By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
A partner: defined as a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits. In other words, partners work together to achieve a common goal, and all effective partnerships share similar qualities. Not sure if you have a good IT service partner on your hands, or seeking a partner and not sure what to consider? To help set you up for success when choosing an IT service partner, here are a few qualities you should look for:
They Value Your Relationship
All good partnerships thrive on individual relationships. If your IT service provider actively works to build rapport with you, it’s a good sign that your partnership will succeed. An ideal IT service provider cares about not only the company and their business goals, but the people who make up the company. After all, business is all about people, and the best partners understand that. Sometimes even informal meetings or social events, like lunches, can improve a client relationship. If your service provider is making the effort to spend time with you outside of your working relationship, that’s a good sign. Simply put, people like doing business with people they like. The best service providers get to know what their customers value – in all aspects of life, not just a business engagement.
Respect and Trust
Trust is the foundation for any successful partnership, and it comes from mutual respect. If you and your service provider don’t trust or respect one another, the relationship will not be fruitful for either party. Your IT service provider should be a company you can fully rely on to do their job, so you can worry about yours. Without this trust, you’ll find yourself continually checking in with the provider, ultimately spending time doing the work you hired the service provider to do. When you trust that your service partner understands your business and is invested in your company’s success, you can let them handle the IT servicing without worry. Then, you’re free to focus on what you do best.
They Understand Your Needs
Without active listening, your service provider will never understand your needs - and as a result, they're never be able to meet them. The best IT service partners will not only listen to your needs, but they take note of your pain points (and then directly address them through tailored solutions). On top of that, they’ll stay in constant communication with you, clearly communicating questions and updates about how you’re tracking toward your goals. Leading us to our next point…
It’s essential to share a common end goal with your IT service partner. A good IT service partner is willing to go above and beyond for you in order to complete the objectives at hand and help you meet your business goals. Being transparent and avoiding hidden agendas are two key qualities that show your IT service provider understands your needs. No one likes a hidden agenda, and service providers that just want to upsell you on services don’t understand what your company truly needs. Rather, they’re in it to push forward their own goals and make a quick dollar. If you find your service partner constantly making decisions or recommendations that aren’t mutually beneficial for both parties, it may be time to put the relationship to an end.
Flexibility and Adaptability
No one likes an inflexible person. Flexibility, especially in busy work environments, is important. Not only should an IT service partner be flexible when it comes to busy schedules and setting appointments, but a good IT service partner will be able to provide clients with custom solutions that fit what is best for the company. Their solutions should also be able to adapt and grow as your company grows.
Speaking of adaptability, it can be extremely beneficial to choose a service partner who is vendor agnostic, meaning they are able to service any brand of equipment. This can eliminate the headache of managing multiple contracts from different Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to service the various equipment in your office. If your IT service partner is vendor agnostic, you can have one contract with one partner, and they can service all of your technology.
Partnerships, personal or business, requires a shared understanding and dedication to making the partnership a long-term success. When your service provider respects your business and values your relationship, you’ll feel like they are a crucial part of your business. Through flexibility and adaptability, a good service partner will earn this trust and supply you with their highest quality of work to meet your goals. The next time you’re choosing an IT service partner (or any service provider), keep these key considerations in mind. If you are evaluating your IT services, TSP is proud to embody all of these qualities – tell us about your pain points, and we’ll create you a custom solution.