We have all been there at one time or another. The end of a relationship that started off so good. Fresh, lively and balanced has turned into rotten, one-sided and moldy.
Here’s how to know it’s time to take out the trash on professional relationships that no longer work:
5 Signs your technology provider has gotten moldy!
1. Does not answer the phone right away or is often unavailable to discuss your problem.
Are you leaving a lot of messages with the receptionist, or worse, an automated call answering system? This can cause a huge delay in getting your problems resolved quickly.
Shopping? Look for a tech help desk with live support during business hours. Phone calls should be answered by a real person and if a message is left, it should be returned within an hour.
2. Does not proactively stay up on technology, uses your office to “test” things out.
This is a concern because you could be investing your business dollars in old technology! Many years ago, traditional hardware servers seemed like the only way to have the features, security and control most businesses needed. Compex was one of the first in our area to embrace the cloud options available and meld them with traditional options. This saved our clients quite a bit of money when scaling up and leaving old technology behind.
Shopping? Look for tech support teams that provide a number of different options for new hardware and solutions. Variety can mean flexibility. If you are unsure of the newest business technologies, ask! (Or google!) Feel free to use our comparison tool as a way of doing a side-by-side comparison of different providers.
3. Fixes issues over and over again or fails to resolve the root cause.
No one likes to pay for repairs to the same problem multiple times. Worse is the loss of productivity. Help your tech provider by ensuring you are able to replicate the problem and provide an example of the issue. This will minimize repeat calls and multiple on-sites. Ask how to resolve the issue permanently if you have properly identified the source. It might mean an investment, so keep an open mind.
Shopping? Having to fix the issue multiple times can translate to a number of things. Perhaps your provider is duct taping things together, or not properly communicating the required fix or investment to begin with. Work on communicating your needs to your existing tech support team. If you can’t come to a resolution, communicate your needs to a potential new partner via an interview. A high quality technical adviser will always recommend a long term solution. But remember, technology is always changing so solutions will never be permanent.
4. Shows up late, misses appointments and calls in sick often.
This is downright rude and should never be accepted without proper communication and rescheduling. Certainly everyone is entitled to vacation time and the occasional sick day, but you don’t have to be at the mercy of someone else’s whims when it comes to making your business operational. Expect a phone call or email from your tech provider if they will be late for any meeting or onsite scheduled.
Shopping? If you have been working with the traditional single IT support guy, consider trying the breadth of team support. With multiple people to back each other up, you won’t have to wait during an outage. Don’t be tricked by the common misconception that an outsourced team is more expensive. Usually the cost is around the same as a single full-time person, especially when you take into consideration your income loss while waiting for the one-man-show to return to work. At Compex, we use in-depth documentation systems to keep all technicians on the same page with every one of our client accounts. Therefore, no one is without tech support when vacations, illnesses or emergencies crop up.
5. Fails to be certified, properly insured or attend industry trade shows.
These could be signs of potentially shady business practices and stagnant learning. In this industry, it is incredibly important that techs continue to learn and gain new certifications. Partnerships with industry leaders, ample insurance coverage and participation in industry trade shows is indicative of a high quality tech professional with business insight and commitment to partnership.
Shopping? These are huge red flags for business partnerships, especially when/if problems occur. Avoid awkward finger pointing by having conversations upfront that discuss insurance and competency. If you do not align, don’t risk it. Find a new provider and protect your business and its promises.