Your IT support can make or break your company. Great IT support can help your organization grow faster, be more efficient, more productive, and increase your bottom line. Bad IT support can cause delays, mistakes, and negatively impact the productivity, and therefore the bottom line, of your company. So, ideally speaking, you always want to know your IT support is running at peak efficiency, so your company can run that way too.
Perhaps even more important than knowing your IT support is great, is being able to recognize when the support is bad. If you are able to tell that your IT support is not helping your organization the way they should be, you can save your company time, money, and productivity. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top three warning signs of sub-par IT support, to help you recognize when it’s time to look for a new IT support company- before a crisis occurs.
1. Delayed Response Time
Sitting on the phone on hold for 2 hours is not fun, neither is waiting 2 days for someone to call you back.
The reality of managed services is that if your problem is not incredibly critical (your server on fire or something), you might not get immediate attention. You should, however, always get the level of attention that is appropriate to the severity of your issue. If you have a server down, you should not have to wait hours for a call back. If you have a need for a password reset (which is more often than not a 5 minute fix), you shouldn’t need to wait two days for someone to get back to you.
Delayed response time can signify a couple of important red flags. It can mean that the company is so swamped with work that they are being buried by it- not a good sign, since the way IT companies judge success with clients is how little they hear from them. It can also mean that they have a very poor internal communication and database system, which is not good news for clients, since database systems are the core of how most IT companies run.
2. Escalation Process Where You Need To Repeat Your Problem
It is important that your IT support professionals communicate with each other, and keep a solid record of every issue with your company. If you find yourself getting bounced around from tech to tech, and each time having to start at the beginning to explain your issue, that tells you two things. One, the techs are not taking good notes and recording their activities in some type of database system. And two, there is not good internal communication.
Since IT involves so many different people working in different departments- products, engineers, service managers, dispatch- if they can not effectively communicate with each other, they very likely can not provide you with quality support services.
3. Additional Mark-Ups
Small companies work on tight budgets. If you feel that every time you call with an issue, you are being told you need to purchase some new piece of software or hardware, then your IT company is trying to upsell you. If you notice a number of additional line items on your bill and you have no idea what they are for, they are working to nickel and dime you. Both of these are not good approaches for an IT company to take.
Your IT support company should take a very consultative, team-oriented approach to their support. They need to understand the limitations of your budget, and work with you to help figure out solutions that fit within that budget. Most importantly, they need to help you plan for your IT costs. Any good IT support company will be able to tell you at least a year out that you are going to need a new server, and they should be able to help you plan out what it is going to cost.
The bottom line is this- your IT support needs to operate as a part of your team. If you don’t feel like they are a valued member of your company, they you need to take a good, hard look at the quality of support you are receiving from them. You should always feel like they are on your side, like they are there to take care of you, and that they are providing you with the best possible service they can.
What have been some of your best and worst experiences with IT support companies? Let us know in the comments!