How to Choose the Best IT Service Provider for Your Business
by Eric O. Schueler, Vice President Information Technology HRCT
Don’t Trust Your Computer Network to Just Anyone!
Hiring the wrong company to service your computer needs can not only be incredibly frustrating and expensive, but it could end up costing your company the loss of irreplaceable databases, e-mails, and customer files. This, in turn, also costs your company valuable man-hours.
The computer industry, along with a lot of other industries, has its own share of unethical businesses who will always try to take advantage of the uneducated buyers in their greed for easy money. Fortunately, businesses like these are the minority, but we know they exist. We hear the stories, and we end up cleaning up the messes they have created.
Unlike other industries such as electricians, plumbers, lawyers, and realtors, the computer industry has no regulation to keep customers from receiving poor work or getting ripped off. Anyone with the slightest bit of computer knowledge can market themselves as being a computer repair shop. A friend’s brother who can work on your computer on the weekend should not be your “IT Guy.” You need to hire a company with the expertise and backing of IT certifications.
I want to provide some tips when choosing an IT service provider.
- Demand that they have multiple technicians on staff. If you hire a “one-man-band” operation, you might find yourself without any help when they go on vacation, get sick, or when they are simply too busy servicing other computers. Having multiple technicians on staff is not a guarantee on fast reliable service but you are far more likely to have someone to talk to when you have a problem. Another benefit is that multiple technicians mean multiple skill sets and a higher likelihood that your problem will get resolved quickly.
- Demand a long-standing reputation. You should only deal with companies that have a proven track record of high customer satisfaction. Be wary of computer IT service companies that have been in business only a few years. HRCT has been in business since 1986.
- Demand that they have specific knowledge or expertise in solving your problem. Do NOT let someone practice on your equipment! Make sure to ask in detail about how they have solved a problem like the one you have, so you know that they are experienced. There is too much risk involved in letting a novice work on your data and equipment.
- Demand that your technician backs up your data before they begin. This is common sense, but many people don’t think about it. If the technician you hired makes a mistake, it could mean the loss of your data and maybe even your business. It’s information you can’t go on without.
- Demand your computer is fixed rather than erased. A sure sign of a novice is that they are quick to recommend that your hard drive be erased to fix your problem. This means you lose your settings, preferences, and data. This kind of fix should only be done as a last resort.
- Demand a service plan. One of the biggest misconceptions that most users fall victim to is that if your computer is working fine it doesn’t need any maintenance. A computer is much like a car in that it needs regular maintenance in order to keep running at its best. A professional should recommend that you have maintenance done on a consistent schedule in order to avoid costly repairs and unscheduled downtime.
For these and other tips, contact Eric Schueler with HRCT. (757) 399-3350
Posted by Eric O. Schueler, A+, MCP, MCSE, MCTS, CSSA, ACSP – Senior V.P. of Information Technology at HRCT. Eric has been in the business of providing IT and consulting for small and medium business for more than 15 years.
Hampton Roads Communication Technologies (HRCT) provides quality business telecommunications solutions, like IT Sales, Repair and Service Plans to companies and organizations throughout the United States, Mid-Atlantic and the Hampton Roads Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton, north into Williamsburg and south into the Outer Banks of North Carolina. HRCT keeps your company connected. Call today 757-399-3350.