Quality of service is often a subjective concept with people defining its components and metrics differently. From a technology vendor’s perspective, superior quality of service is a combination of a reliable solution and a high level of support. Here are five signs that a conversation with your technology vendor is in order:
1. Support pricing is based on the support requirement… obvious really!
Typically, pricing for vendor support is based on the size of organisation and number of users in the client firm. This is unfair, especially for firms that have their own expert internal support resources who only need to escalate relatively few calls to a support provider on an annual basis. Vendor pricing mustn’t be based on size alone. Support packages need to be priced based on your business requirements, including how many support incidents are likely to be placed per annum and the required hours of support.
2. It takes multiple days for the vendor to respond
The quality of support is determined by the vendor not just adhering to the service level agreement for responsiveness, but exceeding it and providing experienced, knowledgeable support technicians who are easily contacted and proactively communicative. If it does take multiple days for your Support provider to respond to your queries, you need to have an immediate ‘heart to heart’ with them. Regardless of how critical or not your incidents may be, your Support services provider should be in touch with you within a pre-defined timeframe. It could well be that they aren’t properly staffed, which is potentially a sign of negligence on their part. Many clients who have moved to us for Support from other providers tell us that this is one of their biggest bug bears!
3. You don’t have a relationship with your Account Manager or Technical Support Manager
Account management in some Support organisations is completely overlooked or not given the importance it deserves. If you don’t have a good relationship with your Account Manager or Technical Support Manager, it’s worth ensuring that you at least have a regular dialogue with them to ensure that the service is being properly delivered, alongside what improvements can be made to both the service levels and the solution that is deployed.
4. Your Account Manager only calls to ‘sell’ to you
Following on from the above point, if the only time you hear from your Account Manager is to ‘sell’ a new service or technology solution, you are well within your rights to demand a more proactive interest on their part to deliver better client care to your organisation. A support provider who cares will ensure that its customers are happy with the quality of service they receive and will constantly seek to understand what more they can do improve the service delivered.
5. You hardly ever call the vendor for support
Could this be due to a lack of trust in your Support services provider? Well worth pondering. Many times, despite having service contracts with their technology vendors or Support services providers, IT departments are reluctant to reach out to them due to poor experience, which could be for a number of reasons – lack of expertise, not enough staff, ambivalence to client needs and such.
Time and again it’s worth ‘dusting off’ the Support contract to ensure that you are receiving the quality of service that is rightfully due to you.