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7 Critical Questions to Ask Your Next IT Support Provider

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IT Support Provider - 7 Questions

Executive Summary

  • IT is at the very heart of modern business, so having the right IT support provider on your side is absolutely essential.
  • In this checklist of 7 critical questions, we’ll let you know what you should be asking your next potential IT support provider. Change isn’t always easy, so we encourage you to ask some tough questions.
  • These questions are based on our decades of experience as an IT support provider for small and medium-sized companies all over the UK.

Introduction

Are you happy with your IT support provider?

While most businesses will stick with one Managed Service Provider (MSP) for years at a time, it’s never a bad idea to see what you might be missing.

In that spirit, we’ve compiled a list of 8 questions you should ask of any potential new IT support provider you might consider partnering with.

#1: “What does your average customer look like?”

As the old saying goes, “comparison is the thief of joy” – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful sometimes.

By asking a potential IT support provider what their average customer looks like, you’ll both be able to better understand whether it’s a good fit.

For example, if the MSP in question usually deals with small businesses with no more than 20 employees, and you’re enquiring with a 1000+ multi-national, there’s going to be a fit issue right there.

#2: “Can you give me advice on which IT hardware to buy?”

Now, here’s a question which really separates the MSPs from the “break-fixers”.

Many IT support providers are focused almost entirely on your technical issues in the here and now. That’s useful if something goes wrong, but what about when things are cruising calmly and you’re planning for the future?

It’s here that an IT support agreement like ours at Get Support can help, thanks to an inclusive IT Director service. You can learn more about it here, but the headline is that we’ll help you plan your IT budget for at least the next 5 years – saving time and money in the process.

#3: "Can you help me choose the right software, too?”

In an increasingly digital world with what seems like a new platform competing for your attention every day, expert advice on software can be invaluable.

It’s here that an MSP can really come into its own, especially if they’re an official partner of the software providers like Microsoft.

For example, as a Tier 1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, the team here at Get Support are able to advise, set up subscriptions, install, and configure the full range of Microsoft 365 products – including Microsoft Teams, Office, SharePoint, and more.

#4: “Do you have a particular niche you’re specialised in?”

All businesses are different, no doubt, but there are key similarities when it comes to industry and vertical.

For this reason, you might find that some MSPs end up specialising in one particular area of business rather than another. This might be a good thing if you’re in a very specialised field, but it may also mean that the IT support provider might take longer to deal with more generalised problems.

This is really a question of adaptability: how well set up is the MSP to adapt problems from one field into another? If they’re experienced enough with a large enough client book, the chances are this won’t be a problem at all.

#5: “What happens if I decide I no longer need your services?”

When’s the last time you heard someone celebrating the fact they’d just signed a three-year support contract?

Yep, we didn’t think so.

The reality is that, especially in today’s digital era, long-term iron-clad contracts are really heading for the scrap heap. In fact, this is one area that we pride ourselves on with our IT support agreements at Get Support: no long-term support contracts as standard.

If the potential MSP you’re talking to starts pushing you towards signing your life away, it’s time to take your business elsewhere.

#6: “What is your step-by-step process for tackling IT support issues?”

This might sound like a particularly probing question, but any MSP worth their salt is going to be happy to answer it.

When you’re prospecting for a new partner in IT, you want to be 100% confident that the MSP has the workflows and systems in place to resolve almost any problem.

For this reason, it’s always a good idea to ask how problems are solved internally and better understand the steps to resolution that are taken.

#7: “What is this really going to cost me?”

Yep, it’s that oh-so-icky topic of money.

But, in reality, the cost of your IT support provider is going to have a big impact on your final decision. And it’s not just the monthly cost of IT support you need to consider – it’s also the risk of any unexpected bills. For example, if your MSP needs to replace hardware or license new software, will they discuss it with you first, or simply lump you with an unexpected bill?

That’s yet another of our golden rules at Get Support: no unexpected bills. (Because is there anything worse?)

Want to skip the small talk? We hear you.

If you already know what you’re looking for in a Managed Service Provider, you’re probably at a stage where this is less about what you need to know and more about how the Get Support team can help.

With decades of experience working with small and medium-sized UK businesses, we can provide simple, flexible IT support agreements with the human touch — and without any of the fuss.

Want to know more about our stress-free IT support packages? Call the team today on 01865 59 4000 or just tap in a few details into the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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