Getting quality technical support from your managed IT services provider should be a must, and there are several ways your business can get the most out of your partnership. This may seem self-serving, considering that I’m an IT pro myself, offering managed IT services. However, I don’t know too much about fixing cars, so I appreciate when someone who does gives me good advice about what to look for in a reputable mechanic, and more importantly, what to watch out for.
The same principle applies to IT! With that in mind, here are some practical tips that will help get your IT issues resolved quickly, and give you a good working relationship with your managed IT services team:
Try some basics, but keep notes
Yes, it’s a cliché adage, but there’s a reason that IT guys are famous for asking “have you tried turning it off and on again?” Particularly in the Windows world, sometimes a simple reboot can cure a multitude of issues. There are lots of reasons why things stop working properly on a PC, but restarting your computer causes all of the applications running in the background to reconfigure themselves back to a default state, often fixing corrupt settings or runaway processes that may be eating up memory and CPU (central processing unit) cycles.
So, before you submit an IT ticket, it’s worth saving your work and doing a quick reboot. This used to be a giant pain for businesses, but nowadays, with fast SSDs (solid state drives are used in place of hard disks because of their much greater speed), most computers reboot times are measured in seconds, not minutes.
On a related note, you should keep a brief record of any fixes you try yourself. This will help your IT technician eliminate needless dead ends that you’ve already tried, resulting in a much quicker resolution for your IT issue.
This may be the toughest advice because often, by the time an end user reaches out to technical support, they’re already reaching peak levels of frustration. I get it! You just need to print that document and now the %#*&$@! printer says it’s offline, even though it was working just this morning!
Suddenly a bunch of documents are missing and you don’t have time to deal with this! Out of nowhere, your emails are all bouncing and saying they can’t be delivered! So, you pick up the phone, and understandably, you’re upset.
But remember, your IT team is your partner, so they’re here to help, not make things worse. They haven’t been beating their head against a wall the way you have for the past 45 minutes. So, take a breath, crack a smile, explain the situation, and let your IT tech jump in and help you. They understand your frustration, and they’re eager to help! This helps create a much more enjoyable customer support experience on both sides.
Diagnosticians, not surgeons
Our slogan at Bit-Wizards is “it’s not magic, it’s dedicated talent.” It may be tempting to think of an IT pro as someone who can easily swoop in and fix whatever problem you’re dealing with because they have some kind of special knowledge. But the truth of the matter is, IT professionals are more like diagnosticians than surgeons. Their job is to dig down and troubleshoot to identify the cause of the problem.
If your hard drive keeps running out of free space, sure, your IT partner can remote in and delete some old log files or abandoned applications. But letting them figure out what is causing your hard drive to constantly fill up is a much better approach that will lead to long-term results. It may take a little more time up front, but in the long run, eliminating the root cause will save you time and money.
A good IT pro is proactive about heading off issues before they affect you, so when they notice things going awry with your network, their job is to diagnose it and initiate the steps to resolve it. So be patient, and let your IT team identify the problem, even if it means they can’t just “magic away” all your technical issues.
There’s no such thing as a dumb question
On Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon played an exaggerated stereotype of an IT guy. “MOVE!” he yells as he pushes the user away from his or her keyboard, and then proceeds to belittle them for not knowing advanced technical concepts.
Thankfully, none of the Bit-Wizards team is like that! A good IT partner should double as a good teacher. They should have the ability to explain technical concepts in layman’s terms, without being condescending.
There’s really no such thing as a dumb question, and I love it when I get a chance to show people simple solutions that make their lives easier! Don’t ever feel intimidated or too apprehensive to ask how something works, or how to replicate something an IT pro has done. A good managed IT services partner should always happy to explain, since that saves time for everyone!
Nobody is expecting you to become a full-blown geek, but it will definitely help if you keep yourself in the loop when it comes to tech news. Most popular news sources will cover big events like Apple’s major iPhone announcements, Google’s latest offerings, Microsoft’s new operating systems, etc.
Even though many people view technology as a necessary evil, if you keep yourself updated with the big announcements that directly affect you (smartphones, tablets, Windows updates, etc.) it will save you time and money when it comes to making major IT decisions and purchases.
Bit-Wizards provides several resources to help keep you in the loop
Aside from our blog page (where we delve into a myriad of current tech topics) we also put out a monthly newsletter, with lots of relevant information to help you run your business efficiently and securely. You can also like our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.