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IT support: what to expect from your supplier

Anyone who’s ever been told to “try switching it off and on again” understands the frustration that comes from poor IT support.

But what does good IT support look like? What qualifications should your supplier have? And what sort of relationship should you have with them?

We’ve compiled six essential traits that you’ll already be familiar with if you’ve got the right IT supplier. (And if not, perhaps it’s time to make a change.)

1 – Proactive support

The first – and arguably most important – expectation you should have of your IT support relates to proactivity. A strong IT support service should always include:

  • Constant monitoring.
  • Regular account reviews.
  • Extensive reporting.
  • Automation.

What's more, your support supplier should constantly be on the hunt for new technologies, designed to make your life easier.

2 – Outstanding qualifications

If your business IT support service is fit for purpose, it’s likely that it has exceptional qualifications.

  • ISO qualifications 27001 and 9001 are a prerequisite.
  • Don’t forget about major vendor accreditations.
  • Look out for positive testimonials.
  • And, remember, the best and most confident IT suppliers will be happy to let you chat with their existing clients.

You should also take recognition from third parties – for example, awards – into account. (Check ours out here!)

3 – A strong two-way relationship

For your relationship with your IT support supplier to work well, you need to see it as a partnership. Mutual trust, therefore, is crucial.

  • Your supplier should work seamlessly in the background.
  • They should be providing solutions to every day issues.
  • Good support should leave you free to do what you do best, whatever your industry.

For the relationship to work well, it helps to give your IT support supplier absolute visibility, allowing them to monitor and find the true source of any issues that arise.

4 – Robust systems and communication

A functional relationship is characterised by strong lines of communication. Your supplier should have:

  • A multi-layer support team – for escalations.
  • A robust ticketing system – allowing you visibility, with tickets available via call, email or portal.

Remember, an easy feedback system makes it straightforward for you to tell your supplier how to improve. And, however good they are, there are always little tweaks and changes to make things even better.

5 – Fast response times

It isn’t just the lines of communication that need to be agreed. At the outset of your relationship with your IT support supplier you should:

  • Agree the terms of an SLA.
  • Set out target response times.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being left hanging on for urgent support. Your supplier should have measures in place to ensure that never happens.

6 – An eye on the future

IT support is constantly evolving, and the user experience is becoming ever more important. Here’s how we see its future:

  • A shift away from a traditional IT support approach – towards one that’s more akin to a retail experience.
  • A need for self-service support – as cloud services become the norm.
  • Shaping the user experience with data – in other words, combining everything from user data to errors and logs to add real value.

If you’re getting all that and more from your current IT support supplier, that’s fantastic.

But if you’re looking for a supplier with a strategic focus, we’d love to talk about how we could add value to your business. And we promise not to suggest that all you need to do is switch it off and on again!

Book a free IT strategy review and assessment >