5 questions to ask when choosing an IT support company

1.What if I’m not happy after we get started?

Entrusting someone to look after all your IT is a big commitment, closer to a marriage then simply paying for a fixed service.  As well as looking after anything that goes wrong with your technology it’s likely you’ll look to your provider to give guidance on what technology you invest in for the future to support the growth of your business.  So it makes sense that it will take a little bit of time working alongside a new IT support company to get the relationship cemented.   Sometimes it will become obvious a company is not right for you, because as soon as you hand over your money there’s a cloud of smoke as they run for the hills and when your server next goes down they are nowhere to be seen, or try to charge you some kind of fabricated extra fees.  If that’s the case are you stuck in a long term contract or can you walk away?

2. Do you cover Mac and PC?

It’s more and more common for SME’s to have both and in some cases a third player in the shape of a Google Chrome machine.  It’s a pain to switch between various IT Support companies.  At our HQ in Wembley we support both and can provide 24/7 remote and telephone support which gives your business continuity knowing there’s one place they need to go for all their IT Support challenges.

3. What happens if my system goes down out of office hours?

Does the company have a 24/7 help desk?  If it does is what are the staff like, are they qualified or are they simply taking messages for the people who really know what they are doing?  Can the help desk provide you with numbers on how many issues they’ve resolved what percentage were escalated to a senior member of staff and how quickly issues were resolved on average?  If they can are those numbers acceptable to you, if they can’t is that the kind of company you want to be working with?

4. What happens if I need IT help?

Make sure you fully understand the process when you do need to use the services of your IT Support company.  Is it only via chat or email or do they have a phone line or is it a combination of all these services?  What happens if the issue is not resolved remotely?  How soon will someone be on site to assist?

5. Once I’ve signed who’s going to look after us?

And just as importantly what are they actually going to do?  As we mentioned earlier working with an IT Support company can become a significant benefit to your business for strategic reasons, as well as simply keeping your laptop up and running.  There’s more to IT then simply turning a computer on and off again (even if that really does work nine times out of ten) There’s a huge range of affordable technology available to businesses that they simply are not aware of and these can bring massive benefits for their business.  That’s why you need a point of contact who understands technology and has a deep understanding of your business.  By knowing both of these things they can help you identify how to make the most of new technology that will genuinely impact the bottom line of your business rather than you blindly trialing all the latest and greatest things that happen to get pushed your way.

It’s also important that your point of contact is in touch on a regular basis so they understand how your business is evolving and what impacts this will have from a technology perspective.  Ideally they will develop an IT strategy at the start which you can then review regularly so your purchasing plans in the future are proactive rather than reactive and therefore aimed at improving things rather than simply firefighting.

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