Now that we’re in the software business only, our company is a user of IT support just like the next company. Or, almost like the next company anyway. Being away from an IT infrastructure and support company for over a year has given me great experience “from the other side”, and I have a much clearer vision of what I want. See if any of this sounds familiar:
1. When I call with a problem, I want someone to be there. A live person. 24/7. Who speaks English.
2. When I call with a problem, I want someone who knows me. Me. Personally.
3. When I call with a problem, I want someone who knows my company and my configuration. Don’t ask me what software I’m running. In fact, don’t ask me anything except about the circumstances as to why I’m calling. You can ask me if I’m having a good day if you want, but it’s really not necessary. Especially since I’m probably NOT having a good day since I’m calling IT support.
4. Fixed fees. I want to pay a fixed, known fee. No billing surprises.
5. I want to have a quarterly or semi-annual call or meeting with someone smarter than me telling me best practices for companies like mine. For a fixed fee (See #4). Oh, and the person needs to speak English and communicate in non-computer jargon.
6. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on infrastructure or security. It’s like spending a lot of money on insurance. It may ultimately be worth it, but it’s unfulfilling and boring. I want to spend money on IT initiatives that will make ME money. Like things that have a chance of helping us increase revenues or decrease costs. And don’t tell me if I do “X” it will decrease my IT costs over the long run. It never happens. It’s like telling me if I spend a bunch of money on software it will allow me to reduce my number of employees. Yeah right.
7. Speed, speed, and more speed. I want my problems solved quicklky. I want calls returned quickly. I want fast answers to my questions. The fast answer can be “we’ll have to get back to you”. That’s fine. Just make it quick.
8. I want to be able to communicate via email, text, phone, or a rider on horseback. Whatever works best for me is how it should be.
9. No finger pointing. Ever. I know that sometimes it’s not clear if a problem is hardware or software, but if I come to you for the problem, then figure it out. Call the software guys yourself. Don’t make me do it.
10. Know something about the software I use. I know this is a hard one, but at the end of the day, it’s really about the applications. You don’t have to know how to enter a journal entry in MAS 90, but it would help if you knew that Version 3.71 isn’t supported with the latest versio of Windows. You don’t have to know how to do pivot tables in Excel, but it would be nice if you knew about startup templates and how they may create conflicts in the software. And, if you don’t know about the software, fake it and try to help. Don’t dodge the bullet.
I know everything I want may not be reasonable or even deliverable at a reasonable cost. But I want what I want…you know? And, you never know until you ask.