Top 11 Questions for Vetting Your IT Service Provider

Over the years, we've met with a lot of potential customers. We hardly ever hear fresh inquiries, though. Unfortunately, the questions we typically receive are not the right ones. These consumers' inquiries frequently disclose how their prior company let them down. But this doesn't truly offer a complete, all-encompassing review.

“How much will this cost?” is not a great question. Our first response to this question is, "The lower the price, the more expensive it will be." In the long run, choosing the cheapest option could end up costing much more due to data breaches, service disruptions, and a variety of other issues.

When selecting the best IT service provider for your company, it's crucial to ask the following 11 questions to make sure you're dealing with the right one.

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

The length of time a provider of IT services has been in operation says a lot about their expertise and stability.

Since 1999, RCS Professional Services has been in operation. Our team has experienced every variation of Microsoft Windows as well as the difficulties associated with updates and upgrades. RCS has witnessed the rise and fall of technological solutions over time. Nevertheless, RCS is still around, assisting businesses with their IT obligations.

The track record and experience required to manage old systems that are no longer maintained or to deal with routine service requirements in an efficient and timely manner may be lacking in a younger IT service provider. To guarantee that our clients stay focused on achieving their business goals, unlike many of our rivals, we address the IT demands of our clients from the perspective of "business before technology."

2. How Big Are You?

Will the external IT service partner you hire have the personnel and resources on hand to handle your demands internally, or will they have to contract out that work to a different party? IT service providers with insufficient internal workers to meet your needs will deliver services that are delayed or of lower quality, which will cost your business time and money.

Our team at RCS consists of 23 people, and we have more than 15 committed technical staff members, including senior project managers, network engineers, and experts in remote desktop assistance. As a result, in contrast to other businesses, we never outsource any of our daily operations, allowing us to continue to offer the specialized, personalized service you would expect from our committed IT service experts.

3. What is Your Background and Expertise?

How did you get to where you are? What is your background like? Why are you doing what you're doing? Does your team consist of "techs” who started out playing with computers or are they computer professionals? Do you carry industry-standard vendor certifications?  If so, are they current?

It cannot be overstated how important it is to ask these questions of any service provider. The employees of any IT service provider should undoubtedly possess the necessary technical skills, which we have in spades! However, it takes more than that. At RCS, we always approach things from the application side and pay attention to how the system affects the business. This is part of our business-first approach to IT services. Because we are primarily business advisors, the underlying technology is for us a tool rather than the entirety of what we provide.

4. What is Your Business Knowledge?

How well does the service provider comprehend managing a business in addition to supporting technology? Your IT service provider must understand the daily operations that affect the goal of operating a profitable business. These operations include planning, budgeting, managing, leading, hiring, training, retaining, spending, investing, managing growth, etc.

Fortunately, we feel that we provide more than just technical services because we see ourselves as trusted consultants for our clients. We desire to align with their strategic business goals and connect them with other resources like capital, marketing software, etc. Every action we take is framed from a business standpoint. Business language should be used when speaking with clients. The top company IT partners are always seeking new methods to make their clients more productive, successful, and ultimately profitable.

5. How Accessible Are You?

Any service provider should, ideally, start before and end after your own company hours or at least have office hours that are quite similar to your own. RCS is available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. whenever you need us. Another big perk is having live agents who can assist in solving problems promptly. You will be able to chat with a live person when you call us.

When you leave a message after hours, our voicemail system immediately sends an email to our on-call personnel, the same folks you speak with during our regular business hours. The better a service provider is in responding to your IT emergencies, the more accessible they are.

6. What Does Your Hiring Process Look Like?

The hiring procedure used by a service provider can reveal a lot about the caliber of their personnel and their capacity to meet your IT requirements.

Have they refined their hiring procedures to ensure they only select candidates with the greatest caliber of technical expertise, business acumen, and innate character? Do they also do in-depth online and in-person technical assessments, online workplace assessments, DISC assessments, and many levels of interviews in addition to the standard interviews, background checks, and reference checks?

In order to make sure that the service provider starts with only the best and most qualified applicants available, any potential hiring should have to pass through the traditional "gauntlet."

7. What Does Your Training Process Look Like?

Does the IT service provider have a defined procedure in place for training new employees? And how precisely do they calculate the significance of this?

RCS offers training on business software, concepts particular to a given vertical industry, and intricate strategies to enhance each staff member's distinctive workflows (e.g.: how to be more effective in Office apps, how to better multi-task, how to improve communications, etc.).

The "Final Exam" is a technical and consulting test that candidates must pass after finishing each of these classes, completing a specific number of onsite shadowing trips, and creating the necessary documentation. After they are onboard, each employee is given a personal training budget, which emphasizes the importance of continued education for personal improvement. 

These are the steps you can take to make sure that only the best, the smartest, and the most driven individuals will be handling your company's IT difficulties. 

8. What Does Your Staff Retention Look Like?

How long do people stay with the service provider? If there are a lot of turnovers - why?

Every company will experience personnel attrition to some extent. People will eventually depart for unavoidable reasons such as retirement, moving on to new employment prospects, etc. However, a high attrition rate—such as the majority of employees leaving within a year—could be a warning that something is wrong with the company. 

You can't rely on working with the same team for an extended period of time due to high turnover rates. As replacements must be brought in often, it also implies that you will have to wait a lot for new hires to catch up with your IT requirements. Even worse, you might not receive the kind of service you deserve if the business is unable to hire new employees as quickly as they leave!

9. What Parts of the Work is Done Internally and What Parts Are Outsourced (like HelpDesk or NOC)?

Every action we take is taken by us. Our networks belong to us. To cut costs, an increasing number of so-called "Managed Service Providers" (MSPs) are outsourcing crucial tasks. While it could make sense for the MSP, you, the client, may not necessarily reap the rewards. As more middlemen are added to the IT service arrangement, there is an increased risk of service delays and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) breaches.

10. What Do Your References Say About You?

When clients have positive things to say about a managed service provider, it is one thing for the firm to make claims about the quality and customer service that they deliver. Ask for a list of references, so be sure to do so. Then, pose challenging questions to the references, such as:

  • What happens when things don't go right?

  • How does the IT solution provider handle it?

  • What happens when one of their staff members leaves suddenly?

  • How do they transfer the knowledge to the new person?

  • When was the last time their solution provider didn't come through for them?

  • How did they make it right? (Did they make it right?)

  • What do you think their solution provider should do more or less of?

  • What should they be doing better?

Learn why they chose that MSP in the first place and why they continue to use that service. The outcomes could surprise you.

11. Do You Really Deliver? If so, what do You Deliver?

"Care for the Client" is RCS's top core value. Not "customer," but "client" is used instead. This distinction is important. Most, if not all, of our rivals refer to their clients as "customers."

With our clients, we forge lasting partnerships that are significant. We're not trying to hawk anything to them. We check to see that we follow through on our commitments. We are always upfront and sincere.

We offer our clients access to our Client WebPortal so that they can always find out anything about their networks. They have access to our eyes. For clients to view metrics regarding their network and our performance, we offer a dashboard.

In addition to the maintenance performed in the background, we send monthly emails to each client with reports on the status and performance of the network. Because we are concerned about their safety and education, we also provide free education for our clients and their community through LinkedIn live streams and cyber security awareness trainings. In everything we do, we make sure to add value. Simply said, we deliver above and above any cliches. 

How effectively does your IT service provider assist you? What can they do better? Please share your ideas or opinions in the comment section below.



By partnering with our team, your company can focus on your core competencies and avoid the hassles and downtime associated with attracting and retaining IT staff. To learn more about RCS Professional Services,  contact us for additional help or visit our website

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