21 Questions You Should Ask Your Computer Consultant Before Hiring Them To Support Your Network

From the book “Technology Should Just Work” by Stephen Taylor

You’re not happy with your tech service. Whether you have a guy, are outsourcing, or simply have a mix of services/providers- your next step is to look for a solution. LeadingIT provides monthly all-inclusive services and our mission is to streamline everything. Below are 21 questions you should ask your computer consultant before you hire them.

Customer Service:
Q1: Do they answer their phones live or do you always have to leave a voice mail and wait for someone to call you back?
Q2: Do they have a written, guaranteed response time to your calls?
Q3: Do they take the time to explain what they are doing and answer your questions in terms that you can understand (not geek-speak), or do they come across arrogant and make you feel stupid for asking simple questions?
Q4: Do they consistently (and proactively) offer new ways to improve your network’s performance, or do they wait until you have a problem to make recommendations?
Q5: Do they provide detailed invoices that clearly explain what you are paying for?
Q6: Do they have adequate errors and omissions insurance as well as workers compensation insurance to protect YOU?
Q7: Do they guarantee to complete projects on time and on budget?

Maintenance Of Your Network:
Q8: Do they insist on remotely monitoring your network 24-7-356 to keep critical security settings, virus definitions and security patches up-to-date and PREVENT problems from turning into downtime, viruses, lost data and other issues?
Q9: Do they provide you with a weekly report that shows all the updates, security patches, and status of every machine on your network so you know for SURE your systems have been secured and updated?
Q10: Is it standard procedure for them to provide you with written, network documentation detailing what software licenses you own, critical passwords, user information, hardware inventory, etc., or are they the only person with the “keys to the kingdom?”
Q11: Do they have other technicians on staff who are familiar with your network in case your regular technician goes on vacation or gets sick?
Q12: When they offer an “all-inclusive” support plan, is it TRULY all inclusive, or are their “gotchas” hidden in the fine print?
Q13: Do they INSIST on monitoring an offsite as well as an onsite backup, or are they letting you rely on outdated tape backups?
Q14: Do they INSIST on doing periodical test restores of your backups to make sure the data is not corrupt and could be restored in the event of a disaster?
Q15: Do they insist on backing up your network BEFORE performing any type of project or upgrade?
Q16: If you were to experience a major disaster, do they have a written plan for how your data could be restored FAST and/or enable you to work from a remote location?

Technical Expertise And Support:
Q17: Is their help-desk US based or outsourced to an overseas company or third party?
Q18: Do their technicians maintain current vendor certifications and participate in on-going training – or are they learning on your dime?
Q19: Do their technicians arrive on time and dress professionally?
Q20: Are they familiar with (and can they support) your unique line of business applications?
Q21: When something goes wrong with your Internet service, phone systems, printers or other IT services, do they own the problem or do they say “that’s not our problem to fix?”

If you find your computer consultant baffled or unable to answer these 21 questions…you may want to look elsewhere. LeadingIT has got your back...ups.