The fact is, we are one of the best IT support companies out there. In the past we’ve talked about the importance of strategic IT direction and planning and how to align with business goals.
But on the day-to-day basis, it takes more than just plans and goals.
It takes excellent service. We’ve spent years listening to our clients about frustrations that they’ve had with prior IT companies, and with us. With every comment and criticism, we’ve been able to hone our services, both strategic goal oriented and day-to-day care.
How do we know that we’re one of the best? Because we’ve spent years training ourselves to do things differently—to do things better.
So, to make it easy for anyone out there wondering whether or not they’re getting pushed around by their IT support, take a look at the warning signs we’ve listed below. If you find yourself nodding in agreement…it’s time for someone new.
1. Your IT support focuses on patching up problems instead of preventing them—
This is one of the biggest indicators of a bad IT team. Patching up faulty systems doesn’t really solve the problem. Instead, IT support should be working toward developing or installing new software, servers, or systems so that, rather than constantly fixing issues, they are improving current systems.
Prevention and preparation is always a better aim than simply being able to fix things.
2. Your IT Support doesn’t support the technology you need—
Is your IT Team unable to remotely support your users? If you have travelling employees that need IT support on their laptop while sitting in a cafe in the middle of Stockholm, your IT team should be there to help them out. If your salesman needs to use his tablet or other mobile device to close a deal, but your IT team can’t get support for his devices, you are being restricted. If your employees are unable to work-from-home because your IT team can’t support home computers, you have a problem. Your IT team shouldn’t be restricting your ability and availability to work—they should be working to make your job easier and more effective, not the reverse.
3. Your IT Support is glacially slow to respond—
You have found that jobs that should take minutes take hours and that jobs that should take hours take days. You sent an email several days ago with a question on a rather urgent topic but you still haven’t had a response or a solution. Your new employee has been at his or her desk all week, but still hasn’t been set up as a new user. How long are you waiting for them to return your calls? Do you find yourself leaving messages every time you call? When you call the IT support team, do you feel like they spend more time transferring you from person to person rather than solving your problem? If you’re answering yes to any or all of these questions….it’s time to tell your current IT team to pack it up.
4. Your IT Support is allergic to good customer service—
Does it seem like you’re always talking to someone new because there are such frequent staff changes? Do you find yourself waiting to call with an issue because you always feel like you’re ‘bothering’ your IT support team? Does the IT employee merely fix the problem, or are they also providing tips on how to avoid it in the future? A good IT support team is constantly striving to increase the knowledge of your other staff members and always attempting to better your systems with preventive fixes and helpful insight into new and better tools. Not only that, but when it comes to scheduling a time to coach you or fix a problem, they should be accommodating your schedule—not forcing you to accommodate theirs.
5. Your IT Support team fails to communicate—
Now, we aren’t suggesting that you get a play-by-play update of how they are going about fixing whatever issue it is you’ve got going on with your system, but you should be getting regular status updates. Or are they nowhere to be found and your ticket is still lying open with no one attending to it? The status of their projects should be communicated—when can you expect the project to be handled and completed? Additionally, they should not delight in baffling you with techno-speak, but should explain things in simple terms that you will actually understand. If they seem like they are answering your questions in another language and refuse to allow you to nail them down for a specific answer, they are dodging. If that’s the case, it’s time for them to go.
6. Your IT Support Team fails to follow proper protocol—
When you were working on a document and your computer froze up, you called the IT Support team. A couple hours later and you’ve just sat back down to your repaired PC to find that they failed to save your in-progress work as they were servicing your computer.
When you called for help, did they fail to ask permission to remotely access your computer, or did they hop right in? And after they said that your problem was fixed, did they fail to test the fix before telling you the problem was repaired and hanging up the phone?
7. You aren’t receiving any ‘extra’s’ from your IT Support—
If you’ve found yourself avoiding calling your IT vendor for ‘minor’ issues because they nickel and dime you to death, it’s unlikely that you’re getting of the ‘extra’s’ you deserve.
For instance, is your IT vendor failing to help you decide what smartphone will best suit your needs? Is the IT crew failing to provide insight into what new laptop, PC, tablet, or new software your employees should be purchasing for home, travelling, or even private use? When Charles from the sales department had his laptop stolen, did your IT team jump up to help monitor and recover the stolen computer? These types of IT consulting services are an extra that we feel should be a part of your IT support.
8. Your IT vendor doesn’t support what you need supported—
Who defines what is supported and what is not? Is your IT service team deciding this? And what is the basis for their decisions? Have you found that your IT team defines this by what is easy for them to support rather than what the business actually needs? When you ask your IT employees for something and they respond by telling you that it can’t be done, this should raise a red flag. While there are some requests that actually cannot be fulfilled, if this is a recurring theme, something isn’t right.
In fact, do you feel like any of your requests are treated as urgent or important or ‘supportable’ by your team?
9. Your IT crew doesn’t have the appropriate documentation—
At any point in time, you should be able to ask your IT team for full technology documentation. There should be regularly documented aspects of all key business systems, an inventory of all your current and backup computers and servers and a simple report of their current status. You should also be receiving regular reports on hard drive space, growth of your servers, and reports that show helpdesk activity of who amongst your employees has been making requests and why. Additionally, you should expect to have regularly scheduled meetings with your IT Manager to discuss problems, goals, and how to improve your business.
10. Your IT team fails to take proper preventive steps—
You should have everything backed up on your servers (and we do mean everything, not just select files). Your data should have at least three backup methods. Your critical servers and systems should be monitored 24/7/365, and while you’re checking that, you should also inquire as to whether or not your failover and redundant systems are being consistently tested to ensure they are in full working order. For that matter, is all your equipment up to date with the manufacturer warranty? Do they back up your systems for you on a consistent basis offsite as well?
11. Your IT crew isn’t protecting your systems from viruses—
There are indications that your IT crew is dropping the ball when it comes to virus protection; your users get a lot of spyware infections; your IT vendor refuses to manage your anti-virus installs and updates; you get an inordinate amount of spam email; only some of your computers are updated with weekly MS updates; your complaints about spam and viruses go unrequited. It’s definitely time for a change.
12. Your IT Support is only available during work hours—
Is your IT support ditching you on holidays and weekends? The reality is that systems crash and problems occur anytime—especially, it seems, during busy holiday weekends. If your IT support team is MIA as soon as your 5 o’clock employees start punching out, it’s time to tell them to hit the road. These days, technology demands 24/7 availability.
13. Your IT team is slow to recover from a disaster—
The worst has happened—your entire system failed. Does your IT team know how long it will take to fix the problem and get you back up and running? Is your business down for days before a fix is made? Any downtime is disaster for a high-functioning business. If you find that you’re having systems fails and inordinate amounts of downtime, it’s time to give your IT team the boot.
We could go on—there are many warning signs of poor IT support. What it really boils down to is how you answer the following questions: Are your business needs being met by friendly, helpful, and timely IT employees? Do you find that your IT support actually enhances your business, rather than simply keeping it afloat?
We want you to be able to answer ‘yes’ to those questions. That’s our goal—the whole reason we started this company in the first place. Give us a chance to provide you with the IT services that you need. You deserve it.