Are you REALLY happy with your IT service provider? One of my favourite questions to ask.
9/10 will tell me how fabulous and on the ball their support team is just so that they don’t have to entertain a conversation about IT for one of three reasons: because of their busy schedule, they have no idea what they really need from their provider or they’re simply uninterested in a “sales” call.
Over the past few months I’ve really tried to understand why a business would not want to discuss the potential change in services for better quality, a more cost-effective solution, or both! My conclusion is the whole rigmarole of changing from one IT provider to another is a daunting task and a pain staking one at that. This would involve getting used to a brand-new systems and processes to handle their IT related issues, which could not be more wrong. It’s a respectable provider’s duty to ensure that the transition is gradual, smooth and that staff receive all of the support necessary to become sufficient and simplify their everyday tasks.
What’s even more concerning is how long businesses are willing to continue working with their IT support company despite the fact that they’re not completely happy with the service. One of my current clients specifically asked me not to “sell us anything” they just wanted “a system that works”! They had been with their provider for 18 months and were experiencing critical issues from day one but stayed because they hoped that things would improve.
We understand that the decision to switch providers can be a difficult one, but here are a few things to take into consideration before setting it in stone that you are “happy” with your current IT support provider.
1. How long does it take for your provider to resolve simple IT issues?
If it takes more than a day to recover lost passwords or your system crashing, that’s far too long! These are simple tasks to remedy but play havoc with your day especially if you’re working towards a deadline. You shouldn’t have to wait so long that you have to pick up the phone and chase them.
2. How often do they perform a review of your network?
Regular network health checks are crucial to your business. You have to be sure your network is running as smoothly as can be to ensure the efficient running of your infrastructure. Technology and software are always changing, updating and better products are always coming on the market to allow your substructure to run more efficiently. Your support team should be the first people to notify you of these updates and work with you to decide when is the best time to run them.
3. How often do they perform system backups?
Data loss is a vital disaster for modern day companies, so you need a backup plan. At the very least, I recommend having your data backed up at least twice a day, with possibly another two more dependent on the type and size of data you have.
4. Do they provide other services of value?
Other than IT support I believe that anything IT-related should be handled and project managed by, you guessed it – your IT support team! Whether it be a new website design, new application build or you just need your portable appliances tested, your IT team should be your go-to guys and have the ability to do it all. As you and/or your company evolve, be sure to have a support team that will aid your growth.
5. Have you spoken to other clients they serve?
You would be surprised how much of a good source of background information references can be, you cannot rely solely on reviews. Asking for references once or twice a year from various clients is a good idea. You can weigh up the service you receive from your IT company against theirs to see if you are as “happy” as they are.
6. Have you been tied into a long-term contract?
I’ve spoken to companies who have been tied into 3-5 year contracts and I ask them why they signed the paper. A common answer is that they were the shortest lengths on offer. At HelpDesk Heroes we believe it’s fair to have you on short contract lengths because we have 100% belief in our delivery of customer service. If we provide a stellar service, why would you leave? This is reflected in our 98.7% client retention rate since April 2015.