Everyone knows that when you find a plumber or mechanic you can trust, you keep them!
Why? Because a good one is not always easy to find. It’s no different with IT support. Whether you have issues at home or need support for your business, having a positive relationship with your technician is crucial.
Anyone who works with me knows I believe that the IT business is 80% personal. I think we can all agree that IT issues rarely follow schedules. As technicians, we can go from normal busy to juggling jobs to reacting to a problem in a heartbeat. I’ve worked with a lot of different clients over the years, and I will tell you without a doubt, that a positive relationship means that even when juggling jobs, your tech will make the time to answer your call.
And they’ll happily go above and beyond to solve whatever tech problem you may have, whether it’s related or not.
Evaluate Your IT Relationship
When I talk to prospective clients, I ask questions about their current IT support. In addition to learning about their needs and expectations, I want to hear about the things that make these prospective clients happy and unhappy. This helps me to evaluate if CLARK would be a good fit for them. Some of the things I look for are things you might want to think about whether or not you’re considering looking for a new IT Managed Services Provider.
Respect for Your Time: I’m starting with a tough one. Is your current IT company responsive? Do they communicate well? Do you feel like a priority? Unless you’re their only client, there will likely be times when non-urgent issues or projects take a backseat for a time. That is the nature of the business, and one of the things that makes this difficult to answer. Think about the urgent issues you’ve had and the speed at which those were addressed and resolved. With the non-urgent issues, consider how they communicate with you. This will help you to give a fair evaluation of your IT company.
Professional and Friendly: this is one I talk about a lot; to me there is nothing worse than hearing about cranky techs. The big problem with this is that it makes people hesitant to report issues and ask for help. We are here specifically to help! If your or your employees are hesitant to contact your IT company, it might be time to start looking for IT Support elsewhere.
Frequency of Issues: a properly patched and maintained network will have fewer issues. Some IT support companies take shortcuts. Rather than taking the time to do things right, they make quick fixes to get everything up and running quickly, but don’t address the actual problem. When that quick-fix finally fails, the issue has typically grown bigger and more expensive to fix. If you experience issue after issue, the problem might be with your current IT company.
Relationships are a Two-Way Street
Here at CLARK, we’ve learned how to work with clients to help them help us. For those of you who don’t (yet) work with us, here are a few things you can do to help maintain a positive relationship with those who provide your IT support.
Maintain Your Own Documentation: this is something that most clients don’t want to take the time to do, but it’s important. When meeting with potential clients, one of the first things I hear is that they don’t know their own IT information. Not having account information or keeping track of admin passwords leads to feelings of insecurity, and that is never good for a relationship.
Help Us Help You: it may seem counterintuitive, but over the years I’ve discovered that some clients are hesitant to report IT issues. Most often, these are people who have had a bad experience with a cranky tech. They’ve been chastised for reporting problems or made to feel stupid. The thing is, most IT technicians want to help and resolve your problems quickly, so you can get back to doing what’s important. In order to do that, we need a complete picture of the problem. If you take the time to honestly explain the problem to the best of your ability, it helps us do our job well! If you feel like you have to hide things from your IT technician, its time for a change and I recommend calling CLARK.
Not All Problems are Urgent: when something doesn’t work right, it can be stressful. Not all issues are easy to fix and clients get anxious when they can’t use their computer – in this business, problems never stop, meaning our list is always growing and sometimes we have to juggle things to deal with emergencies. Letting us know the true priority of your problem relieves a lot of stress. When we know that a problem isn’t urgent, and the fix can be scheduled, it really helps us out a lot.
Be Friendly Too! A good attitude always pays off. People respond better when they’re treated well and feel respected – it’s no different when you’re working with your IT people. Most of us are in this job because we like to help. By being friendly, you’ll make the experience less stressful and make us want to work harder to resolve your issues.
I’m going to finish this up by telling you that if you try everything above, and still receive bad IT support, then it’s time to move on and select a new IT provider. Change is never easy, and I know how difficult it is to make the transition to a new IT Managed Services company. Just thinking about it can cause anxiety. But, if you’re doing everything you can to maintain a positive relationship and it continues to deteriate, the frustration will keep building while your IT problems continue to grow. Get out!
I left big business to start Clark Computer Services in 2003; not because I had a grand vision, but because I had three young children who needed their Dad around. Knowing I had to replace my salary, I went door-to-door visiting small businesses to introduce myself and ask if they needed IT support. I heard story after story from business owners and office managers about IT companies not returning calls and emails, grumpy technicians showing up late or not at all, and systems being down for days, weeks, and in some cases…months. I realized quickly that there was a clear and pressing need for reliable, honest, and professional IT support completed pleasantly and on time.