Finding the right IT Business Service for your business can seem like a daunting task. The competition in this realm is fierce, so how do you differentiate between each provider? Most business professionals do not speak the technical lingo of the IT provider, so it is up to their discretion what they do and does not share with you. This quick guide should give you some good, non-technical, points to consider when evaluating your next IT Service Provider.
Where is the IT services company located? Often, businesses may buy search keywords, so they display for the city you are in. They will put a lot of time into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to appear in cities where they are not located. They may be a few cities (even states) over. Some business owners do not mind this, because most work is completed remotely anyway. However, make sure they have a plan in place in case something critical were to happen onsite at your business.
The price of the service is an obvious consideration. However, this can get muddled very quickly when the business is throwing around a bunch of tech jargon that you do not understand. To read more about price points, visit our previous blog at https://www.alltekservices.com/how-much-should-you-be-paying-for-it-services/
What type of business model do they have?
If you read the above article, you know that not every Business IT support company is the same. Some charge hourly, while others have an all-you-can-eat plan at varying levels. Are you okay with calling your IT support company a few times a month to fix whatever issues you’re having, or do you want an always-on IT department monitoring and managing your infrastructure? This is not a trick question. Some people genuinely do not need a full IT department like Managed IT Service Providers (MSP) offer. Maybe you have a simple network and already have a technical background. In this case, a break/fix shop is your best option. However, for businesses with over 15-20 users, it’s typically best to have a team of specialists managing and recommending improvements on your network periodically.
How did you find them?
Was it through search or were they recommended? If they were not recommended and you found them through an online search, ALWAYS ask for at least five references. A good marketing presence does not always make a good business. Even if they were recommended by a colleague or friend, recommendations are always recommended.
What do their processes look like?
Do they have a defined sales process? If not, that’s a bit worrisome. If they don’t put effort into gaining new clients, they may have issues with procedures to retain clients. If they don’t mention tracking metrics and continuous improvement, they may not be the right fit.
How many service employees do they have (not sales/marketing, accounting, owner, etc.)?
I do not find this overly helpful, but we get the question often, so I know it’s essential, even if it is just for peace of mind. If the business has a good process in place to track response time, resolution time, and satisfaction rate, then the number of employees becomes irrelevant. However, it could be cause for concern if they have less than one technician per 500 endpoints (servers, workstations, mobile, etc.).
What services do they offer?
Most Managed Service Providers are going to have a similar offering. They should all have a tested backup, firewall, anti-virus, some management tool, cloud options, and hardware procurement. They should all offer a fully staffed help desk with a swift response. However, what happens if you need a copier or VoIP phone system? Does the MSP manage that for you or do you have to look elsewhere? Many business professionals prefer a “one-stop shop.” Another important consideration on this point is called Vendor Management. Will the IT company step in for you and manage your technical vendors (industry-specific applications, Internet providers, copiers, etc.)? The pointing fingers game is the quickest way to lose a loyal client. Clients typically do not speak tech, so having them deal with the technology vendors will cause a lot of headaches and resentment.
Do they have any other clients in your industry?
Every industry has its nuances. If the IT Support Business does not have experience in your industry, you may be coaching them more than you like. Try to find an MSP that has at least one client in your industry. For instance, Insurance Agencies have a whole separate set of rules than Healthcare. If the business does not have enough experience in both, they are going to have a blanket approach that may leave you liable. In an ideal situation, try to find a business that only operates within your industry. I know of an IT company that ONLY services law firms. You better believe he knows that vertical like the back of his hand.
I hope you found this helpful while evaluating your next, or first, IT Support Service. If you have any additional questions or would like to assess Alltek Service as an option for your business, please reach out! You can reach me personally at info@AlltekServices.com or (863) 709-0709 ext 1127. You can also visit our website and speak to us through our LiveChat program!