When you Google “how to choose an IT Support company” you get a lot of results: just under 2000 when we did it.
Shall we tell you to look for proactive monitoring, the certifications they hold and the level of qualifications their engineers have? Should we talk about their proximity to your office and exactly what is covered by their support contract before the extra charges start piling on? I could start wittering on about response times and contract lengths, but I’m not going to.
All of these should now be considered hygiene factors. What I mean is that they are expected. They are required and anyone who doesn’t meet them shouldn’t even make it onto the long list, never mind the shortlist.
Let’s look at this from a completely different perspective…
What was your first experience of them like?
Whether it was their website, an email they sent you, you calling them or them calling you; what was the experience like? If it was a good experience, the chances are it will be the same going forward. To me it is a sign of good management if they ensure there is always a good experience.
Did they deliver on their promises?
- I will get our Sales Manager to call you ….
- I will call you tomorrow to discuss…..
- Your proposal will be with you on ……
If they cannot get this right, the chances are it won’t happen in the future either.
Do they have the evidence?
Any sales person can tell you they will be able to look after you and provide you with a top notch service, but where’s the proof? Do they have the case studies available for you to see, either publically on their website or ones they can email to you?
Who can you talk to?
How do they offer you references, if indeed they do? Do they give you a list of 5 or a list of 50? Do they provide email addresses or telephone numbers?
If they are confident in their ability to deliver and the quality they are providing to their current clients, it will be a long list of phone numbers and the offer for you to pick from any of them.
Do you trust them?
Let’s be honest, we can all sniff out a snake oil salesman at 20 paces. The suit may be a little too sharp and the promises just a little too perfect. Trust is a personal thing, but it is critical. After they’ve left your office, do you have that warm, comfortable, feeling that shows you trust them? They want to earn your trust and then keep it. After all, IT support companies don’t actually make any money for the first few months as they get to know you, your team and your network.
Let’s face it, there are huge numbers of IT support companies in London and the surrounding counties. They will all promise 4 nanosecond response times and be able to show you a wall of MCITP certificates, but if they meet the criteria above and the numbers make sense, you’ve just made choosing that IT support provider a much easier task.