There are a lot of businesses that love their outsourced IT providers, and couldn’t imagine going without them. On the other hand, there are also more than a few who aren’t happy with the service and technology support they’re getting, and are actively counting down the days until their current agreement ends.
Obviously, you want to find yourself in the first group and not the second. To help out, here are seven signs you will eventually hate your current IT provider. If you recognize any of them, it’s time to start looking at a different technology partner. Maybe even itgroove.
#1 You have explained the same problem 5 times, to 5 different people. Whether it’s because they have grown too big, or simply don’t consider customer service to be a priority, some IT providers shuffle clients around from one tech to the next. Because your time is money, it’s important that you choose a firm that has a clear issue resolution process. At itgroove, we are fanatical about keeping good notes and communication using SharePoint, Wikis, Blogs and Issue Management.
#2 You never know what your monthly invoice is going to look like. Among the top complaints businesses have about their outsourced IT firms, unclear billing has to be one of the biggest. Your agreement should clearly spell out what fees and charges you are in line for, along with what is included in that price. If it doesn’t, or your IT provider can’t stick to that, then look for another firm with clear pricing. At itgroove, we ensure our invoices include every detail possible. This not only serves as a clear record of services performed but also as a record of ‘change’ in case you were wondering why this setting or that was modified at a particular time.
#3 You’re spending more than ever on IT, and your systems are still unpredictable. This should be a huge red flag that it’s time to switch IT providers. Since an IT firm’s main job is to keep your systems up and running, that should be their first priority. If your bills are going up right along with your downtime, then some very bad things are happening. At itgroove, we do our best to ensure customers get our professional opinion, as their trusted IT advisor. Of course, our advice isn’t always taken, but we’ll try anyhow – we are not driven by software or hardware sales, we are driven by delivering quality service.
#4 They haven’t once brought you an idea for improving your technology or saving money. A big part of good business IT is preventing and solving technology issues, of course, but being a consultant to a partner is an important part of the process, too. If your IT provider isn’t taking the time to learn about your business goals and help you to find more cost-effective ways to reach them, then you aren’t getting all of the service you deserve. At itgroove, we don’t push our customers to have the latest toys or technology just to keep up with the Jones’. However, we do work hard to ensure that your business is aware of changes in the industry, products that expire from support and we work hard to stay up to date on the latest trends and fads (cloud anyone?).
#5 You know exactly what their voicemail and hold music sound like. Besides the fact that unplanned downtime costs your company a lot of money, you have better things to do than sit on hold and wait for your IT provider to take your call or get back to you. If you find that they can’t deal with your issues in a timely fashion, then it won’t be long before you are searching for another company who can. At itgroove, we change our voicemail greeting regularly . No, but seriously, when you call us, we do everything we can to answer the phone. We do have a phone greeting but that is actually a limitation of our current phone technology, not because we like it that way. But as soon as you get our voice system, you can press 1 to speak to any of our humans immediately or simply request the name of the consultant and you’ll be connected to them immediately (during business hours of course).
#6 Their service contract is too limited. This is a rare problem, but one that comes up: An IT client signs a contract with an outsourced firm to “keep things running.” But when problems crop up, the IT provider points out that the needed service “isn’t in the agreement.” If you feel like your IT provider is hiding behind their contract, or using it to charge you more than they should, then look for an outsourced IT firm that is more customer-centered. At itgroove, we have Service Agreements, not contracts. We are working together, for the long haul and the arrangement should reflect that.
#7 You’re not sure your contact or sales rep could pick you out of a lineup. Like so many of these problems, this one comes down to an issue of availability and customer service. Your account rep should be in touch with you on a regular basis, if only to make sure that things are running smoothly. Don’t settle for a once a year contract renewal when you could have an IT partner who cares about the state and direction of your company. At itgroove, we can’t possibly introduce every consultant to every customer and every employee of the customer. But what we do have is a system where every customer has an Account Manager, a Lead Tech and an Alternate Tech, to ensure knowledge and familiarity is always constant.