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Are You Getting Quality IT Support? Here’s 10 Signs That You Are

IT support has evolved with technology over the years to form a crucial pillar of how a business operates. As technology has gotten more complex over the years, so has the scope of IT support, and how much it could (and should!) be tailored to each business.  

As a business grows and evolves, eventually it needs to invest into internal or outsourced IT support in order to manage and get the best from its technology. For businesses getting outsourced IT support, a key question they can benefit from asking, is: ‘how do I know I’m getting the best IT support for my business?’. This article helps you to answer this question, by giving a checklist of green flags that are sure signs that your business is getting the best IT support on the market.  

A Quality IT Support Provider Will:  

1. Take an interested, proactive approach  

Make no mistake about it, reacting is an important aspect of IT support. Sometimes issues arise, and its only right to get fast and effective support for it, but an overlooked aspect is how proactive the support is too. Proactive support actively seeks to optimize and improve your IT environment so that it can empower your business’s success. This can look like conducting network audits to find opportunities to enhance its performance, and vulnerabilities to address, for example. But it can be even more forward-looking than this; IT support services are becoming more strategic, meaning a provider should be work closely with your business to align technology with your wider commercial goals.  

Proactive support also seeks to address potential problems before they can become real problems, another crucial distinction from more reactive providers. In a nutshell, proactive support is something that includes reactive support in its scope, but seeks to add value to your business both at the frontlines and behind the scenes. 

2. Offer Unlimited Calls and Support 

If an IT support provider limits the number of calls you can make to them, it often implies some pretty negative things. Firstly, that they are prioritising a short-term financial rather than service-based view of their clients, that they can be resource-drainers.  

While it’s true every business should manage its resources, it subtly indicates that if you did experience a peak-period of needing support, they wouldn’t be able to resolve these issues at a root-cause level, preventing these spikes in support from being needed in the longer-term view. Many IT support providers like to see a marked decrease in the number of needed support tickets from their clients, it’s a sign that their support is working and empowering their clients’ IT environment.  

This is why reputable service providers include unlimited support in their packages; it demonstrates their customer-centric approach. It also reflects their confidence in the effectiveness of their services, as they anticipate that most issues will be proactively resolved, reducing the need for an excessive number of support calls.

3. Be Empowering Communicators 

This is a strategic and operationally important ingredient. While many techy individuals are excellent troubleshooters and problem solvers, it’s sometimes the case that they cannot communicate in a jargon-free and customer-friendly way, which can dampen the value that your business gets from its IT Support provider.  

In the day to day, IT support specialists should be able to offer empowering explanations for users that help them to get more value from their IT, all given with a friendly and personal touch. More strategically, the provider should take the time to regularly meet with your business and keep a finger on the pulse of your future plans and current challenges. An IT support provider moves into being an IT partner in these cases, creating a more deeply enriching relationship that brings out the best for both businesses.  

Without proactive and empowering communication, a business will not be able to get the full operational and strategic value that is possible from the world of IT support. 

4. Offer a Competitive SLA (Service Level Agreement) 

For those that don’t know, an SLA is the agreed parameters around the minimum an IT provider can deliver as part of the service. Different providers obligate themselves to different things, but predominantly an SLA is based around response times, depending on severity of issues.  

Be careful to review the SLAs to make sure that they align with the needs of your business, and more importantly, seek out the proactive approach! There are providers that see SLAs as the minimum benchmark, rather than as the goal line. The difference between these two attitudes can make all the difference. 

5. Be experts in their field, and serving your industry  

A quality IT support provider will field a range of expertise that is particularly helpful for your business’s needs and goals. For example, if a business operates Mac computers, an IT support provider with specialisms in supporting these devices will be particularly beneficial. Likewise, a provider that focuses on the sector that your business is in, will be able to bring an understanding and set of tools that are particularly complementary to your business. 

6. Find a cost-effective way of achieving your goals  

Related to the added value that tailored solutions provide, a quality IT support provider will factor in your budgetary constraints and goals to create solutions that meet your needs, offer good value for money, and deliver an excellent return on investment.

7. Look to the future 

Correlated to the proactive and strategic approach that we discussed earlier, an IT support provider will strive to anticipate how your goals and needs can be serviced in the future. They might, for example, look for ways that your IT environment can be optimized or made more scalable in anticipation of future growth, or changes to how your businesses is structured. This doesn’t mean that your provider will have a crystal ball! It just means that they try to assess how they can empower your future success, and act accordingly to facilitate it.  

The right provider will invest time into getting to know different team members from various departments to be sure that they uncover snags in your IT environment, as well as to understand the needs and related challenges in your business that they can help with. This is also the best way to get to know what an IT environment is really like; alongside seeing system diagnostics, they can get an on-the-ground view of your IT environment. 

8. Have a strategy-led approach  

As discussed, a proactive approach often correlates with a strategic and forward-looking one as well. The difference between IT support and IT strategy, is that IT support takes care of ensuring that your IT environment is working as intended, while IT strategy helps your organisation to align and implement technology that support your commercial goals. This can look like helping you to implement and integrate new software in your business or upgrading your infrastructure to support a growing operation for example. 

9. Roadmap your technological strategy 

A roadmap in simple terms, is a plan for the future of your IT. For modern business a roadmap is highly recommended – creating a plan of action when it comes to procuring and implementing new tools and technologies, can be a very effective lever for driving your scalable and profitable growth. An IT support provider that is able to work with your business to create and implement a viable technology roadmap, will make the process of adopting new technology smoother and more empowering for your business. 

10. Improve your team’s experience with IT 

As we have touched on previously, a good provider will communicate with your team and find out what problems they are having with their current IT solutions. They will also be able to educate your users in an accessible and jargon-free way to get the best from their tools and devices. This, with a friendly and helpful approach, empowers your team to be not just productive, but also minimizes frustrations and inconveniences. A sure sign that an IT support provider is doing this, is when users give their IT support great feedback.  

Final Thoughts 

How does your IT support measure up against these green flags? If they’re not present, this could be a sign that there may be better options elsewhere. A conversation with your provider and with other providers can help you to address these gaps and find a way to a more empowering yet cost-effective form of IT support that adds extra layers of value to your business.  

IT Specialists 

At NetPlatforms, we have extensive experience guiding businesses from a variety of industries through the often baffling and jargon-filled world of IT. With years of experience in almost every area of corporate IT, we can lead your company to a profitable future with the appropriate Technology by your side at every turn. We can assist you in implementing cutting-edge solutions that will not only keep your organisation competitive, but also help you navigate the territory of today’s modern technology. Please get in touch if you require any help and we’ll be glad to assist you!