You may feel as if you're just another number on a hotline when working with your managed IT service provider. That’s not okay. The IT support companies that typically treat clients this way are:
- National call centers
- Virtual IT support
- Outsourced overseas companies
Your managed IT provider should provide responsive customer service on and off the phone. Businesses that value customer service should move on to a local managed IT provider that values you as a client.
The personable touch of a local IT company can’t be matched. Locality allows smaller companies to perform onsite work and get to know your company well, maybe even on a face-to-name basis. Knowing your people and IT network is pivotal for fast acting IT solutions.
Here are 4 things you can count on from a local IT support company:
1. Fast response times when you need it most
Listening to automated dial commands or endless hold music while your support call is being ported somewhere across the world is frustrating.
Local IT support companies prioritize responsiveness and customer service because their success depends on it. For you, this means a human answers the phone, shorter wait times, and faster resolutions.
If a local IT support company couldn’t reduce your downtime or resolve your support tickets quickly, they’d be out of business. Fast resolutions are one advantage of choosing a local IT company over the competition halfway across the country (or world) or virtual providers.
Local managed IT services providers also provide faster, more responsive service when there is a geographic-related emergency. For example, imagine:
- A full power outage causes network downtime (your bottom-line is jeopardized)
- Harsh weather damages your physical data center (you need data restored)
In instances like these, the local IT company will empathize with you and respond faster than a long-distance partner because they could be affected too.They’ll try to find a workaround if their operations are affected, such as reaching out to local utility and internet providers to help restore service. In the long-run, they’ll be more inclined to create an emergency game plan, so your business is protected from future disasters.
2. Onsite routine checks at your convenience
Not all IT work can, or should, be done virtually. There are instances where having an IT support company come into your office is important (device setups, office moves, etc.). Because they are in the area, a local IT services company will be able to perform physical onsite maintenance. A non-local IT support company must do all their work remotely.
On-site IT visits also enable the IT provider to conduct a detailed inventory of your outdated technology. The IT provider can spot physical configuration problems that need fixing and schedule upgrades because they know the technology you have on hand.
3. Personable connections with your employees
Technology works better when it’s configured with your business (and your people) in mind. When your IT support company can work onsite, they’ll be exposed to your company’s:
- Primary IT support needs
Unlike a non-local company, local IT support will work in your office and with your team. From knowing what technology you’ve set up in each conference room to knowing how to interact with your employees when servicing your equipment, a local IT support company should become an integral part of your team.
As part of the team, your IT company will discover out how to cater their IT services to the personality and culture of your workspace. This results in more proactive problem solving and cooperation with your team.
4. Lower average costs for IT services
Many businesses choose to outsource their IT services to an overseas or virtual-based company because it is “cheaper.” Local IT providers often have higher rates and more expensive packages. However, partnering with a local IT company can lower IT costs and provide more value than a break-fix relationship with a long-distance IT provider.
A local IT provider helps you save on IT costs by suggesting technology solutions that are fit for your current and future business goals. Because they have a better understanding of your business, they can recommend technology investments that will save you money in the future. For example, they might advise you invest in a cloud solution rather than purchasing an expensive physical server.
Choose the right size local IT support company
When you pick a local IT firm, you still have to pick the right size firm for your business. A micro-sized IT support provider that can’t handle a couple support calls at once can be just as unresponsive as the non-local companies. They may only be good for one-time fixes or ad hoc work.
Stick with an IT company with more than 5 techs looking to build valuable relationships with SMBs. You want a managed services company that can follow through with their service promises because they have the resources and expertise to manage it.