- Admin NorCal Voice & Data
Four misconceptions companies have when choosing an IT consultant
It’s not easy to find the right IT consultant for your needs. In an industry that is not regulated much, we’ve come across many people who have had bad experience with their IT consultants. The interesting bit is that many of them have faced the situation because of having the same misconceptions about their service providers. Having talked to all our clients, here are some of the most common misunderstandings companies have had with their IT consultants.
Misconception 1 - My computer network doesn’t need regular monitoring and maintenance
This is probably one of the biggest and the most costly misconception that business owners have. Usually, this is because they’ve been fortunate enough to have never encountered a major disaster. This is similar to someone not wanting to wear a seat belt when driving just because they’ve never had an accident.
Computer networks are complex and dynamic. They need regular updates and maintenance to stay up, run fast and be problem-free. In fact, it can be surprising how fast a brand-new PC will slow down after a few weeks of use without proper updates and maintenance.
Here are just a FEW of the critical updates that need to be done on a weekly – if not daily – basis: Security patches applied – with new viruses and hacker attacks cropping up daily, this is a critical part of maintaining your network. Antivirus updates and monitoring, Firewall updates and monitoring, Backup monitoring and test restores, Spam-filter installation and updates, Spyware detection and removal, Monitoring disk space on workstations and servers Monitoring hardware for signs of failure, Optimizing systems for maximum speed Checking event log details to make sure processes are operating correctly, Active directory and user account management for security
Your computer network is just like a car: if you don’t change the oil, replace the filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and cost you far more to repair than the cost of the basic maintenance – and a car is far simpler than a computer network!
If your computer support tech does not insist on some type of regular, automated monitoring or maintenance of your network, then do not hire them. Lack of system maintenance is the number one reason why most people end up losing valuable files and incurring heavy computer repair bills. If your technician isn’t offering you these services, you need to find someone else to support your computer and network.
Misconception 2 - Any tech-savvy person can manage my computer and network
Most people look for a part-time “guru” for one reason: to keep the cost low. However, this often comes back to haunt them. We frequently get calls from business owners who desperately need our help to get their system back up and running, or to clean up a mess that was caused by an inexperienced professional, or in some cases friends or relatives who were just trying to help.
If the person you have working on your machine does not do computer repair and support for a living, there is a good chance they won’t have the knowledge or experience to truly help you – They are at best a hobbyist. As a business owner, do you really want a part-time, inexperienced person responsible for handling something as important as your data and computer network? As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. On the other hand we’re not saying you need to go hire the most expensive service provider out there. Price isn’t the only thing to consider. This brings us to our third misconception.
Misconception 3 - All computer technicians are created equal
Your best option will not be the one who offers the lowest price. As we stated a moment ago, you get what you pay for. A cheap price usually means a cheap job. Really good technicians do not work cheap because they are in high demand just like every other professional in another service industry.
In our clients' experience, hiring inexperienced professionals have caused some of the following issues They have improperly diagnosed problems, which mean they paid them to fix the wrong issues and they still weren’t able to resolve their problem. They could take 3 to 5 times as long to do the same repair an experienced technician could fix quickly. In this case you are paying for the extra 3 hours. Adding to that clients have had to pay for damages and other costs included to fix the problem.
With your client data, accounting records, e-mail and other critical data at stake, do you really want the lowest-priced shop working on your machine? We take the view that most people want value for their money and simply want the job done right. You will find that we are not the cheapest, but we don’t apologize for that. We would happily explain our rates one time than making excuses for poor services in the long run.
That said, we’re not the most expensive either. We simply feel that we should offer a good service at a fair price. That’s why we have been able to stay in business for over 19 years and have the majority of our customers being with us that entire time.
Misconception 4 - An honest computer support company should be able to give you a quote over the phone.
We wish this were true, but it isn’t. Just like a good doctor, an honest and professional technician will need to diagnose your network before they can quote any price over the phone. Our clients have noticed some consultants will quote you a cheap rate over the phone only to jack up the prices by selling you add-ons and up-sells, once they get in your office.
Finally, reputable firms don’t charge by the hour. They will give you a fixed flat rate. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of a customer is to get them to agree to a time and materials repair. Unless you know what’s wrong and how long it should take, they can soak you on the fees. And what are you going to do when they get 5-6 hours into a repair or project and then spring on you the news that it will take even longer than they anticipated to fix, costing you more money? our word of advice here is to always make sure you get a flat-rate, fixed-fee quote in advance so you don’t end up getting burned – and never take a phone quote!
Being in the industry for so long we have come across many stories from our clients that have helped us learn and offer the best service we can to out clients. If you are currently unhappy with your IT service provider and our currently looking for one, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call at 925-692-011. We will be happy to help you.