Why you shouldn't accept mediocre IT services

You are busy enough running your business without having to worry that your IT systems and service provider are working as they should. Isn’t that is the reason you outsourced in the first place? So why are we accepting mediocre IT services?

Not all service providers have your best intentions at heart, and we put up with mediocre service provision. A common theme is that existing providers take too long to respond to queries, don’t complete projects on time, and don’t understand the business. Often the relationship is one way. There are no proactive suggestions and this, unfortunately, leaves many just accepting this is ‘how it is’. But every time you do this, the risk to your business keeps multiplying.

Here are the risks you are taking with your business by accepting mediocre IT services:

1. Your service will remain the same or even worse decline

How many times have you heard, we will rectify this, or we will improve? A fair few times. And whilst your service may improve in the short-term, it is not long before it results back to the way things were. You have given your provider chance after chance to improve, but the service level is the same. So why would you stay? It is like staying with the same broadband provider at home, after the 7th time of ringing up to complain about speed and poor connection. You wouldn’t stay with them. You would switch your provider. It is rare to see an IT provider turn around a service from poor to excellent. Don’t hold your breath, change your provider and stop accepting mediocre IT services.

2. The relationship will breakdown further

Bad working relationship with IT provider

The result of poor service is a bad working relationship. It will quickly become a blame game, with both sides becoming increasingly stubborn. You will be less accepting of minor mistakes, demanding better resolutions and challenging every penny spent on your bill. And on the flip side, you will have a reputation for always moaning and finding fault, never happy and a scrooge for trying to get money off their bill. And along the grapevine, you will both say negative things about each other, leading to you both potentially developing a bad reputation in the wider world.

So let’s take a moment and look at this outside of a work context. Something similar is happening in your personal life. Would you put up with it? It isn’t very likely. So you can save yourself the hassle, and change your managed service provider, and reap the benefits of a fresh start and a new working relationship.

3. Spend time trying to resolve IT issues

Over the past year, have you been spending more time with IT issues that your provider should be managing? Well, you shouldn’t be. This is one reason you outsourced your IT services, so you can focus on what matters, your business. The more you find yourself involved, the more your provider and your employees will expect you to be. You will dedicate half of your working week to your IT needs before long, rather than your clients. You will notice you have less time for your clients, less time working on developing your business, and for service-led firms, less chargeable time. So, why did you bother outsourcing in the first place? This is exactly what your IT provider should be managing.

4. Decreasing productivity and employee morale

If your employees are subject to constant technical issues, or long resolutions, their productivity will decrease. And not only that, employee morale will plummet. For many, job satisfaction will come from doing their job well and having a good work/life balance. It certainly doesn’t come from a daily struggle with technology and having to work out of hours just to get your work done. You will notice that the level of service you usually provide your clients will begin to slip, your employees will become frustrated, and some may even leave for pastures new. Most of the time, for your clients and employees, once the damage has been done, it is hard to fix it.

5. Greater security risks to your business

If your managed service provider can’t even get the basics right with your systems up and running smoothly, are you confident that all your information and data are secure? Information and cyber security can be complex and needs to be managed by a specialist.

Take professional services like accountancy and law practices, for example. The information they hold is highly confidential and needs to be stored, managed and protected appropriately. If this data is involved in a data breach or cyber attack, this could cost your business thousands, lose clients and a poor reputation, all of which are hard to recover from.

5. The financial impact on your business

All of the above will eventually have a financial impact on your business. If you can’t provide the service your clients expect due to IT issues, your clients become unhappy and can potentially leave. Besides that, if your employees have a daily struggle with IT, they may decide to leave too, leaving you with clients and no capacity to manage them. Let’s not forget about the loss of your time, because you have to get involved with IT issues across the business. Or the data breach which your client is now expecting to be paid damages for, plus you have been fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Over a year, all this adds up.

If you experience any of the above, calculate how much your provider costs you, beyond the fee you already pay. I bet the result is shocking.

So why are we accepting mediocre IT services?

Especially when we have been promised, it won’t happen again, or you have already had a reduce bill due to incompetence. It is not acceptable. Your provider should be an extension of your business, helping to support you to achieve your broader business goals.

We understand there are several excuses and we have heard them all. From it is easier to stay, we are giving them one more chance or they are cheaper than you. Only you have the power to change the status quo. A new provider will bring a whole new fresh perspective to your IT.

Do you have some questions?

Book a free, no-obligation 15-minute consultation with Mark Burgess, one of our directors at HW Technology. He can offer guidance and advice based on your current provider and the service they deliver to you.

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