Choosing an IT Service Provider: Trust Matters

September 20, 2018
Customer Service, IT Services

yellow glasses

Data privacy. Protecting against data loss. Changing regulatory requirements. Staff shortages. New cyber threats. BYOD. More connected devices. Company executives that aren’t convinced that IT budgets need to be increased—but expect their IT teams to continue doing more. The list of challenges facing most IT professionals isn’t getting any shorter.

While there’s no single or simple solution for overcoming these challenges, partnering with a trusted IT services provider can help. Note the emphasis on “trusted.”

There are a lot of IT services providers out there. Many of them can probably deliver solutions to meet various IT needs. But is what you think you need what you really need—and will you be able to trust a service provider to tell you? 

The “What If’s” and “Will They’s”

Will the service provider give you a comprehensive, honest assessment of your needs and propose options that can best meet them? Will the proposed solutions still work if your business needs change? Will you be locked into those specific services?

Are the solutions focused on fulfilling a single need although there are other IT issues that could easily be addressed as well with a different approach? Will the proposed IT solutions solve one problem but cause another to emerge?

What if you encounter a problem with an IT solution? Will the service provider answer the phone when you call, or will you be talking to an answering service or machine? When and if your call is answered by your provider, will you get immediate assistance or be passed around to various people before you get to someone that can solve your issue?

There are a lot of “what ifs” and “will they’s” when you’re considering working with an IT service provider. That’s why trust is so important. You want and need to work with a service provider that puts your best interests first and will be there for you when needed.

How do you find a service provider like that? 

Steps for Finding a Trusted IT Services Provider

Trust isn’t automatic; it must be earned. Unless you’ve already built a relationship with a reliable IT service provider, you’re going to need to do some legwork. The following are some of the steps you should take:

  • Make a list of what you want and expect from an IT service provider. Do you need someone local? Do you want access to 24/7/365 support? Do you want a provider who provides a specific service or do you need one that can offer a more comprehensive array of services to meet a broader set of needs? Do you need someone that can work with other providers you’re currently employing?
  • Talk to others in your profession or industry. Ask for referrals—particularly from peers that have had to deal with issues like yours. Take advantage of opportunities to consult with peers at conferences, seminars, and online forums.
  • Do an online search. You’ll encounter a lot of “marketing speak” as you peruse the websites of various providers, but you’ll also get a feel for what’s out there and what the various companies feel is important to stress on their websites.
  • Once you have a list of potential providers, do a preliminary review of customer testimonials and case studies on their web sites.
  • Look online for articles or blogs that the service providers you’re considered have published or that have been written about them. Do they come across as experts? Are there certain attributes that stand out, such as a commitment to customer service, a focus on long-term relationships or being exceptionally innovative?
  • Ask prospective providers for references and check those references.  
  • Develop a list of questions to ask your finalists. Don’t be afraid to include the “hard” questions. Make sure to ask about service level commitments, pricing options, and support. Also pose various scenarios and ask the prospects how they’d handle them. Include others from your organization in the interview sessions. Your gut instinct will play an important role in your decision to go with a particular IT service provider, but it’s good to have others’ opinions as well.
  • Evaluate the prospective providers’ next steps. Did they take the time to understand more about your business needs and the challenges you face?  Did they simply come back to you with a quote for the service you said you needed?

There’s no guarantee that the IT service provider you choose to go with will be one you can trust. But doing your due diligence before making your decision will make it more likely.

The Continental Structural Plastics Story

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) is among the many companies that count US Signal as a trusted partner. According to the company’s director of IT operations, US Signal “stands out because of a level of service and support that is second to none.”  To learn more about why CSP considers US Signal a trusted partner, read its story.

Interested in finding out if US Signal is a company you can trust to meet your IT needs? Contact us and tell us what you need. Ask the hard questions. You can trust us to answer honestly—and earn your trust with our exemplary service and reliable, comprehensive IT solutions. Call 866.2. SIGNAL or email us at: [email protected]