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Choosing the right IT support provider can become challenging and time consuming. We have put together a list of key questions to ask.

Do your support contracts tie me in for a considerable amount of time?

If you’re not happy with the level of service that your IT support company provides, it’s only natural that you’ll want the ability to stop using them. Look for companies that have a short, minimum contract term and a short cancellation period.

Will we get a dedicated account manager?

Having a single point of contact within the IT support company is hugely convenient for a business. Not only will it eliminate the hassle of phoning around to speak to the right person, but it will also help to build a good rapport between your business and the support company.

Do you offer varying levels of IT support?

Most IT support companies offer a number of packages to suit various budgets and requirements. Ask the IT support company what packages are on offer and which one would best meet the needs of your business.

Can you provide me with references?

It’s common knowledge that the best measure of a companies’ ability to deliver is a glowing referral from a previous client. So it’s definitely worth asking them for at least three references. You don’t have to get in touch with all of the referees, but contacting satisfied customers should give you some confidence in the services they provide.

What are your average response times?

When choosing an IT support company you should expect a reasonable response time. However, this may vary depending on the type of support package that you pay for. It’s worth remembering that a guaranteed response time doesn’t include the time it takes to resolve the problem, it simply guarantees that they won’t ignore your problem within that time frame.

What does the service agreement cover?

It’s essential that you understand the type of service you will receive before signing an IT service agreement. The last thing you will want is to call your IT support provider to resolve a problem and learn that the required service is not supported in the terms of agreement.

What industry accreditations does your company have?

This is an important one as you need to know that the IT support company you choose has the necessary qualifications and accreditations to provide you with a professional service.

Do you provide a proactive IT support service?

A proactive IT support service means they’ll prevent problems from happening before they occur, which will significantly reduce the chances of downtime. A good IT support company will monitor your systems and resolve problems on the horizon such as out of date software and overworked servers. A proactive IT support service will give you added peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on other aspects of your business.

How do we log a support call?

Make sure that your IT support company has a dedicated number with qualified technicians available to answer. If they don’t, look for an online form or ticketing system which goes straight to the support technicians. Ideally you should have access to all of these options.

What hours of the day is support available?

Not every IT support company offers 24 hour support, but is it essential? If you prefer a service where you have a dedicated technician then you can’t expect them to be available on a 24 hour basis anyway. If 24 hour support is available then it’s quite likely that you will have to pay extra for it. Most IT support companies only operate during regular office hours, but what happens if there’s an emergency, do you they have a procedure in place to provide support out of hours?

P.S. Why not follow our Twitter account @csgIT to keep up to date with all the relevant news, technologies and comapany information!

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