With hundreds and thousands of IT support companies mushrooming everywhere, it’s not an easy task finding one that suits your purpose and needs.
So, what can you do to handle this difficulty? Is it enough to just read the testimonials and decide which one you’ll go ahead with or are there other more important factors to consider before making your final decision?
They may all be providing the services you are looking for, but there’s a lot more to be found out before you sign that contract. Here’s where asking the right questions comes into the picture.
Companies do try to oversell their services. How smartly you can put across your queries to them will determine the services you receive.
To make it easy for you we’ve listed 10 questions that you could seek answers to before that final plunge. These questions will not only provide you with the relevant information that you need, but also help you learn the ins and outs of the IT services company.
Let’s get to the questions right away.
1. What kind of workflow process do you follow when handling tech support requests?
Each company has in place its own workflow structure to meet the needs of its clients. So why is it important for you to know about this process? Because if there isn’t one in place your IT request will never be handled in an efficient, orderly, and fast manner.
Understanding the kind of process any London IT support company follows when handling tech support requests will help you know if it meets your unique requirements. No one workflow process is the best. Try to look for one that helps resolve the IT challenges of your business as well as provides reliable support at all times.
2. What does your contract include as IT support?
Most contracts of IT support companies include the following words — support it all. Now is the time, at the initial stage, to ask them what “support it all” really means.
You need to know what your IT support service will or will not cover. While some companies cover the costs of travel time, labor costs, and onsite visits, there are others that levy additional charges. Read the contract thoroughly to look for more such vague phrases and pose questions to the IT support company.
3. Do you deliver a customized package of IT services to suit my business?
There’s no doubt that the IT support company you’ve selected should offer to you a range of IT solutions and services that help resolve your IT issues, but at the same time the company should also be able to present you with a personalized IT services package. A customized offer that suits the size and needs of your business as well as fits the budget you are looking at. This becomes an important factor when you are looking to get into a long-term contract instead of a short one.
4. What will the total cost for the IT services amount to?
The cost you will be incurring to procure the IT services will depend to a large extent on the size of your business. So, it is obvious that pricing is considered before you sign on the dotted line. If the IT company you’ve decided to go ahead with does not have a convincing answer to your query related to costs, alarm bells should start ringing.
The company could be making false promises and overselling too. The cost being quoted to you should be directly related to the number of services your company will be receiving by way of IT support. This will include the total number of devices that will be serviced as well as the total hours of support that will be provided. Anything that does not revolve around this could have you end up paying more than the services your company is receiving.
5. What are the different levels of support plans that you offer?
Knowing what support plans are included in your package will determine the price you will pay for the services. Questions you will need to ask include:
- can services be availed on an as-needed basis?
- are services available at an hourly rate?
- how are break-fix types of issues handled?
- is there an option for full-managed service contracts?
Why are these questions important? Because many issues get fixed even before there is any actual problem. Why should you pay for less downtime, right?
6. Is there anything that is not included in the Tech Support contract?
The information that this question reveals can prove to be very useful in the long run. Knowing what is covered in your IT support contract is important but being aware of what all is not included is equally essential. That is why make sure you ask both. You need to know exactly what will be covered and what you may be charged for.
For instance, if one of your servers fails and requires replacing, you then need to know if its replacement is covered in the contract or if this will be an added cost. Getting to know what all are not covered can save you from incurring a lot of additional costs in the future.
7. What is your response time?
What you require is a guaranteed first response time from the IT support company you are planning to hire. Anything other than that could land your company in trouble. How? Not having an IT issue resolved immediately can lead to huge downtimes and cause major monetary losses. Obviously, the response time will also depend on the level of support you have opted for. That is why it is very important that you ask this question before signing the contract. Don’t fall for hollow guarantees, especially when you think that services are being provided at a low cost. It could be a trap.
8. Will there be a dedicated account manager acting as the point of contact?
Having someone who knows and understands your business, is familiar with your IT issues, and is aware of your long-term plans is the one who should be handling your company’s IT issues. This is what a single point of contact means. Not knowing who to contact when things go wrong can be a disaster. It is okay to have two to three service members to interact with from time to time regarding your IT issues or even to give a compliment when things turn out great!
9. Will you analyse my company’s existing setup?
It is possible that you may think the current IT systems in place in your company are maybe outdated and old. In such a situation it makes sense to opt for an IT support company that can analyse your current setup and report on its functionality and effectiveness. Identifying what needs to be added or updated and drawing up a plan along with a budget will help you save additional costs in the future. Knowing if the company you may hire for your IT support can do this will help immensely to set up an IT system that is robust and effective.
10. Can I get out of the contract if I am not satisfied with the services?
Many IT service providers try to coax you into opting for long-term contracts. There is nothing wrong with choosing to have a long-term relationship with an IT support company, provided you have the freedom to change the service provider if you are not satisfied with the services. That is why ask the IT company you plan to hire if you can terminate the contract if you are not happy with the way things are. It’s okay to have an exit plan ready even if it is just the beginning of the relationship.
Even if an IT support company has been recommended to you by a trusted source, it always helps to ask questions. Knowing the right questions to ask during the selection process, will help you find the company that best fits your business and budget.