Must-Ask Questions for a New IT Provider
IT support is a critical part of your business. And whether you’ve been doing it in house or you’re looking for a new provider, it’s important to invest time up front to make the right decision. Because nothing is worse than finding out during an IT crisis that you’ve chosen the wrong provider.
But what questions should you ask? And what is most important to uncover during this initial process?
Here are six questions to ask every provider you speak with:
Do you specialize in any industry? Many IT providers specialize in specific industries, and this specialization is good for the client. For example, let’s say they generate at least 30 percent of their revenue from law practices. You can be pretty certain that if you have a law practice, they will understand the nuances and challenges that affect your business.
What is your customer retention rate over the last five years? Are the company’s existing customers happy? You could ask for referrals to speak with existing clients. But you should also ask for the company’s customer retention rate, because if the company’s clients are happy, this number should be high.
What are some of the worst disasters that you have faced with your clients in the past, and how did you address them? Nobody wants an IT disaster to strike. But having the right provider on your side is critical to navigating through any potential problems. Understand each provider’s approach to solving serious challenges.
Do you have a guaranteed response time? If you have IT problems, it’s critical to minimize downtime. For this reason, you should ask prospective companies what to expect in terms of response time for each type of scenario and make sure that’s doable for your business.
Who will manage my account? If an issue occurs, it’s important to understand who is responsible for your account. You’ll build a relationship — and trust — with this person as you start to rely and count on them. Expect to have one or two permanent contacts in place.
What are your fees? At some point, you’ll want to better understand what an IT service provider charges and whether the fees are within your budget. But beware if a provider comes in much lower than other providers’ fees. IT support is like other services. You often get what you pay for.