Why you shouldn't accept mediocre IT services

You’re busy enough running your business without having to worry if 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 your business. More often than not, 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 growing.

Here are the risks you’re 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’ll rectify this, or we’ll improve? A fair few times I suspect. And whilst your service may improve in the short-term, it’s not long before it reverts back to the way things were. You’ve given your provider chance after chance to improve, but the service level is the same. So why would you stay? It’s 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’s rare to see an IT provider turn around 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’ll quickly become a blame game, with both sides becoming increasingly stubborn. You’ll be less accepting of minor mistakes, demanding better resolutions and challenging every penny spent on your bill. And on the flip side, you’ll have a reputation for always moaning, finding fault, never being happy and a scrooge for trying to get money off your bill. And along the grapevine, you’ll 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 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, should you? 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’ll dedicate half of your working week to your IT needs before long, rather than your clients. You’ll 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’ll 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’s 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 have a poor reputation, all of which are incredibly 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 for which your client is now expecting to be paid damages, plus you’ve 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’ve been promised, it won’t happen again, or you’ve already had a reduced bill due to incompetence. It’s 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’ve heard them all. From it is easier to stay, we’re giving them one more chance or they’re cheaper than you. Only you’ve 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.