We are often told that many businesses simply hire the cheapest or first supplier they speak with (and they often come into trouble when they are charged surprise call out fees and receive an inferior service.)
We are often asked “what are the key warning signs to look out for when choosing an IT Support Provider?” and now we’ve rounded them up for you!
1. They aren’t overly keen on you visiting their premises.
What are they attempting to hide? A reputable IT Support Provider will be happy to show you around their office. It allows you to see how they work, check they are the organised and functional team you want to look after your business’ IT needs.
2. They avoid the question: ‘How many years’ experience do your helpdesk staff have?’
The preferred figure is around five years. The helpdesk is the main point of contact for your business, and it is a tough and skilled area. Alongside excellent people skills, helpdesk staff need to have a thorough knowledge of both your IT setup, and IT in general.
They need to know key triggers for problems and the fixes for such problems. This will enable a timely and knowledgeable response, every time. Staffing a support desk with novice – and often inexpensive – staff results in longer response and resolution times, increased mistakes, and ultimately a stressed out customer! It is a false economy. You need to be confident that the helpdesk staff you will deal with are the best.
3. They provide a vague proposal.
This raises serious alarm bells. Ever heard the phrase ‘you pay cheap, you pay twice’? Well, here it is in action. Remember when you bought that ‘all-inclusive’ package, and you thought you’d be covered for all circumstances?
Well, now your server has crashed at 3am on Saturday morning, and it turns out that you didn’t opt for weekend cover after all (thanks to an unclear proposal). This means you will be susceptible to a surprise additional call out fee to get it fixed or even worse, you don’t get it resolved till Monday.
A clear and transparent brief will detail all charges and what the provider will and won’t cover. If you do not understand an element of the proposal – and the IT Support Provider is not explaining it very well – avoid them. These are likely the kinds of companies that prey on less technical individuals and charge them excessively for often basic knowledge.
4. Most of the staff have been working for the company for less than three years.
Happy staff = happy service. Having a happy service in IT support is imperative, because their job essentially is to put your mind at ease. Nobody wants a grumpy person on the end of the phone when things are going awry. If the majority of staff have been around for about the three-year mark, it is a good sign that it is a stable company to work for, and, therefore, be associated with.
5. There is no service level agreement in place.
Any company worth its salt – be it in any field – will have a service level agreement in place. It helps both you and the IT Support Provider to understand the level and priority of any issue you may encounter. It manages your expectations and allows a more harmonious relationship. Below is an example of such a service level agreement:
|Service not available (all users and functions unavailable)||within 1 hour|
|Significant degradation of service (large number of users or business critical functions affected)||within 4 hours|
|Limited degradation of service (limited number of users or functions affected, business process can continue)||within 8 hours|
|Small service degradation (business process can continue, one user affected)||within 16 hours|
If you have any questions about anything mentioned above, then why not get in touch?
We promise no sales pitch, we simply take pride in our wealth of knowledge and enjoy sharing it to promote a stronger IT Support industry.