Illinois is home to the fifth most tech businesses of any state, thanks to the rise of cloud computing, big data and information security. Although there’s no shortage of Chicago managed services providers, you have endless comparisons to make, including:
- Managed services and security offerings
- Customer testimonials and case studies
- Technical expertise and certifications
But when evaluating packages and prices, decision-makers often overlook the most telling relationship indicator: the onboarding experience.
So how do you get a glimpse into the onboarding process and confidently select a Chicago IT partner that delivers on its promises?
Questions to ask potential Chicago managed services providers
You might have worked with MSPs in the past that neglected your business and failed to deliver the results or communication promised.
Onboarding sets the tone for the engagement and foreshadows the experience you can expect. Your provider should properly set expectations and put their best foot forward.
There are a few important questions you should ask before signing the contract with a new managed services provider.
- Does this provider ask about your technology and business goals?
- Can you see the MSP becoming a long-term business partner?
- Are they compatible with your company culture?
- Do they have enough resources to serve and grow with your business?
If you can confidently answer “yes” to the above questions, your engagement is off to a good start. An MSP should offer more than just technical support. They need to align with your long-term growth plan and share your vision of success.
What should happen during managed IT services onboarding?
A well-developed onboarding process shows your Chicago managed services provider is invested in your company’s needs and goals. These are the most important steps your provider should take during onboarding.
Transparent and organized service deployment
Your MSP should be well-versed in tried-and-true processes for network documentation and software deployment.
During onboarding, your MSP will take inventory of your existing technology and install software agents on your servers and workstations. They should have an extensive, methodical checklist in place for every activity, and share documentation with you.
The best MSPs also focus on help desk services. They should have the resources and experience required to solve issues quickly during onboarding and beyond.
Ask about average ticket response times, how the team documents IT inventory and ongoing changes and how they communicate updates to you.
Clearly defined priorities and road map
Once your new account team has finished the discovery process, they should have a big-picture idea of the issues to address.
They should meet with you to define a clear set of priorities for the first few months of your engagement. Maybe you’re looking to reduce time lost to computer issues, or you need to boost network performance. It’s important that your MSP aligns their actions with your priorities and pain points, prioritizes issues based on the business risk and shares your definition of success.
Smooth hand-off from sales to account management
Most MSPs have a hand-off process to transfer new clients from the sales team to the technical account management team. The sales team communicates all learnings from the sales process, which services need to be implemented, who is responsible for managing engineering and account management and billing information. But the transfer should go further than this.
During the discovery process, your provider exposed problems your company is facing beyond technology. You may have revealed your frustrations with past MSPs and expressed concern about reliving those. It’s up to your provider to relay these important details during the hand-off period.
If critical early conversations don’t reach the technical team, your concerns won’t be heard or addressed. Early miscommunication is a telltale sign of mismanaged teams and broken processes.
Defining metrics for accountability
Your IT firm should take initiative to hold its team accountable. They should develop a method for tracking progress toward your shared goals.
- How they will measure performance
- How often they’ll track progress
- What happens if the assessment shows they’re off track
Transparency is key in your managed services relationship. Your account manager or customer experience manager should check in regularly and communicate openly about progress, setbacks and issues.
What your managed services onboarding experience should look like
MXOtech takes managed IT services onboarding seriously. We prioritize relationship-building and aren’t there just to collect a check. Your needs, goals and feedback drive the engagement and roadmap for success.
You won’t experience an awkward hand-off. The people you meet during the onboarding process will also be your technical support team. Your account managers have historical knowledge of your IT systems from the beginning of the relationship. They understand your business and technology goals and help you prioritize projects, standardize technology systems and get to best practices levels.
You’ll have monthly check-ins to discuss progress and key metrics. Most MSPs check in twice a year, leaving much of their activities to the imagination. At MXOtech, you get a dedicated client experience manager to review metrics like opened and closed tickets, average response time and customer service scores. The manager is committed to improving these metrics and creating the absolute best experience.
You’ll get a superior customer service experience. You don’t have time to wait for critical IT issues to be resolved. Our help desk service coordinators pre-process tickets so they can escalate urgent matters quickly and get tickets directly into the hands of the appropriate team. We aim to resolve issues in under an hour to minimize downtime and keep your business running smoothly.
After every ticket is resolved, we collect feedback to continually monitor and improve your experience.
Do you need a Chicago managed services provider to consolidate and secure your IT infrastructure? MXOtech has helped hundreds of Chicago businesses gain control of their technology with custom managed IT services plans and ongoing technology strategy.
Stop stressing over IT, and help make technology work for you. Claim your free network assessment here or call today to learn more about MXOtech’s managed IT services: 312.487.2578.