Matching your service needs to your service provider
Finding the right service company is very important for you and your technology needs.
There are very few companies that cover all repair and service aspects of the IT industry. There are varied differences.
- Business hours
- How service is offered. (Online, onsite, shop)
- Types of services provided
- Number of internal company technicians.
If you require technical support for day and evening operations you'll need to make sure your service provider offers the same services or you'll need to make previsions to work around any issues until the technical support and service company can correct them.
How service is offered is very important. Nearly 80% of all support can be completed remotely but if you have servers then you'll need onsite service. Be sure you ask the rates because they will be varied at times.
Types of service provided are based on the type of equipment and software you use for your personal computer or business computer. If you have Windows Servers be sure you find a TechNet or MSDN member which means they pay Microsoft for advanced technical support not generally offered to the public.
Number of technicians is a big issue with larger companies. When service and repairs are delayed due to scheduling and the availability of technicians this may become a problem. Be sure to ask how long it takes to have a technician work on your equipment. One method we use and we tell our customers is if it takes more than 1 business day to schedule service it's typically availability of the technicians unless there are specific items that have to be setup before the service call.
Know the Service Company, the people, the owner, skills and experiences.
One thing I'd like to really stress personally to anyone that is looking for a computer or IT Professional to do work for you is to make sure they have done the work and not just talked about it. Pictures are worth more and technicians today take pictures. I regret not taking pictures in my first 10 years as a field service technician mostly because of the locations.
Service is a personal part of any industry. We don't have fake images or people behind the service desk we have real people that just know more about computers. There's no HAL9000 running the show there is a business owner and Murray is all over this site. It's important you see the experience levels before you risk your system to what we call a "Rework in Progress" when unqualified technicians work at making the issue harder for a qualified technician to fix. By the way, we have had some engineers sent back to school over the years and some engineers have schooled (mentored) us. Old Floyd couldn't fix a computer if his life depended on it but he held engineering certifications on every Microsoft product. Some are great at doing school work while others are great doing the work. We work with that balanced group that have formal study and experience.
Not all of us are suited or matched to every type of service environment and not all of us practice the same service processes and procedures.
What I find works for my service company and my customers may be different from another service technician. That is one of the beautiful things about the IT industry in that we all have our specializations and we all look for the same conclusion, to repair your reported computer problem or IT issue.
With that we often find price rates differ between one service group and another. The technicians I have worked with over the years have had standards in place on how to calculate the service rates. Most of our rates are determined based on our skills and the overhead to complete the repair or service task. The overhead isn’t our operating overhead but what additional resources or equipment we will need to complete your repairs. Often it’s only one screwdriver and software from a USB stick while other times we may have to setup a system to run processes on your network. Servicing equipment from home computers to corporate servers changes the service rates slightly.
I focus on the Microenterprise business, the self-employed and the personal computer users of the industry. Others may offer services to other size companies which I do not support due to mostly the amount of resources larger companies consume from a service organization. This doesn’t mean I do not support the technicians that offer support to IT departments of major corporations. Anytime a fellow IT admin needs a hand and they don’t need me to completely reserve a month’s worth of time I’m always available.