When companies are looking for an IT Service Provider, it can be challenging to identify the most important questions to ask. And if you don’t know the right questions to ask, you often miss an important factor for deciding which provider is right for your organization. So, here are the top 5 questions you should ask any IT Service Provider:
1) What is your typical response time for critical IT problems? What is the timeframe for “non-critical” problems? For some organizations, it is important to get help immediately regardless of how critical a problem is. Others are more comfortable with a 2-hour to 24-hour response time. Also, be clear about whether they provide assistance during nights and weekends, and understand what constitutes “critical” versus “non-critical”. It is best to understand the difference upfront and not when you have a problem.
2) How are issues tracked once they are reported?
If they do not have a formal internal tracking system, you may need to follow-up to get more complicated issues resolved and some issues may go unresolved.
3) Who from your organization can contact tech support? While some providers take calls from anyone in your organization, others require that all contact comes through a single individual (e.g. a manager) at your company. While using a single contact gives you more control over your organization’s usage level, it can slow down response times.
4) Does the IT Service provider resell hardware or software? It is common for IT companies to become a reseller of a few brands of hardware and software. While they may sell a very good product, it makes the IT company biased when making a recommendation, because they make a profit when selling that specific brand. Other providers choose to not resell any specific brands, so that they can always choose the right product for the specific situation.
5) Can the technicians communicate in a non-technical way? Be sure you meet a technician and not just a salesperson to experience how much jargon and technospeak they use. If you do not have a very technical person in your organization to work with them, it can be difficult to clearly communicate. When technicians communicate in a jargon-free way, it is much easier for you to fully understand, and be comfortable with, their recommendations.
When you are assessing IT Service Providers, we hope you at least consider using Skyriver IT. However, regardless of who you choose, we want you understand the right questions to ask, so that you can find the right provider for your organization.
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