10 Key Questions a business should ask an IT support company

As a business, selecting the right IT Support Company can go a long way in determining how effective and productive your business can be.

That means asking the right questions can make nominating the right IT support provider crucial. Any IT Support Company that is striving to provide a great service to their customers should welcome being asked a series of problematic questions and be confident enough to answer them.

Here are 10 key questions that any business ought to consider when choosing an IT Support company.

1. Do you have some references?
Everybody knows that there’s no greater measure of a company’s ability to deliver than through referrals – so always ask for a number of references. You don’t have to call them all but contacting some already satisfied customers should give you confidence.

2. How big is your company?
The size of IT support companies vary although, as they grow, their ability to offer more solutions or products develops. Conversely, the “one man band” type of support solution will struggle to provide a truly great service as there will inevitably be occasions when they have to deal with other customers.

3. Do you offer different levels of support?
Many IT support companies offer a choice of service levels to suit different budgets and requirements. Find out what packages are on offer and which would meet the expectations of your company.

4. Is your business insured and for how much?
Unfortunately, things can go wrong and you want to ensure the company you deal with is adequately insured for any eventuality.

5. Do your contracts tie me in for a specific period?
If a company doesn’t provide a good service you want the ability to stop using them so look for companies with a short minimum term and short cancellation period. Most IT support companies provide contracts with a minimum time commitment or long cancellation periods.

6. What are your response times like?
When you’re recruiting an IT support company you should expect reasonable rate of response time. This, of course, may vary depending on what level of support you are willing to pay for.

However, remember that a “guaranteed response time” is exactly that – it only guarantees that they won’t ignore you and will start doing something with your problem. Be sure to get the exact details on how long an average response time may be.

7. Will we get a dedicated account manager?
It’s always reassuring for a business to have a high level single point of contact within the IT support company. This is ideal for helping to build a healthy and transparent relationship between the business and the IT company.

8. Will I get a dedicated engineer?
It’s unreasonable to expect you’ll always deal with the same engineer, because most support companies allocate work to engineers best suited to each particular job.
However, this is still a good question to ask – if they say ‘yes’, consider why this is. Do they only have a limited number of experienced staff?

9. When I phone, will I speak directly to a technician who can help?
There aren’t many more frustrating things than being passed around when you need a problem sorted urgently. Ask if you’ll be granted direct access to technicians.

10. How can we log support calls with you?
Make sure your support company either has a dedicated number with someone always available to answer, or another facility for like an online form or email address that goes straight to the support people. Ideally you should have all three of these options.