Choosing an IT support company can be an overwhelming task, especially with such an array of companies to choose from, all of which offering different packages. In this article I will provide you with six questions that you should ask prospective IT support companies.
What does the Service Contract Cover?
When you enter into an IT support contract, it’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of what’s included. There is nothing worse than experiencing an IT issue, contacting your IT support provider and then being told that the affected hardware or software falls outside of your contract.
Resolving the issue may cost you significantly more in terms of money and time as you negotiate a one off fee to cover. Prior to signing any service agreements, always make that you are 100% clear about what is and is not included in the terms and conditions of the support contract, this will avoid arguments further down the line.
Can we Speak to your Current Clients?
A slick website and branding are both tools for helping to establish the credibility of a business, but there’s nothing better than a genuine client testimonial. Ask the prospective IT support provider if you can have a chat with their existing customers to find out more about their experiences with them.
Any IT support company that’s confident in the services they provide, will be more than happy to do this. Try to find out the positives and negatives of working with the company. Ask questions such as ‘were problems resolved swiftly?’ ‘Did they provide a proactive service?’ ‘How would you rate their customer service skills?’
What Accreditations and Qualifications does your Business Hold?
Technology is constantly evolving, and this is probably one of the main reasons you are searching for an IT support provider. As such, you will want to be safe in the knowledge that they are fully competent with the hardware and software that your business uses on a day to day basis.
The best way to check for competence is to enquire as to whether the IT support technicians and consultants hold industry standard certifications which prove they have the necessary skills to take care of your systems properly.
You will need to find out exactly which certifications their staff hold, and whether or they regularly renew these qualifications as new technologies become available. Accreditations to look out for include Microsoft Gold Partner status, Microsoft Small Business Specialist and the Dell premier partner qualification.
What Peripherals does the Support Cover?
More often than not, an IT support company will only support your servers and computers, and charge an additional fee for printers, scanners, mobile devices. If something goes wrong, will you be expected to contact the manufacturer for warranty claims? After all, the IT support company will be better equipped to answer any technical questions regarding the fault.
Support for mobile devices is now more relevant than ever, gone are the days when they were just used for sending text messages and making phone calls. Nowadays, mobile devices are more like pocket computers. If you are having trouble setting up emails on your mobile device, will the IT support company help?
Do you Support Bespoke or Specialist Software?
It’s quite likely that you use specialist software such as sage and other software that the IT support provider may be unfamiliar with, so will they resolve any issues that arise? While they don’t need to know every piece of software inside out, they should be able to solve or troubleshoot most problems that they haven’t seen before.
Will you Proactively Monitor Our Systems?
Many IT support companies will only fix a problem when it breaks, but these days there are so many great software packages available that they should be able to proactively monitor your systems. The great thing about this is that the software automatically brings the issues to the support technician’s attention, allowing them to prevent downtime before it arises.
The proactive monitoring software can reduce the amount of calls that the IT support provider receives, so it’s actually in their best interest to proactively monitor your systems. Equally, it’s nice being able to get on with your work without having to contact a helpdesk, monitoring will prevent this and resolve issues before you even knew they existed.
This article was written by CSG IT Support, an IT support company based in South Wales.