Getting the Right Technology: How to Choose the Best IT Support Partner

August 9th, 2018 - Category - IT Best Practices, IT Blog

Technology Partner

For most SMEs getting the right technology in place is crucial to ensuring future growth potential. Businesses often come to us when they have outgrown their existing technology partner and they need a more cohesive documented strategy to continue growing.

Perhaps you have one in-house IT guy, or you are on a block hour or pay as you go contract with your current provider and you are experiencing repeated problems which just won’t go away. There are some potential pitfalls associated with both these types of contract, which I have outlined below.

The issue with relying on only one in-house employee for IT Support is that it is not scalable in any way. As your business grows you will need a greater level of support, more than one person can provide. You might also require a greater level of expertise than they can provide. This is significant, as the decisions you make now will form the foundation of the future success of your business. Making the right decisions at this stage can set you up for success and help fuel your growth rather than hinder it.

The problem with block hour contracts is that so much isn’t covered and you will likely end up paying a lot more than expected. There will be unexpected costs which you haven’t accounted for, such as site visits. With this kind of contract there is often no motivation on the part of your IT Support Partner to reduce your overall ticket count, a high ticket count can beneficial for them as you will end up paying more. They would not need to focus on working proactively to address your issues and stop them from reoccurring, as this would mean they wouldn’t receive as much business from you. Instead you end up wasting time and money as the underlying root cause of issues aren’t ever being addressed. Consider it this way, it’s like putting a plaster on a bullet hole, definitely not a long-term solution. You are not addressing the underlying problem. Papering over the cracks in this way is something a proactive Account Manager would always advise against.

A Proactive Account Manager

As the purchaser of IT services or the manager of your company’s relationship with their IT provider, what you need primarily is a good relationship with a responsive account manager.

You need to know when you have a problem or a new requirement, your IT partner is on hand to talk you through possible solutions and offer expert advice in a timely way.

What’s more, a good account manager will monitor what type of tickets are being raised, when, how often and by whom.  This is crucial if you are to proactively tackle issues; it helps you understand how you can reduce ticket count and raise productivity.

You may need to implement staff training with a particular app or offer extra training support for a particular member of staff.  Or, perhaps, your IT provider can suggest a new piece of kit – or an upgrade to an existing one – that will solve the problem?

In our experience, having a good relationship with a dedicated account manager, who understands your business is crucial if you are going to create and benefit from this type of proactive IT management.

When you choose Netstar as your IT provider, you will work with an account manager who will be in regular contact – and who is always on hand to help.  Through this account manager relationship, we work on reducing issues proactively.  This is because we know that by addressing the root causes of issues we can reduce the number of tickets being raised – which benefits us both.

At Netstar we work to proactively reduce ticket count for our clients, by flagging and addressing recurring issues.  We are actively invested in reducing your problems and providing the right solutions.

Better for Everyone

As well as a good relationship with an account manager who understands your business and is helping you achieve your goals, the other essential element of a good IT support service is enabling your users to reach the support they need when they need it.

When your users have an IT problem, they want to pick up the phone to someone who can help them fix it.  They don’t want their problem to get lost in some automated system in which call centre staff who aren’t empowered to help do little more than demand ticket numbers.

That’s why when your team pick up the phone to Netstar they’ll get through to one of our team who will do their best to help immediately.

Our customers really rate this element of our service.  Natalie May, Office Manager at DWPF one of our clients, told us earlier this year: “The speed with which Netstar correct minor errors has changed our working day.  The Netstar team are frequently logging the call at the same time as they are fixing the problem.”

How We’re Different

Because we’re confident that our responsive and proactive support service will ensure that your systems are fit for purpose and your users are confident in the tech they are using, we are able to offer a fixed price for our services – so you have access to all the support you need without having to worry how much it’s costing you.

When issues do arise, we deal with them and the underlying cause quickly – so they don’t turn into problems.

When you meet our team, you’ll realise quickly that our approach is a bit different to other IT suppliers.  We work hard to understand your team ethos and your business goals during the onboarding process, so we can closely align our approach and advice with your goals.

We’ll support your growth through our proactive advice and responsive service.

Supporting Your Growth

Our service is priced on a per-person, per month basis.  This covers each person for every device they use – you don’t need to worry about adding laptops or desktop computers; they are all covered in our per-user plan.  We find this simple per-user pricing makes it easy to budget.

It’s also another reason to give you confidence that we are doing everything we can to help support your business and its success.  As your business successfully grows, we benefit as well – so you can be sure your partner is always pulling in the same direction.

We’re so confident that our IT support services will be an improvement on your incumbent supplier that we offer you a 30-day rolling contract for the first 12 months.  So, if you don’t love us, you can move away anytime you wish within the first 12 months.

In summary, we offer a responsive helpdesk, great value pricing and we are always working to support your business success with the right recommendations.

And our immediate recommendation?  If you haven’t reviewed your IT support service contract for a while, make time to do it soon.  There is a whole world of service differentials out there – and you might find you can make significant savings while improving service and accessing more proactive support at the same time.

Quick Checklist when Choosing an IT Support Partner

  • Support for the hours you need covering
  • Fast issue resolution – ask for the average time of ticket resolution
  • Option for site visits when necessary
  • All-inclusive pricing – so those site visits don’t cost extra!
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Proactive investigation of issues for problem prevention
  • Reference stories from happy customers
  • Per-user pricing – users can have any number of devices covered by support
  • Flexibility to cancel the contract if and when you want to – even within the first 12 months.

Netstar gives you all these things and more.

Is it time you got in touch to see how we compare against your current IT support supplier?

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you get the most out of your IT.

// Fed up of receiving a hike in bills when things go wrong?  Or are you waiting too long for an issue to be resolved?  If you think your IT support service could be improved, contact Netstar today to start a conversation.

 

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About Mit Patel

Mit - Managing Director. In 2002, Mit founded Netstar. He has helped grow Netstar to become an indispensable partner to some of London’s finest businesses, including well known names in the Financial Services industry. Mit works across all aspects of the business including strategic planning and key account management. Mit is focused on ensuring the delivery of a high quality service, and providing strategic value to help our customers overcome their business challenges.

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