If the answer to this is “no,” you need to find another IT provider. When you can’t rely on your technology, productivity suffers. Your business productivity is what drives your success. Every minute without access to your IT assets costs you money.

You need a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can answer your calls for help 24/7/365–One who staffs a helpdesk with professionals who can troubleshoot your problems and remotely access your IT system see what’s going on. A helpdesk that’s capable of providing immediate support will save you money in lost work time.

Your IT company should offer helpdesk services over the phone, by email, via live support software, or on a website. They must also be capable of logging your incidents, so they can follow up on them once the immediate need has been addressed. The best IT companies have internal tech support staff designated to immediately find solutions to your problems.

Using the right helpdesk support is more important than it was in years past. Technology is evolving so rapidly and is now so important to your business that you require immediate support from a certified IT professional. Plus, with new capabilities like remote access, cloud services, Bring Your Own Device to work, and worldwide interconnections, you must have access to the best IT support possible.

With all this in mind, here are 13 things you should demand from your tech support.

  1. Do they answer your calls promptly? There’s nothing worse than hanging on the phone listening to music while waiting for help. We have to do this with so many other services. But you shouldn’t accept this from your IT provider. Your tech support should treat your call as an emergency and address your concerns in an urgent fashion.
  2. Is their ticketing process streamlined? Your IT company’s helpdesk should have a ticketing system that logs and tracks problems. They should be able to assign priorities to tickets (high, medium, low) with response times, keep you informed about the status and tell you when you can expect to have your problem addressed.
  3. Are they adequately staffed with certified IT professionals? The right helpdesk will have the proper ratio of technicians to handle their clients’ needs. Gartner Research reports that a ratio of 70 users per 1 technician is ideal. However, this may fluctuate depending on how technology is used.
  4. Do they research your previous tickets to determine if this is a recurring problem? Sometimes, picking up a clue from a previous ticket can expedite a resolution. Rather than starting from scratch, your tech should research what’s happened before to determine if this is a continuing issue that wasn’t resolved fully in the past.
  5. Do they know what they don’t know? In some cases, a tech won’t admit that they can’t solve a problem and just keep working on it when they should pass the ticket on to someone with more experience and knowledge. If your problem isn’t getting fixed in a timely manner, and you suspect the tech isn’t the expert you need, contact your IT provider and let them know you want the case escalated to a more knowledgeable individual.
  6. Do they always know what their techs are doing? It’s essential that your IT provider knows what their techs are working on, and where they are at any moment in time. This way they can establish a baseline for the current tasks and how soon a tech can pick up another support ticket. They must be aware of what’s going on and what their techs are doing so they can best allocate their time and address problems quickly.
  7. Are their techs trained to handle your everyday IT needs? Before a problem occurs, your TSP should have designated a technician who gets to know your IT system and the solutions you depend on. If issues arise, the tech will immediately know what software you’ve recently deployed, what operating system you’re using, and other nuances that can help them diagnose and repair your IT problem expeditiously.
  8. Do they keep your employees informed about upcoming maintenance? Your IT provider should communicate any updates or changes to your employees. If not, your work may be impacted by IT outages. If your tech is going to do maintenance, swap out hardware, apply patches to software, update systems, or work on Internet issues, everyone needs to know what to expect so they can plan ahead.
  9. Do they explain to you why they recommend certain solutions? Techs sometimes forget that they speak a “different language.” When you have a problem, you want it fixed as fast as possible. But if they come in, perform a task and run out for their next call, you’re left in the dark about how the problem was resolved. Of course, they may have to try a few things, and you shouldn’t be “breathing” over their shoulder as they work, but when the problem is resolved, they should sit down and explain why you had an IT issue, how they repaired it, and what you can do in the future to avoid the problem from recurring. Plus, all of this should be relayed in plain language that you can understand.
  10. Do they offer user training on useful tips and how to avoid computing errors? Your staff is your first line of defense against cyber attacks. Make sure they’re informed about hacking threats, how to recognize them, and what to do if one comes across their computer screen. Beyond security awareness training, your IT provider should be able to ensure your employees understand what they need to know to use your IT assets properly and efficiently and to discern when something might be wrong.
  11. Does your IT professionals stay up to date on new technology and let you know what trends are coming? Your tech should not only know what technology you’re using today so they can respond quickly to any issue but also be forward-thinking about what technologies might help you increase productivity, efficiency, and security in the future.
  12. Do they have a way for you to provide feedback? Unless there’s a way for you to do this, your IT provider won’t know if you’re satisfied with their performance (good or bad). For them to address your problems quickly, they need to know what your expectations are and align their service to meet them.

You will always face the inevitable IT hiccup, but you can deal with this if you know that your Managed Services Provider can deliver fast and capable tech support.