.
4. Check Their Business License and References
It’s entirely acceptable to ask a locksmith for their business license and references. If they’re professionals, then they know cost and reputation are important to you. They’ll provide them, no sweat.
In fact, many locksmiths will post this information on their website. But don’t take their word for it. Vet what they’re sharing with your local authority.
5. Remember the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is your friend when it comes to reputable research. Go directly to the website. Run a search for “locksmith” and adjust the geographic location.
From there, a list of the locksmiths in your area will appear. The higher-ranked ones often advertise this next to their listing.
Look for the companies or providers who are rated A+. But don’t stop there. Open each entry, read reviews, and see how they respond to complaints (if any).
The language and professionalism used will give you a pretty strong idea of what to expect. Once you’ve found a few you like, it’s time to:
6. Affirm Their Insurance and Bonding
This is another area where the BBB website proves valuable. In order to be considered for BBB status, a company must include all the required insurances and bonding requirements.
But what do these items mean? The insurance part means the company has coverage for any mishaps or safety claims that happen on the job. That is, their insurance pays without holding you liable.
Bonding is another item altogether. It provides financial safeguards if the job is unfinished or poorly performed. Ask to see proof of these two factors from the provider, but check for yourself to ensure they’re being on the level with you.
7. Explain the Scope of Your Project
This is pretty straight-forward if you just need a lock fixed or replaced. Where services get more complex is when you get into the advanced technologies.
AdTech may employ video surveillance, electronics, and specialized access requirements (like security badges). For these, you’ll want a locksmith who understands installation and troubleshooting.
8. Get an Estimate
Don’t agree to anything until you can get a firm number from the company. Look for definitive language. Ask them to include all fees, taxes, materials, and labor in their estimate.
9. Get It in Writing
This provides a level of protection for you and the service provider. Plus, it’s just a requirement of professional behavior. And it cuts off any last-minute confusion that may still exist about the full scope of services.
10. Leave Feedback
Be a part of the solution. Think about how valuable reviews and comments were to your online search for a locksmith.
Without a guiding hand, you’re flying blind. So give back by detailing your experience. It makes the overall ecosystem more reliable for us all, and it helps you cement the qualities you’re looking for the next time you need to hire someone.
The Journey for How to Find a Locksmith Begins Here
Here’s hoping you’ve found this look at how to find a locksmith informative. But now that you know how it’s done, it’s time to take action. Start with what you need and use friends, family, technology, and online resources to do the rest.
And if you’re looking for an experienced locksmith in the Billings area with more than three decades of experience, consider Independent Lock and Parts. Contact us today for a free estimate.