For the uninitiated, an interesting way to answer the “what is IT Services?” question is to ask it as though you were a business owner. It’s a good approach.
Let’s do some role-playing
If I were a business owner, I would tell you what I want regarding computers and technology. That seems pretty simple. Then you as an IT Services provider would tell me if you could provide that service to my business.
If you mostly answered yes, then I would be interested in talking with you. I would invite you over to my office.
But if you answer no to several things about IT Services, the conversation would be over before we even got started.
Why would the conversation be over?
Because I want a company who cares about servicing my business and what we need from a computer, and technology standpoint, but good old fashioned service is first on my list.
If you care about making your customers happy, you’ll answer most of my questions with a yes, saying that you do provide the service I just described to you.
But even if you don’t service a particular piece of hardware or software we use, which is fine, I would expect you to at least try and take care of it for my business because that’s why you’re in business. I would hope.
If you have some ‘no’ answers for what we want, I trust you will explain to me why some questions have only no answers. I understand no. You’ll explain it in a way that makes sense, I will see the wisdom in what you’re saying, and I will be fine with some answers being no.
What are IT Services? The same monthly service cost you can budget for
So, let me tell you what I want from a company that says they’re an IT Services provider, or whatever name you call them, Computer consultant, Managed Service Provider (MSP) or even the IT guy. It doesn’t matter to me what you call your service.
I want an IT Services company who will . . .
Visit me in my office and talk with me about MY business, not SELL me on your business.
I want you to understand who we are, what we do, how we make money and how we use our computers.
Just listen to me. Show genuine interest in my business.
I want an IT Services company who will . . .
Check out my computers and printers and server room and software and all the technology before you tell me anything, we should be doing to run our business.
Don’t sell me anything.
First, show me you know what I am doing. Second, prove to me you know what you’re doing.
I want an IT Services company who will . . .
Gather up all the information you’ve learned from visiting us.
Then go back to your office. Figure out a way for us to do it better if it even can be done better than how we’re currently doing it. If we can’t do it better, then you should tell me that. When you do this, I will think better of you for your honesty. I know you’ll base your opinion on where my business is currently at in terms of computer technology.
However, you should also be looking forward as to where we could be if I wanted to invest money in your ideas and the technology you suggest.
What are IT Services? A service company who will try to save me money when and where you can
Propose solutions for my business that will solve problems for our business. Your proposed solutions should not be designed solely to make you more money.
Some of your proposed solutions may not even make you any money. That’s how it goes sometimes, and it's good customer service because you’ve put my business ahead of your business and I’ll remember that fondly.
Making money off of my business should not be your first objective
Your first objective should be to resolve our technology issues in a way that I can understand. It must make sense to me. Explain technology in a way that a child can understand it. We are not a computer company. We know very little about computers, we just want them to work, so when you explain things to me put the cookies on the bottom shelf where I can easily reach them.
What are IT Services? An IT Services company who speaks English because we don’t care about your nerdy, techie, geek speak
After you’ve had some time to think about what you learned visiting our business, I am assuming you’ll want to come back for a second meeting and sell us on why you’re the best IT Services for a company like ours.
So, you better come to the second meeting with a proposal written in plain English, on paper, using no geek speak.
Your proposal should spell out everything you found about the technology we’re using in my company, why it’s good if any of it is, why it’s not so good, if any of it is, well, not so good. For example, the old stuff that needs to be updated, or replaced.
We know we have old stuff that needs to go, that’s why we called you
Your proposal must list the steps you’re going to take in modernizing our computer technology and exactly how much it will cost based upon your evaluation. I think good proposals should be several pages long, yet well written and easy to understand. Again, no geek speak.
Your proposal should spell out exactly what we’re getting for our money
If we accept your proposal and hire you to be our new IT Services company, I don’t want to hear all the things you don’t cover under the proposal after I hired you.
I want to know up front before I accept a proposal, exactly what you cover and include, and what you don’t cover and exclude.
Since you’re an IT Services company, I am assuming you include most things in the IT Services world.
What are IT Services? A company I can call to ask questions about technology
Someone I can talk too. Someone I can chat with, and there is no charge for these little chats; I am not asking for legal advice. I’ve heard lawyers charge for all conversations, including 7-minute chats on the phone.
If I can call on occasion to discuss questions I have, I would not take advantage of the expertise and pester you. I will think that is good service, and I would be more than willing to pay a set monthly fee for that type of service. I would like that!
What are IT Services? No worries about technology, none
I own a business, and that keeps me overworked and tired 60 to 80 hours a week.
Wondering and worrying about technology is not something I should have to put up with from the IT Services company I pay.
Since cybersecurity is coming up in the news more and more, I want an IT Services company that will keep my business safe. I know they have to test my computers and network; I expect that.
What are IT Services? Cybersecurity training for me and my employees
From what I read, it seems to me that some of these attacks are successful because people make mistakes. They open infected emails or click on links that will lock their computers. If this is true, that human beings cause some of these cyber-attacks, then I want training for my company.
If we do have a technology problem, I want to know my IT Services company will act as firefighters and respond appropriately. I want boots on the ground, or techs remotely accessing our computers as soon as possible. I want to know you can resolve the problem whatever it may be and whatever caused it.
What are IT Services? A company who backs up my data and restores it quickly
From time to time we all hear the phrase about backing up the data at your business, and I know this is true. But even more important and something you rarely hear is this: How fast can you restore the data you backed up? Will restoration take a few minutes, or will it take a few days?
What we’re talking about here is RISK to MY business. Do you know that?
• 44% of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber-attack
• 24% of companies say they have experienced a full data disaster
• 70% of small businesses that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year
• The older your equipment, the higher the risk to your business
You must be able to restore my data quickly because statistics show that major data loss, say 4 to 5 days, has a 70% chance of shutting my business down. My customers will have to find another company to service them. When customers leave, most businesses cannot overcome that.
I want a true professional to backup and restore the data of my company.
Remember, data = my business and no data = I have no business.
What are IT Services? No long-term service contracts
If I had my way, there would be no service contracts at all. Month to month means you have to earn the business each month!
On a personal note, because my wife and I signed a service contract, we’ve been forced to put up with terrible services from long distance providers who enslaved us with crappy service. We’ve had to live with it for three-years. Sound familiar? It drives us nuts!
That’s not good service. It feels more like robbery and abuse
So, when it comes to hiring an IT Services company, will I sign a long- term service contract? Nope. I want to do business with a service company that I can fire at any time for poor service or any reason.
But when a company gives me good service (with an occasional mistake), I will stay with them for a long time. There is no need to look for a better deal. I’m loyal that way.
What are IT Services? An advocate for you
Even if a service company is not familiar with a particular piece of hardware or software, that is not working for whatever reason outside of user error; I want an advocate for me and my business.
An advocate who says:
- All of your technology, all of it, is our responsibility
- It’s our responsibility to maintain it and get it fixed if it’s not working
- We are not experts on every piece of hardware and software available. No one is. There are hundreds and thousands of different makes and models of hardware and software. But, we act as your advocate and call any vendor about their product that is causing problems. It is our responsibility to resolve any technical issue you have, and we will resolve it
- You will never hear us say, “Oh sorry, we don’t resolve printer problems. We don’t sell or service printers. You’ll have to call a printer vendor for that.” That is not a service. That is a cop-out.
What are IT Services? A partner who will help us build a culture of compliance for HIPAA
A company who is HIPAA Compliant and will support me and my business to develop a culture of compliance as required by the United States Congress.
I want day in and day out real-world experience with service companies who are in the health care field. They are known as Business Associates to Covered Entities.
As such, they can help me with all things HIPAA. We place appropriate emphasis on the importance of HIPAA Compliance. I don’t want to break the law.
So those are some of the things I would want from an IT Services company if I were a business owner.
With all that said let me add just one more very important point
What are IT Services? A company you partner with that is your own full-time IT Department
It’s true. An IT Services company truly is your own IT Department with some important distinctions:
- They never take a day off
- You pay them no benefits
- You have a team of very experienced professionals taking care of all your technology needs
- Your total monthly IT cost is less than the minimum wage
- Your total monthly IT cost is the same each month
When you add up these benefits, ask yourself, “How many of my employees do this much work in critical infrastructure for my business for less than minimum wage?”
Be honest; you know that none of your employees tasked with the job of managing an entire department, work for minimum wage. You know that, but IT services companies do work for less than minimum wage.”
DTS InfoTech Can Help
We’re good at IT Services. Seriously, we are. It’s how we make our living.
On the other hand, most small businesses do not have the expertise, technical resources or time to understand all this geek stuff. If this describes you, we can help. But if you don’t believe this stuff, first, you will have to pull your head out of the sand.
If you would like more information, please give us a call, we’re always happy to chat, and the call is free!
Dedicated to your success,
dts|infotech . . . secure computer networks that work