Finding an IT consultant for your business is certainly an important decision. Considering how integral technology has become in day-to-day business, hiring the right person or group for this vital role can be the difference between success and frustration. Luckily, as consultants, we know a thing or two about how to determine getting your full worth of IT solutions from an outside IT support firm. All you need to do is ask yourself these six questions to get the best IT consultant.
1. Do they fit well with your culture?
A big part of IT support is managing your company’s technology, which means you’ll be seeing your consultant on a pretty regular basis. In order to be a good fit, they should feel comfortable in your office, and you should feel comfortable having them there. Think of your IT consultant as an extension of your staff—if you wouldn’t hire them as an employee, why hire them as a consultant?
2. Do they say “yes?”
One of the biggest compliments we get from clients is that we always try our best to find a “Yes!” And your IT support should do the same, whether it’s delivering exactly what you ask for, or proposing a solution that’s even better for you. Remember, your consultant is there to service your business; you’re paying them to solve problems, not explain why it can’t be done. “Yes” should be an active word in their vocabulary.
3. Do they bill you fairly?
While you should expect to budget for IT support, you should also expect to be charged fairly for the services. Reputable consultants are transparent with their billing processes (whether it’s hourly or flat-rate), and notify you if additional charges arise. Hidden fees and surprise bills are a tell-tale sign of a consultant whose priority isn’t your business.
4. Do they show dedication to your team?
Do they respond to your calls and emails promptly? Are they helpful without getting too technical in their explanations? Do they always find an answer to your problems? A good IT consultant puts your business first, and genuinely cares about your company and team.
5. Do you like working with them?
Are they timely? Are they polite? Can you have a conversation with them? While these might not seem like the most obvious qualifications for hiring an IT consultant, you’d be surprised how much this can affect your working relationship.
6. Do they add value to your company?
Lastly, you need to ask yourself if your IT support is adding value to your company. Are they providing you exceptional service and fair pricing—all with a smile and a “can-do” attitude? You hired an IT consultant to do work you can’t (or don’t want to) do. If they’re not meeting these expectations, they probably aren’t a good match for your company.