The latest technologies can help your small business grow, add value to your clients, and provide you with an advantage over your competitors. But choosing an IT Support company can be a daunting and time consuming task. In this article I have highlighted a number of suggestions on how to find the most suitable service provider for your business.
Is the support company the right size?
There is not one IT support company that is right for everyone. If you are a one man band or a smaller business, you may find it hard to access the best talent of a large support company, despite what their ads may say. If you are a larger business, a small service provider might be unable to provide sufficient support.
Is the support company enthusiastic about what they do?
When looking for an IT support company, you need more than technical competency in a service provider. You need them to be excited about your business and the services they provide. A disinterested support company will be unlikely to stay up to date on new technologies and security risks.
Does the support company understand your problems and needs?
Technology is just a means to an end. Most providers will have a thorough and in depth knowledge about computers, but you need a support company that has first-hand experience in dealing with everyday business issues. A great question to ask the provider is “How does your service offering address the problems of running my business?”
What services do they provide?
What does the support company offer as a service? Do they specialise primarily in repairs and maintenance? Or do they provide a proactive service offering that supports your computers, server and networks?
Ask for references and testimonials
There is no greater measure of a support provider’s ability to deliver than a glowing referral, so always ask for a few references. You don’t have to call all of them, but if they can provide a few references to choose from it will instantly give you more trust and confidence.
How flexible is the support company?
Many businesses need to be flexible in order to meet the needs of their customers and the industry they operate in. The same can be said about IT support companies. Computers and technology are constantly changing, so it’s paramount that the IT support company you sign up with is a company that understands the ever-changing nature of the IT industry and can adapt to these changes.
What services will the support contract include?
It’s important to know exactly what IT support services your contract will include. It’s equally important to know what services the support contract does not include. The majority of billing arguments and service expectations can be solved with a simple conversation on day one “if I was to purchase a new computer, would setting it up be included in the contract”?
Location of the company
Your IT support company may need to visit your premises on occasions to make repairs and fix physical problems, so the nearer they are, the better. When making a shortlist of potential service providers, look for companies that are based within two hours’ drive of your offices. An IT support company should be able to provide solutions and respond to your phone calls within a reasonable time frame.
Know your business needs
Make a list of your support requirements and any changes that you would like to make to your existing IT infrastructure. If you have never done this before, think about desktop computers, laptops, scanners, photocopiers and other software. You don’t need to be too technical as the right IT support company will be able to provide you with honest advice on the best set up and equipment for your business.