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When looking to grow your business, it’s imperative that you are able to find a trustworthy team of qualified technicians to install and maintain technology infrastructure and administrate its use. Many Small-to-Medium businesses (or SMBs) looking to grow contract an IT support group to help manage these critical services while helping end users navigate some of the intricacies involved.

When your business needs to grow, it’s essential to have a team of qualified IT support technicians that you can trust. While great IT support groups will ultimately be an asset to the growth of your business, mitigating or resolving major issues before they ever develop, a bad IT support contractor can lead to data bottlenecks, network breakdowns, and other costly IT issues that can — and will — ruin your bottom line.

Here’s a list of red flags to keep on your radar when searching for IT support for your business.

No Mention of Adherence to ITIL or ITSM

ITIL (or Information Technology Infrastructure Library) gives IT departments a set of processes that they must follow in order to efficiently deploy and troubleshoot IT services. These best practices maximize the effectiveness of an IT support staff, thus giving businesses more bang for their buck when contracting IT support services.

No Emphasis on Documentation

The big trend in IT support is self-service. If an employee is able to help themselves without the assistance an IT staff member, your business saves money by not having to engage IT support for an issue.

Whenever an issue is resolved, your IT support staff should always draft up a quick post-mortem detailing the steps they took to resolve the specific problem. These resolutions could be posted an employee wiki or a self service portal on the company intranet. If these problems reoccur, that documentation on fixing the specific issue could be made available to the end user, saving your business time and money, as you won’t need to call IT support in over and over for the same concern.

Only Letting Certain Techs do Certain Tasks

When you begin working with an IT support staff, it’s possible that you’ll get to know some of the technicians by name. When you find that certain techs only respond to the same types of problems, it may be that only that one technician has the skillset to solve those issues.

If you are talking to the same person about the same type of issue repeatedly, the problem could go one of two ways; either there is a larger problem with your network or infrastructure pending, or you could be working with an IT support staff that has low morale or poor management. Cross training should be emphasized on any IT support staff you consider contracting.

The IT Manager Screens Your Calls

What kind of third-party IT support company would screen calls from their own clients, who are paying them for help? You’d be surprised to learn how common this is.

Getting ahold of the IT manager shouldn’t involve having to go in circles before they’ll agree to speak with you. Those who manage an IT support staff should be able to give you a quick 50,000 foot view of your IT infrastructure at anytime. When staff doesn’t respond, you might start wondering what exactly it is they don’t want you to know. Even worse, you may begin to wonder why you’re even paying them in the first place.

Lack of Training or Specialized Skills

There’s a big debate in the IT community about the usefulness of certifications. One side of the discussion argues that having a certification shows that you have taken enough initiative to sit down and get professional training in a subject area, while the other argues that experience always trumps “textbook education” in this area.

When it comes to certain jobs or skills, experience certainly will be more important than having passed a certain test. When selecting an IT support staff, however, it’s a best practice to search for a company (like BACS) that provides a mix of both. This ensures that your Managed IT provider will be keeping best practices and industry standards in mind while also relying on the kind of experience that can only be gained by professionals who have been doing hands-on IT work for some time.

The Use of Old or Outdated Ticketing Software

A good IT support provider will develop a helpful, pleasant rapport not just with the business owner, but with all end users they may interact with over time. Your employees enjoy knowing the details of a support request, and your IT support provider should be happy to provide them in a format that is easy to understand and up-to-date.

When IT support staff uses old help desk software, it keeps you and your employees from getting all the information they need to avoid recreating those problems in the future. End users want to feel empowered after their interactions with a help desk staff member, and that means ensuring that IT support utilizes an interface that allows them to learn from the problem. This kind of information could prevent many future problems from arising.

Rude or Condescending Comments on the Phone

Always keep in mind — if your IT support provider treats you like an annoyance they must deal with or placate, you should take your money to a different provider that treats you like a partner.

An IT support staff that speaks with condescension to you or your employees, is rude, or refuses to answer questions, will cause hurt feelings, impede your company’s ability to prevent future problems, and will lead to your employees feeling unwilling to call for help in the future when they know they’ll just be treated badly again. Your IT support provider should be kind, helpful, willing to elaborate, and happy to speak with you.

After all, you’re investing in their knowledge and help when you need them — you deserve an IT support provider willing to actually provide support. You deserve a company like BACS. We treat our clients as partners, not just customers, and work with them to discover what they need most in order to have up-to-date network infrastructure and Managed IT support that goes the distance. Whether your biggest concerns are with security, data backup and protection, or network management, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call at (650) 887-4601 or click the banner below to schedule your IT assessment today!

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Published on 22nd December 2015 by James Berger.