Modern business enterprises no matter how big or small are heavily reliant on their IT infrastructure for their daily functioning. Selecting the correct IT support company can make or break your business in such a climate. Your IT support company should be able to understand your tech needs perfectly and then take proactive action to meet these needs. There are multitudes of IT companies in the market today which can make the process of selecting the one most compatible with your business values a task. It becomes necessary then to ask the right questions of them to verify whether they are capable of supporting your company operations. Given below is a list of such questions that you should ask an IT support company before signing a contract with them –
- Can they provide you with client references you can use? – Any reputable IT support company will have worked with many clients and should not object to supplying you client references. Once you have these references handy, contact them to find out if they were satisfied with the services provided and whether they would recommend them. You do not need to interview every client the company has worked with individually. Just select a few and reach out to them to build confidence in your prospective hire.
- What does all their Service Level Agreement specify? – The Service Level Agreement is an important document any business should refer to before engaging the services of an external company. It will detail the minimum service that the client can expect, the time required for delivering the service, the terms on which the service provider can be penalized for inability to provide the services agreed upon and so on.
- What services do they provide as part of their support contract? – If the IT support company promises umbrella support, there’s probably something suspect. Ask them to detail the services that they offer as part of their support contract. Chances are, there will be services that fall outside of this support contract which you will need to pay an additional fee for. It is always a good idea to acquaint yourself of all these little details before you go on to appoint an IT support company for your business.
- What business model do they follow? – Some IT support companies work on a pay-as-you-go model while others adopt a fixed-price managed services approach. The difference lies in the way they tackle the technical issues that crop up. A pay-as-you-go IT support company will take care of your problems as they come up. A managed services IT support company, on the other hand, will periodically look into your tech operations to ensure that everything is working fine. They will mitigate the effect of any possible technical lapse before it turns into a real problem.
- How long is their cancellation period? – Often, IT support companies have long cancellation periods which essentially mean that you are unable to terminate their services at short notice even if you find their work to be unsatisfactory. You want to hire an IT support company which has a short minimum term and cancellation period, so you are free to terminate their services if you find them to be not up to the mark.
- Will you get a dedicated account manager? – A dedicated account manager will be your go-to for all your IT support needs. He/she will be your point of contact with the broader IT support company. Their job is to understand your company’s unique needs and then try to deliver on these. Also, it is much easier to build a long-term relationship with an individual representing a company than having to deal with a new person every time your business in need of tech support.
- What is their average response time? – When you run into a technical issue that needs immediate fixing, you will want to know just how soon your IT support company can look into the problem. Of course, the response time will depend on your willingness to pay. The more handsomely you can pay, the shorter this response time will be. Also, the “guaranteed response time” advertised by IT support companies usually refer to the period within which they will take up your problem and not the time required to fix it.
- Do they offer remote services or just on-site? – Your company may not always be facing a hardware issue. If you want a technical issue related to a company software solved at short notice, it will help if your IT support company offers remote services. You can then call them up or screen-share on your system as they provide you remote assistance on how to go about solving your technical issue.
- What is the size/experience level of your IT support company? – When hiring an IT support company, you’d like them to have at least a couple of years of industry experience under their belt. You don’t want to be the trial and error project for a bunch of newcomers just starting out.
Additionally, the size of the company will also determine the level of services that they can provide. A small sized company may not have the human resources necessary to provide support for big business.
Lastly, before choosing an IT support company – ask them what according to them their strengths and weaknesses are and what they believe sets them apart from their industry peers. You will be able to get a clear idea of how the company functions from the answers they provide enabling you to make a hire you won’t regret.
Let The Tech Broker assist you on sourcing the right IT company, as well as the defining the selection criteria to ensure you find the right partner for a mutually beneficial, long term business partnership.