Too many businesses stay with the first service provider they choose without questioning whether a move would benefit them. Unless something goes wrong and even then, the thought of diving back into the market and researching all of those other vendors can be overwhelming, making it easier to stay where you are.
If you’re thinking of switching providers – and even if you’re not – when was the last time you considered the service your vendor provides? All vendors should supply the basics and if you’re not getting them, why should you stay?
How often do you hear from your vendor? Only when something is wrong? A good service provider should be in touch regularly reporting on system monitoring and checking diagnostics to make sure everything is okay. Your support shouldn’t just be for emergency situations.
Every business can get busy – sometimes messages followed up at promptly as you would like, but if this is happening to you over and over, your provider isn’t doing everything it can. Communication and action plans for your issue should be a priority to them as well as you – and if all you get are apologies and excuses, shopping around might be the way forward.
Helpline or sales call?
There’s a difference between recommending extra services and a sales pitch. Which does your vendor give you? Are the products/storage they recommend for the sake of their sales figures, or are they actually thinking about the best move for your company? Are there clear parameters between account management and strategic guidance? If you’re not sure, keep it in mind the next time you speak to one of their reps.
How often do you or your provider check your costs? There should be so surprise bills, and if there are it is definitely cause for concern. Good vendors will always make sure you are aware of their prices. They will work with you because there is a lot of competition out there.
How committed is your vendor to helping your business expand? Flexibility needs to be core to the support your vendor provides, even if you need to decrease the amount of service you get from them. Having the freedom to adapt the services you need is essential. If your vendor is unwilling or unable to assist you, it’s time to move on.
In an ideal world, this would never happen, but chances are your business has had an event which has affected your IT. Having all of your data up to date, available and secure is a strong selling point for service providers so if you’ve been left with losses after an incident, is your provider doing everything they can for your business?
Glitches happen to the best companies – they can be unavoidable, and once every now and then is acceptable. In the event of a problem that can’t be solved in advance, your provider should document it and put systems in place to prevent a recurrence. However, if you keep having unplanned downtime, data losses, or issues that could threaten the integrity of your infrastructure without a satisfying conclusion it could be time to move on.