Choosing the right kind of company computer support is really important, whether you’re choosing it for a big office and many employees, or simply for your own home office. There is a lot out there to choose from but how can you tell the reliable, trusted support companies from the rip off merchants?
Most companies, if not all these days, are overly reliant on their computer systems, networks and computer equipment. It comes as no surprise therefore that many companies are willing to spend any amount of money asked of them if they get the promise of restricted amounts of downtime should something ever go wrong. After all, all a company wants is to be back online and communicating with customers ASAP.
It is therefore incredibly important to make sure you choose the most suitable support for your business you can. The best way to do this is to compile your very own checklist of what you require from such a service and then use it to compare and contrast the offers you have got from different computer support companies. The following points are general but will get your checklist off to a good start:
Do they use contractors or are they in-house?
It is really important to know how knowledgeable they are as a company. Many such companies will simply run as a middle-man, where they are the main contact for you but actually hire freelancers to do the work. This can often mean inflated pricing because obviously the company wants to make a profit but they also need to pay the freelancers.
Try and find out if their own employees do the work as this will keep those inflated prices down. It should also give you more confidence the company knows what they are talking about. Ask them about their competitors, i.e. what makes them stand out from the crowd, what makes them better and why you should choose them above others.
Don’t be afraid to say what others have quoted you, as this will help other companies match or offer you more computer support for less. Anything you can knock off their initial quote at this stage is a bonus! Also, be sure to find out how often they will provide you with computer updates, annual maintenance and so on.
Unbiased support and guidance
Although every company is going to be a little biased, it is important to avoid companies who just talk about themselves the entire time. You want to choose a company who recognises the advantages their competitors have over them. A company who even says things like, ‘Oh yes, we can understand why you have chosen to get a quote from that company, they are very experienced in…’ will show you they have integrity and are confident enough in their own company to appreciate others in their industry.
You also need to be sure they are not going to try the hard sell on you each and every time you contact them. For instance, if something goes wrong with a computer or if something needs updating, they are not going to try and sell you something you don’t need. You want a company who looks out for your needs, so will tell you when you really need, or don’t need something.
Reliability and trustworthiness
These are obviously qualities you should be looking for when choosing a computer support company. You may question how you can ever tell how reliable or trustworthy a company is before you actually start working with them and yes, this is hard. However, there are a few checks you can do to assess them before making your decision about who to hire, such as:
– Do they have a website?
– Does their website look professional and does everything work, i.e. links?
– Is their contact information clearly displayed on their site?
– Do they only give you the option for you to send them an email or do they also provide a telephone number? Ideally, they should offer both.
– How quickly do they respond to you?
– How good is their response, i.e. do they answer all your questions? Do they give you enough information about their company and the way they work?
– Do they give you an initial quote or do they ask to come see you, check out your computers/ network and equipment first. Ideally, they should get as full a picture of what your requirements are, what you are missing etc. before ever quoting you.
– Have you done a search for them online? Can you find any feedback or testimonials from other customers?
With all of the above points to check, you should be able to make a well-informed decision on which computer support company to hire. However, it is always worth having your own company specific points too, for instance:
What computer system/ network are you running and do they have experience with it?
Are they local to you and how long is their response time?
Your company will obviously have its own specific requirements so make sure you keep these in mind before making your final hiring decision.
James writes for Quintech. When not writing about SAP Gloucester, he can often be found providing computer support to others against his will.