Engaging the services of an IT support company can add substantial value in terms of minimizing friction, and helping navigate an increasingly sophisticated tech landscape. Therefore, it is absolutely essential for businesses to take the time and perform thorough due diligence before signing a contract, or even narrowing down to a service provider who perfectly aligns with their individual needs and requirements.
Given that there are thousands of managed IT service providers, many small businesses make the mistake of selecting solely based on cost, or convenience. A decision that is likely to cause plenty of headaches and additional costs going forward. If you don’t know how to choose the perfect IT support services for your company, you can get started by asking the right questions, such as the ones below.
1. What Are Your Core Competencies?
IT support companies come in different shapes and sizes while having certain core technical skills that may, or may not match your particular needs.
Sales and business development teams try all they can to portray themselves as the ‘jack-of-all-trades,’ but it is absolutely pertinent to inquire about their core competencies, along with certifications and qualifications to further demonstrate such competencies.
2. What Are The Different Services & Solutions That You Offer?
There is a wide range of services and solutions that come within the purview of IT support. This includes the end-to-end implementation of business information systems, their support, and maintenance, coupled with additional services such as cybersecurity, disaster recovery, employee training, and more.
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Ideally, service providers should tailor such components and services into a customizable package that best suits a customer’s requirements. The pricing of such packages, along with the terms and conditions form a key consideration when selecting an IT support company.
3. Can You Offer Us A Free Consultation?
Most IT support services do offer a free consultation to go over a client’s needs and pitch relevant products and solutions that best suit their requirements. The scope of this consultation tends to be limited and is often akin to a sales meeting, but nonetheless, does add value to business owners.
However, if you’re looking for an extended free consultation, the choices of service providers will have to be narrowed down to those within the immediate vicinity of your business. A company providing IT support in San Jose is unlikely to travel even beyond Santa Clara if there is no certainty of a sale.
4. How Do The Contracts, Tie-Ins & Other Specifications Work?
IT service providers require a contract specifying minimum commitments, timelines, and various cancellation clauses before beginning their work. Many terms and clauses may not be that favorable, which is why businesses need to inquire about the specifics before moving on to the next phase.
There are other aspects that need to be included within the agreements, specifying the services being delivered, their quality, means of dispute resolution, response times, and more.
Another aspect that businesses need to be wary of is the tie-in periods, which could last for months, and become a significant problem if the quality of services rendered isn’t up to mark. Ideally, cancellation and the minimum term requirements should not be more than 1 month for both parties.
There is a lot that goes into consideration when selecting an IT service provider, and the above-mentioned questions are just the start. They should, however, help paint a brief overview of the service provider, helping business owners better ascertain the capabilities and reliability of potential contenders before making a decision.
These are mostly boilerplate topics to discuss, regardless of varying requirements or the size and scale of your business. As the complexity increases, more relevant questions should be included to better evaluate competent services.