4 Ways To Get Better Service From Your IT Company
IT support plays such an important role in modern business and many companies settle for less-than-stellar service. Finding a good IT partner for your business is hard enough, so when you find one you don’t want to have to start the process over again because of some hiccups. You want to make sure if something starts to slip you can get everyone back rowing in the same direction and receive the better service you deserve.
It’s important to address performance issues head-on. At the end of the day, you’re paying for support from an IT company and deserve to get the best service possible. Here are some steps you can take to get better service and improve your relationship with your IT partner.
Have a Candid Conversation
Honesty is always the best policy. How is your IT company supposed to know that you’re unhappy with the service you’re getting if you’re not upfront about it?
Schedule a meeting and plan to have a very candid conversation about how things are going. Your IT provider shouldn’t charge you for this time. If they do, there is a good chance they are not seeing you as partner which is an indication that you’re not in a real partnership. If your service provider only sees you as a client number, then they should be seen as a vendor that can ultimately be replaced.
With that said, it’s also important to have a productive meeting. You should go into the meeting with an open mind and know your relationship is a two-way street and you might not be holding up your side of the deal. If you go in believing you can both get better, the meeting will be more productive and should naturally feel like more of a partnership.
Approach the conversation firmly. The goal is to create a dialogue about what’s working and what’s not. Don’t jump to conclusions, lay blame, or make the team feel inadequate. The priority should be to come up with a plan to improve. When done right, IT companies will appreciate the feedback and work harder to ensure that your needs are being met.
Foster a Team Environment
It’s easy to view IT support as a third party or a separate entity. While that’s technically true with an IT service provider, both teams should be working towards the same goal. Everyone connected to your company should be striving to support the business and improve its bottom line no matter if they are employed directly or an outside partner.
The best way that you can develop a strong relationship with your IT partners is to simply work together. Don’t just leave your IT specialists to take care of problems. Work with them to come up with adequate solutions. Take it from us, business strategy drives IT solutions, not the other way around.
This teamwork will naturally create a deeper bond. Plus, it helps to identify separate roles within the larger machine. For example, you’ll figure out how much each of you can do to solve problems. Working together can also help you identify new solutions as a team.
While you might be paying your IT provider for their services, that doesn’t mean that you can’t work collaboratively. Teamwork always leads to the best results. Furthermore, it opens up the lines of communication so much that addressing performance concerns becomes a non-issue.
When talking about service not meeting your expectations it is silly to think about giving referrals but rewarding your IT partner for good service when times aren’t rough can go a long way later on.
Referrals speak louder than words. In the world of business, referrals are one of the best things you can do for a service provider. They help companies succeed and get more business. So, provide recommendations whenever you can. Even if they don’t gain new business from the opportunities you present them, your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Your relationship will get stronger as a result. Not only that, but people will work harder for you. It’s that unspoken “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” mentality. Humans are all vulnerable to the laws of reciprocity. If you do your IT company good by providing referrals, they will likely work harder to keep you happy.
If all else fails, you can always walk away from the relationship and seek out better service from another company. Ultimately, the success of your company is the top priority. Sometimes, you’ll find that your existing service provider just isn’t the right fit for your needs anymore.
There’s nothing wrong with that. While an IT partner could have met your needs years ago, things change as business grow. If you and your IT company aren’t on the same path, the best thing you can do is just hang it up and move on.
If you do decide to leave, you should be upfront and let them know why. In our 4 Reasons You Should Always Tell Companies Why You Chose Their Competitor article, we explain why providing this information to the company you didn’t choose gives you a better market to shop in for new IT support. The same principles apply when you’re trying to communicate why you want better service.
IT support is far too important to not get the level of service you deserve. If things are falling through the cracks, you need to take the steps to see improvement.
Ultimately, being honest about your needs benefits all parties involved. You can protect your bottom line all while encouraging your IT company to improve if they want to be your long-term partner.