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How Often Do The Best IT Practices Check In With Their Clients?

Cards Technology

Consider this - how long can you go without internet access before problems emerge? Chances are, that kind of downtime spells disaster for your business, no matter what industry. Missing deadlines, upset consumers and lost revenue all put your credibility at risk.

Many businesses are dissatisfied with their IT solution, and an erratic check-in schedule may have something to do with it. So, how often do you hear from your IT provider – only when you put it in a service request or once a year at contract renewal time? At Cards Technology, we believe preventing downtime has a lot to do with a predictable and regular check-in schedule, versus contact only when there’s a problem.

Use the following best practices as a guide:

1. Regularity is key – Checking in on a quarterly basis is a great standard. More important than the frequency, though, is that meetings occur at regularly scheduled intervals. As a business owner, you’re busy and juggling many priorities, so it’s tempting to move or cancel meetings. However, these check-ins function as a way to stay ahead of issues, such as anticipated software updates or alerts that equipment may be reaching end of life.

2. Plan for growth – Sometimes your IT provider is the last to know about your growth plans. Opening or moving an office location? Hiring new employees this quarter? Plans for expansion or upcoming changes should be discussed well in advance. Regular, check-in meetings can spark conversations that you may have forgotten to mention. Your IT partner plays a strategic role, helping you achieve your goals and get the most mileage out of your technology infrastructure.

3. Avoid the risks of inconsistent contact – One of the biggest dangers of being out of touch lies in unexpected IT expenses. When something malfunctions, not only do you worry about replacing it, but then there’s the potential for more problems to be uncovered. This leads to technology expenses you can’t avoid and didn’t budget for. Another example is investing in the latest equipment or software, but not working with your IT partner to ensure your existing systems will be compatible, so you can take advantage of all the new features.

Communicating with your IT provider exclusively to put out fires presents missed opportunities for strategic planning. Big picture planning can’t possibly be accomplished if you’re in the middle of getting your broken servers up and running. Think of regular contact like a physical for your IT infrastructure. You don't want to wait until a problem is hard to treat before taking action.

At Cards Technology, we're diligent about keeping our check-in meetings on schedule. We value our client relationships and know that getting to know you, and ultimately your goals, will help you avoid downtime and security issues for maximum productivity. If regular check-ins aren’t part of your IT strategy, click here or call us at 410-208-3933 to learn more about our communication process.

Minutes vs. Hours vs. Days - The IT Response Time Championships

Cards Technology

The modern workplace relies heavily on the use of technology. Whether you're in sales, e-commerce or financial services, a stable IT environment is the backbone of how you do business. So, when a problem emerges, the time spent waiting around for your IT provider can really add up. Finding a partner with a great track record of fast response and problem-solving times is essential for keeping the servers running, the Internet connected and your data secure.

IT providers make a lot of promises in regard to meeting your company's needs, yet many don’t have the systems in place to deliver service when you need it most. Here are 3 reasons why some providers take so long to respond:

  1. Organizational roles aren't clearly defined - there’s no set process for how to move through issues quickly and accurately. For example, a provider might not have a designated person on hand to answer the phone, or online requests are treated differently than phone calls. There’s also the risk of different people scheduling overlapping appointments, resulting in double or over booking.
  2. No proven process to distinguish calls – is there a defined system for handling quick calls versus diagnostic visits? For some IT companies, the answer is no. What about a service manager in the office all day specifically assigned to service issues? If there is no accountability system in place to work through more complicated issues quickly, that could lead to a delayed response.
  3. Managed service vs. time and materials – be aware of response time priority for managed service clients vs. break fix clients. Sometimes, the latter solution provides no guaranteed priority, no matter what the issue. Managed service clients should ask about a specific guarantee, with the possibility of a refund of monthly fees if the guarantee isn't met.

So, What Are Some Solutions?

Well, we think we have a couple. Here's a look at why Cards Technology is dedicated to such a low response time:

  • Team structure – Cards Technology has a dedicated service dispatcher that operates as the communication “hub” between the clients and the company. From submitting tickets to managing schedules, this type of structure ensures requests are turned around in a timely manner.
  • Two-tiered help desk – Smaller, quick turnaround requests are immediately assigned to T1 technicians, while more complicated issues are sent to the more seasoned and knowledgeable T2 technicians. This system provides quicker resolution times with the appropriate level of skill.

Common complaints heard about other providers: "if you don’t call before 9am, you won’t get a call same day" or "electronic tickets get lost in cyberspace and won't get help quickly."

Instead, we base our work tickets on priority and age, using calculations to figure out where in the pipeline an issue belongs. Then, we work on a solution, so you don't have to contend with antsy employees, lost revenue and frustrated clients.

We know you can't afford to have your employees sitting around while systems are down. If limiting downtime is a priority, look toward a provider that has a documented process and a proven record of low response times. Contact Cards Technology today, and we’ll walk you through our process - from ticket origination to the final solution.