It can be a daunting task trying to find the best IT support a company has to offer and the right IT support services for your needs. There are so many factors to take into account, and it can often feel like navigating a minefield.
The truth is that if you want your business to operate at its peak potential, it’s a minefield you must conquer. One of the key factors in running a successful business, and optimising your activities and processes, is finding the right IT support company.
Here’s a rundown of the process of choosing, and the essential steps to getting it right.
Step 1: Assess your requirements in terms of IT infrastructure
This can be quite an involved process, but it’s pivotal that you get it right! Assess your current IT requirements and identify what you need right now, and what you’re going to need moving forward.
Step 2: Do some research
Make a list of prospective IT support companies and do some research. Be sure to get several references and, if you can, speak to someone at a company they’re currently servicing. Check out their customer reviews and client testimonials -They should have dedicated sections on their website where you can freely view these. Google the company and see if they have a Google business account – this includes reviews!
Step 3: Get in touch
Once you are crystal clear on what you need (now and looking ahead) and you have your list of possible companies, get in touch with them and tell them your requirements. Ask for an obligation-free estimate. Gather responses, and see what they come back to you with. Don’t be afraid to meet them in person and discuss your needs. Think of it like any other interview – if you were hiring a new assistant or manager, you wouldn’t rely on email or even phone calls, you’d interview the candidates in person. You need to see how you get on, personally, and whether or not you’re compatible enough to form a good business relationship. Get them into your office. While they’re there, assess their attitude and perspectives, bring up a specific issue or two that you’re having, or have had in the past, and see how they react.
Step 4: Read the fine print
A tedious but completely necessary step is to look at the fine print that comes with each of the companies you’ve met with. How good is their confidentiality agreement? What are their terms? How long would you need to give notice if you needed to change to a new company? Are there any ‘hidden’ charges that might apply to you? There are a myriad of small details like this that can sway your final decision. Make a pros and cons list for each company based on their estimates, your experience while meeting them, and the benefits and downsides of working with them.
Step 5: Make a decision
It’s time to be decisive! Making the final decision really comes down to a combination of price comparison, the benefits on offer, and gut instinct. When all else is equal, go with your gut!
Step 6: Choose a person
The work doesn’t stop when you choose a company to work with. It’s your responsibility to keep on top of things, take care of all the basics and liaise with your new support company to ensure you are getting exactly what you need. You should appoint a single person to act as the point of contact between your business and your IT support. One person who always deals with them and knows the workings of your relationship backwards. Any problems, on either side, they deal with them – it will make everything run a lot more smoothly!
Step 7: Start a fault log
This is a simple but often overlooked process. Start a log of all faults in your system. It ensures you have a record if you need it and will aid your new support company in looking after you as best they possibly can.