This is part 1 of a 5 part series where we reveal what we think are essential computer support services for your small business.
Part 1 - COMMUNICATION
Before getting into specific network technologies, products or solutions, one of the first considerations for your small business as you evaluate what a computer support company can do for you is how well they will communicate with you.
In this post, let’s look at this very first step of five essential pieces that a computer support company will bring to your small business. Let's take a look at our first topic:
Excellent Communication Is KEY
When you absolutely must get something completed for a customer, or a business proposal needs to be finished and printed, the last thing you need is a computer malfunction. Having a team of computer support professionals on call to help resolve your issue quickly, so you can get back to business, is a great asset for your company.
Great communication is essential so that your issues are addressed in a timely manner. Having a consistent method to contact your provider for support is vital. Just as important is knowing when you will be contacted, when the problem will be addressed, and what the cause and resolution of the problem was.
What’s the Best Way to Contact?
Be sure your support provider has a quick and easy way of alerting them about your problem.
The best way to connect with your support company is through an online ticketing system. One of the features of this type of system is the ability to send an email to a dedicated address which will automatically create a trackable support ticket for you.
In your email, you can describe your issue with as much detail as possible and then a ticket is automatically created and logged. Your ticket will go into a queue which alerts the company’s support engineers. This gives visibility to your ticket and ensures that your message isn’t lost, misplaced, or delayed. You also won't have to depend on reaching out to a particular technician via phone or text or email to describe your problem. That person is quite likely busy working on a support call with another client and may not be able to take your call, and it may be hours before they have time to check their messages. The automated system just ensures your important issue is handled smoothly.
When will I be contacted regarding my ticket?
After a ticket is created, be sure your managed service provider will contact you in a timely fashion to either work on your issue or inform you when they are able to schedule time for you. If you know when a support person will call to do the work, you can plan accordingly. The ticketing system should send an auto-response that shows details of the issue, the ticket number, and who if anyone the ticket is assigned to.
How fast will my problem be resolved?
If things go wrong and you need support, most good computer support services companies will have a way to connect to your PC and take care of the issue remotely. This is usually much faster (and cheaper) than an on-site visit. Many issues can be solved without a technician setting foot on your property. This saves you money that would otherwise be billable travel time. A lot of times, the resolution is quicker than the car trip to your office.
Can I see the progress of my open support tickets?
A ticketing system should allow you to login and check the status of your ticket, who is assigned to work the ticket and what if any updates have been made on your open tickets.
This information may be reviewed on a regular basis to help you determine if changes or upgrades need to be implemented to make your systems better and more available.
Will you tell me what fixed the problem?
The resolution of your issue should be communicated to you and logged in the support database for reference. If the same issue ever comes up again, you won’t have to reinvent a solution. You can also review the tickets to see if there are trends in the types of issues, or particularly problematic applications that may need to be reviewed to see if better solutions exist.
Great communication is key for any relationship, and it is certainly true for the relationship with your computer support services company and your small business.
If you have a problem, it is important that you are able to communicate to your support vendor what that problem is. It is important that you get confirmation that your request has been received and be able to read any updates or check on the progress of the work being done to resolve the issue.
When the issue has been resolved, the support engineer should provide an entry describing what caused the issue and what the resolution was.
Good communication is an essential part of the relationship between a computer services support company and your small business. When you find a good company, they can become a valued member of your team.
For the rest of the articles in this series, please check out the following links where we describe some essential services that a good computer support company will provide: