Good relationships are essential to every business success. Connections with customers, clients, vendors, suppliers and service providers can impact on your bottom line. As well as providing assistance when things go wrong a good IT Service Provider should help your business with the following:
- Take a proactive approach to your system maintenance.
- Help you with access to new technologies.
- Improve your efficiency and flexibility.
- Enhance security and compliance.
- Reduce your costs and enjoy predictable pricing.
Along with overseeing smooth IT operations, the experts can advise and consult on your future IT needs. The following strategies can help you build a good relationship with your IT support provider.
Open the Lines of Communication
Transparency in the relationship makes a big difference. With a deeper knowledge of your business needs and plans, your provider can better plan your future technology solutions. So communicating your goals and the direction you want to take your business will let your IT support provider match your IT capabilities to your business goals.
If you are planning any changes to your business ((whether directly IT related or not)) let your provider know as soon as possible. Being aware of changes allows the provider to plan ahead and assist with with the changes which can prevent bigger problems from happening down the road. After all, the IT providers team offers deep understanding of your technology and security. Getting their input can help you see an easier transition as well as a bigger return on investment from any new plans.
Invest the Time Upfront
As with any long term relationship, you will need to invest some time upfront. Taking a “pay and be done with it” approach reduces the relationship’s value.
You don’t want a “one size fits all” solution which a lot of MSPs (Managed Service Provider) offer. To help you best a tailored solution is needed, where the provider understand your needs. They need to survey and access existing technology and understand your business as well as your IT strategy.
This can seem counterintuitive. Why am I spending more time now talking about IT when the goal is to think about it less? Because this “getting to know you” phase is crucial first step. Your provider wants to provide the best service possible. To leverage available technology, they need to know how to setup a solution that satisfies your needs. The good news is that once it is setup and running, the time spent managing and monitoring IT is dramatically reduced.
Establish Roles and Responsibilities
Knowing what to expect of the relationship will help too. You may want a clearly defined Service Level Agreement. In setting that up, remember any relationship is better when you know and play to strengths. In establishing the partnership parameters, honestly assess any in-house IT strengths and weaknesses and craft an agreement that lets your people do what they do best. Then get the external IT support team to fill in the gaps. This lets everyone contribute something of value, which is always a good thing for you, your business and your staff.
Review the Relationship
As with most relationships a regular check in will keep all parties in sync and positively working to your businesses benefit. Someone at your business should have regular, scheduled updates with the IT support provider. This is an opportunity for both parties to explore what is and what is not working and discuss future plans.
Relationships grow and evolve. Laying the groundwork from the outset for a good relationship with your IT provider and you will be glad you did. The better the relationship, the bigger the benefits to your bottom line.
Are you looking for a new relationship to support your IT needs? Contact us on 08 8326 4364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.