4 Metrics to ask a potential IT provider

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Searching for a new IT provider can be frustrating, especially when you feel as if you've heard the same sales pitch repeatedly. What if there was a way to cut through the speeches to find data truly indicating a provider's service quality?

There is: ask about their metrics. Metrics give you an inside look at how your provider is doing and how satisfied their customers are.

For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has helped hundreds of clients build IT strategies and utilize technology to their advantage.

By reading this article, you will learn why so many sales pitches sound the same, four metrics to ask a potential IT provider about, and why they matter.


Why do so many  IT provider salespeople sound the same?

The IT provider industry has been around for at least 25 years. In that time, providers and marketers have learned what clients want, the services they expect, and the problems they are facing. In turn, marketers teach IT providers can to speak to these key points in a sales conversation.

Generally, businesses want the same thing from an IT provider: someone to solve IT problems, protect data, and create an IT environment that boosts productivity.

Marketers and salespeople recognize these desires and will sell to these points. If you feel like you've heard these speeches before, you may have.

So how can you tell which providers are more likely to deliver? Ask about their most recent quarterly metrics.

Suppose the IT provider salesperson can tell you about specific service metrics. In that case, It proves that they are dialed into their company's functionality, customers' feelings, and what's happening in the industry.

4 Metrics to ask a potential IT provider about

1. What are your customer satisfaction ratings?

Client satisfaction is vital for a service-based company's success.

Ask the potential provider how their clients rated it in the last quarter.

If clients weren't happy, why was that? Was service slower? Were there repeat issues? Were solutions unsatisfactory? How did the provider address these concerns?

If the clients were satisfied, what made the service exceptional?

2. How many clients do you take on each month and why?

There's no industry standard for the number of monthly clients for IT providers. Instead, this number is determined by the individual provider's capacity.

Does the provider have the people and resources to take on new clients each month? If so, how many clients can they accomodate?

The provider should have a large enough team to handle existing and onboarding customers.

Conscientious providers are careful not to affect the service level of existing customers by taking on too many new customers. Therefore, existing and new customers should not feel pain from the service provider's growth.

So, in examining the potential provider's answer, listen to the number but pay more attention to its reasoning. Mature providers will have an ideal number of monthly clients and an explanation for that number.

3. How do you measure and manage service capacity?

How providers measure and manage their capacity is a significant business driver. It determines how many employees they hire, their availability, and how many clients they can take on.

You can ask a potential provider, "How do you look at and measure capacity? How do you hire for it? How do you use it to determine new clients?"

Currently, IT security risks have never been higher, and, in response, security professionals are burning out. It's estimated that there are roughly 700,000 cybersecurity jobs open.

If an IT provider's engineers and technicians consistently work at over 80% capacity, they are likely burning out. It may also indicate that the IT provider does not have enough employees to manage their client workload.

All businesses have a finite amount of capacity. When they try to push beyond that limit, their employees and clients feel those growing pains negatively.

You don't want to sign with a provider only to learn later that they don't have the employees or resources to support you and request a delayed start date. In addition, if you have already canceled with your previous provider, your IT environment can be exposed to unnecessary risk.

4. What's your same-day close rate on tickets?

What percentage of helpdesk tickets does the IT provider close the same day they're submitted?

It's a good sign if the IT provider's same-day close rate is roughly 70% or higher. Usually, this means that their helpdesk is not dealing with repeat or significant issues. It also indicates excellent service and customer satisfaction.

If the same-day close rate is under 70%, it may indicate that the provider is working beyond capacity, having repeat issues, or dealing with frequent significant concerns.

New clients in onboarding may be the exception, however. Typically, the first 90 days of a new provider-client relationship see a drastic increase in tickets. This is often due to learning and working on a new IT system.

As the client nears the 90-day mark, ticket numbers should decrease. However, if the ticket numbers remain consistent or grow past the first three months, it may indicate poor service.

Next steps for using metrics to hire a new IT provider

Asking a potential IT provider about their latest quarterly metrics not only gives you a sign of their service quality but shows you how well they know their business and clients.

When interviewing a potential IT provider, you should ask about the following metrics:

  1. What are your customer satisfaction ratings?
  2. How many clients do you take on each month and why?
  3. How do you measure and manage service capacity?
  4. What's your same-day close rate on tickets?

If an IT provider salesperson or leader can answer these questions, this is a good sign that they care about their people, industry, and clients. They are dialed in and aware.

Metrics tell you the story of the individual IT provider. Do they have the knowledge, drive, and resources to meet your needs?

For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has served hundreds of satisfied clients in the greater Chicago area.

If you are looking for a new IT provider, schedule a free 30-minute consultation to see how WEBIT Services can help.

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