Looking to get the best on-site service out of an IT company? Frustrated with past experiences and looking for a better experience moving forward? This two part blog series is for you.
Let’s start with our first blog in this series: How to Get the Best Service Out of an IT Help Desk.
There are 3 key steps in the process of getting the best service out of On-site IT Services. If your business is looking to maximize the benefits of using On-site IT, this blog breaks it down for you!
1) Understand the model – how does an IT Company that offers On-site Service work?
There are typically two types of on-site services: pre-scheduled and unscheduled.
The majority of on-site service calls will be pre-scheduled On-site Service. These are scheduled in advance and give the IT Company a predictable schedule. A savvy IT Company will schedule several on-site visits back to back in a particular geographical area in order to maximize resource utilization.
Examples of pre-scheduled service:
- Installing equipment, such as a printer, workstation, server, or a network device.
- Routine maintenance, such as an on-site checkup.
- Major projects, such as office moves, server migrations, and large IT refreshes.
- Meeting with key personnel to discuss the account, new solutions, major changes, etc.
Unscheduled visits are unpredictable, however, they are often the most important and valuable to the client as they are often correlated with downtime and loss of productivity. The IT Company will often have to interrupt IT staff or move around pre-scheduled on-site service in order to address a more critical on-site service need.
Examples of unscheduled visits:
- Equipment failures, such as a failed or failing server, workstation, or network device.
- Internet or phone service down.
- Virus activity that requires removing infected devices off the network.
2) Ensure that the relevant equipment AND work area(s) are available during the on-site service window
- An easy way to derail a smooth on-site visit is to tie up either the equipment or work area during the period the on-site technician is supposed to be working.
- We’ve had clients schedule patients in operatories over our visit, requiring the tech to wait until the computer was free for work to begin. This wasted the tech’s time and caused his other on-site service visits later in the day to be rescheduled.
- Potentially, if the work area or computer is tied up due to reasons outside of the IT Company’s control, you will be charged for the time the tech is waiting.
- For everyone’s best interest, we recommend reserving the space and/or computer during the IT service window so that your ticket can be resolved promptly and the IT Company can operate efficiently.
3) Report issues as they happen — don’t hold back tickets and unload them to on-site techs that are there for other reasons
- A common occurrence in less operationally mature businesses is the concept of “holding back tickets”. This is a behavior where staff will have IT issues, but instead of submitting issues or requests through the proper channels, they’ll work around or live with the inefficiencies. They’ll only submit tickets to the IT Company when they see the on-site IT tech face to face while they’re performing scheduled or unscheduled work.
- Now that you know how the model works in #1, you can understand why this is a very ineffective way to work with an IT Company.
What if your staff is very busy and they don’t have time to submit the ticket?
You have three options:
- As far as the IT Company is concerned, if your company didn’t report or request it, it didn’t happen. Possibly an office manager or receptionist can be tasked with asking employees daily or weekly if they have issues, and they can send tickets on behalf of staff having issues. The guideline to follow with this option is: make sure the ticket is sent in with the actual staff member having the need being copied (CC’ed), including as much detail as possible (how to recreate the issue for example), and have windows of time that the staff member or person submitting the ticket is available to discuss the ticket in detail.
- Pay the IT Company to perform additional pre-scheduled on-site service to spend time seeking out these types of staff members. If you have highly billable staff members, the extra expense may be worth it.
- Hire an in-house IT person who is expected to be available for live in-person support. This is the premium option, as salary+benefits of an entry level IT person will run ~$4500/month. You’ll still need to work with an IT Company to cover their vacations/sick time, monitoring, patching, projects, cloud solutions, and ongoing security solutions.
Getting the best service out of an IT On-site Service requires preparation on the part of the business. This helps maximize the productivity and investment of partnering with an outside IT Company. If you have questions about IT Support and Services, or would like meet with us to discuss your needs, please contact PK Tech by clicking here.