Looking to outsource your IT service provider? Not sure what to look for or have you had a negative experience previously? Not all partners are created equal. Keep these objectives in mind when searching:
A slow reaction to issues anything IT related could slow a business to a halt. Look for a partner that responds immediately to your needs and works to understand the importance of them.
Make sure your partner is easy to reach and offers you multiple channels to access them. When we say easy, we mean so easy that you have them on speed dial. This should be an interactive relationship that you have with them so that anytime, day or night, when you have a question or a problem, they are there for you. And they shouldn’t need a lot of information from you to troubleshoot if you have that previously established relationship.
3. The Honest Hour
When it comes to billing, some companies purposely make it complicated to hide hidden fees or overcharge. Make sure you understand the billing process and if it’s proving hard to comprehend during the bidding process, it will probably remain that way or get worse over time so keep searching for a different partner. You should have a complete understanding of their services and what you are paying them for up front. And don’t forget to have them itemize these for you so there’s no confusion down the line.
4. Mutual Respect
A partnership works both ways. You lean on your service provider and trust they will be there for you. The customer service you get in exchange should be pleasant and respectful. If the tone of the bidding process seems awkward and they appear bothered by your questions, you should keep searching. You are looking for a company that wants you to talk them, after all that’s what a partner is; someone you have a relationship with and communicate with often. Remember they are in business because of clients like you, so don’t hesitate to walk away before you sign if it feels tense.
Yes, the world of IT is immense because of remote connectivity. Plenty of successful business relationships can easily exist across the country or even word, but having a local office to sit face to face to talk is still a huge benefit. For some this doesn’t matter, but if you are the type of company that likes to meet and communicate in person or at least meet to establish a needs base then don’t settle for a company that’s not local even if their pricing is a little lower.
Although these objectives seem simple, they should be fundamental to finding the perfect partner for outsourcing your IT needs. Read reviews online, contact references, or ask other companies that use them about their experiences. Word of mouth is still the best way to find out about the experiences of others. If they are having a great experience with the company you are looking at, then chances are you will too.
The author, Robert A. Martin, is the President of Great Lakes Computer Bob has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Akron. He joined the company in 1995 and has held multiple positions including Large Account Sales, Sales Manager, VP of Operations, and now serves as President. Although he oversees all operations, Bob’s primary focus is in the areas of sales development, strategic direction, government sales and large account management. Bob lives in Avon, Ohio, is married and the father of two, and is an avid outdoorsman. Bob is the author of Great Lakes Tips on Tech Blog.