With the latest data breach all over the news, you scrambled to find an IT solution that would keep your system and your customers safe. Before long, though, you realized that the provider you hired wasn’t as responsive or reliable as you hoped they’d be. You rushed through the process to protect yourself as quickly as possible, and now you’re paying the price.

An IT provider doesn’t just install software or configure networks. They also need to serve you, their customer, so you can serve your customers. Customer service should be one of your provider’s top priorities. If they aren’t setting, meeting and exceeding expectations, there’s a problem.

Let’s look at three ways IT solutions fall short of business owner expectations:

1. Your Business Goals are Ignored

IT support for small businesses should address short-term issues while also supporting long-term goals. Plus, your IT provider should recognize when certain short-term fixes won’t benefit the company in the long run. Putting a Band-Aid on a situation is only temporary, and it can lead to unnecessary capital expenditure or operational expense in the future.

2. Information Blends Together

A business owner may recognize that they need new IT services, but that doesn’t make them an IT expert. Meeting with one IT provider after the next can make everything start to sound the same. When one small detail seems like an immediate resolution or improvement on current services, it’s tempting to jump at the chance to hire that IT provider, even if they’re not actually the best – just the better – choice.

3. You’re Overpromised and Underdelivered

We are all too familiar with the really great sales pitch. Without knowing what you need IT-wise, it’s impossible to know if your IT provider is delivering on what they promised. Go into your first meeting with the provider with your most critical needs, your business goals and a list of questions about real-world scenarios. Ask and verify information from the people who are providing your IT service, rather than relying on the answers you get from their sales and marketing team.

Choose an IT Provider That Will Meet Your Expectations

Real world examples give the IT provider a chance to show off their knowledge and it gives you a taste of what to expect. Ask hypothetical questions and pay attention to how they’re answered. “Call us and we’ll fix it,” isn’t enough to put your mind at ease. Instead, listen for answers that prove the IT provider has policies and procedures in place. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential IT provider to walk through a series of real-life scenarios until you feel comfortable with how it would play out.

Here are a few more ways to find the right IT support for your small business:

  • Look at client testimonials and contact past customers to learn about their experience.
  • Ask the provider to see written documentation outlining their policies and procedures.
  • Set up a meeting with the support team you’ll be working with to see how you mesh in terms of point of view and personality. After all, these are the people you’ll possibly be working with for the next decade.

Tell Your IT Provider When Expectations aren’t Met

You’ve done your best to choose the right IT provider and you know all about setting expectations in business, but somehow, they’re still not being met. Here are a few ideas about how to handle a situation like this:

  • Speak up as early as possible. If you feel like something is about to go awry, tell your IT provider you have concerns. Don’t wait until there’s a larger problem to fix.
  • Write down what happened and how it failed to meet your expectations. Share it with your IT provider so there isn’t any miscommunication.
  • Find out if the problem has been fixed. It’s possible your IT provider remedied the situation between the time you noticed the problem and the time you approached them about it.

IT Support for Small Businesses

At Network Technologies, we believe in clear and honest communication. We’re happy to share our documented policies and procedures with our clients, and we love any opportunity to meet and engage with a potential partner. During our initial consult, we’ll learn about your business and needs, answer any questions you have and walk you through real-life scenarios to give you an idea of how we do things.

For more information on how Network Tech meets and exceeds our client expectations, you can contact us online or by phone at 913-538-7700.