As more businesses turn to IT support companies to stay ahead of the tech curve, you may be wondering if it’s time to do the same. However, before you pick a partner and sign that contract, it’s important to do your due diligence – have you done your homework? Are you knowledgeable about every aspect of your chosen IT partner?
Finding an IT partner for your business won’t be difficult. A quick online search will reveal hundreds of managed IT companies that provide a diverse array of digital services and solutions. However, while finding a company is easy, you’ll need to do your homework before signing any contract. After all, how do you know they’re the perfect fit for your business?
So what questions should you ask your IT support company?
What are your response times?
If there is an issue with your system and/or network, you should anticipate a reasonable response time from your IT support provider. This will be dependent on the level of assistance you are willing to pay for.
Do they have testimonials from happy customers?
Nothing is more satisfying than hearing from happy clients about what your chosen IT provider has accomplished for them. Just be wary of testimonials that are fully anonymous or that are ascribed to ambiguous individuals such as Mr Smith Smithson – you’ll want to hear from real businesses.
Do you provide remote management and monitoring?
While some IT support companies provide 24/7 monitoring and will take proactive action (often from a remote location) to prevent issues before they escalate and threaten your business continuity. However, there are also many IT support companies that still operate an on-site break-fix service meaning they will offer little in the way of remote management and monitoring.
Remote management can cut down on any unnecessary travel expenses and shorten the time it takes to fix things. For example, your IT support provider might be able to detect the imminent failure of a disc drive and back up your data before it’s too late. As a result, it’s important to ask whether your chosen IT partner will take a proactive approach to your digital assets and IT infrastructure.
What exactly do you support in your contract?
The majority of IT support providers will pay labour costs for any event involving hardware or a specific piece of software. Some will also include mileage and travel time to and from your location if an on-site visit is required. However, in some cases that assistance does not extend to customised software. Many support providers also charge extra for additional assets and infrastructure such as printers, scanners and mobile devices. As a result, it’s important to ask what exactly your chosen partner supports as per your contract.
How can I log support calls?
It can be really frustrating when you can’t reach the individual you hired to handle an IT issue. As a result, it’s important to make sure your support provider has a dedicated phone line with a live operator or another option, such as an email address or web form that is sent to the support team.
Can you supply our business hardware?
Even if you buy all of your business hardware from a different vendor, it’s still helpful to know that your IT support partner can swap out any broken components on their own.
Ensuring your IT support provider can also supply the right hardware for your business is also important in the event that something goes wrong. When it comes time to replace your hardware, you might feel more comfortable doing so knowing that the people who are supporting your infrastructure also recommended, provided and installed it.
Can we only call when we have a problem?
Does your IT support partner provide support for typical issues day-to-day? Or do they only provide assistance when difficulties arise? Any additional help from your IT support company will be undoubtedly beneficial for both yourself and your employees and can increase the viability of your investment in their services.
When I phone, will I speak directly to a technician?
Many IT support companies will run call centres staffed by agents with little to no technical expertise, who will collect information about your problem and then send it on to the second tier of technicians.
If your business is experiencing downtime, the last thing you want is to be passed around a call centre. As a result, it’s important to make sure your business has direct access to technical staff who know what they’re doing.
Do your contracts tie me in for a specific period?
Many IT support companies offer contracts with a minimum time commitment or a long notice period when it comes to cancellation. It’s important to look for companies with a short minimum term and cancellation period just in case they don’t deliver the kind of service you’re after.
At the end of the day, finding tech support is easy, but getting the right support for you and your business can be a little trickier. Your IT partner of choice should share your beliefs as well as take your business objectives and goals into account.
At the end of the day, the IT support provider you select will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of your own business. Start by using your location to search for a few different keywords. You might give ‘Tech Management Bristol’ or ‘IT Support Bristol’ a shot. From there, it should be easy to narrow down your options until you find a provider who meets your criteria. Just don’t sign with the first partner you come across!