MSP_managed_services_provider_managed_IT_services_helpdesk_supportWe all have worked with companies and/or people that promise the world and never deliver. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in the world we live in today, however below are 10 questions you should ask your potential Managed Services Provider (MSP), which will help you separate the wheat from the chaff. My goal is to help you make the best business decision no matter which MSP you choose.

1. How long have you been in business?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. Therefore, you want to look for a partner that has been in business for 5+ years.

2. How many employees do you have?

You should be looking for a stable company to partner with and not someone who is just trying to make ends meet. A good way to measure this is by how many employees  they have.

3. How many engineers do you have on staff?

You should be looking for a partner with many engineers that are specialized in certain technologies. Most IT support companies have “jack of all trades” that are good at some things, but not great at anything. This leads to complex projects, project overruns, and overall bad service.

4. How many clients do you have on your Managed IT Services solution?

You should look for a company that knows what they are doing and this is a good measurement.

5. Do you staff your HelpDesk support or do you outsource it?

The best Managed Services Providers staff their own helpdesk support ONSITE, at their office, so they can train them, keep their certifications updated, and make sure they have good people working for them. These are the people you will likely interact with the most – do you want to speak to someone who may be overseas?

6. How many people do you have on your HelpDesk?

You should be looking for a partner that has enough people on their helpdesk to support your employees. The helpdesk support staff should be an actual dedicated helpdesk and not field technicians that get called when they are not busy.

7. How long have you been providing Managed IT Services for your clients?

Managed Services is not an easy service to provide and takes a lot of time, processes, people, and investments. It takes 6-10 years to get good at something, depending on how often and how much you do it. Some estimate that it takes 10,000 hours to master something.

8. Are onsite calls part of your Managed IT Services Solution?

You should be looking for a Managed Services Provider that provides onsite support as part of their monthly price. We find most MSPs leave this out of the discussion, and when they come onsite, they bill you for it. Surprise!

9. How do you measure customer satisfaction of your managed services clients?

They should be calling clients and performing surveys; the clients should be random, and not just their happy clients. They should rate their customer service on the following: reliability, performance, security, problem resolution, friendliness, professionalism, and timeliness.

10. Are you on the MSPmentor 501 list?

MSPmentor publishes the top 501 Managed Services Providers every year and this is a good way to measure a partner. The MSPs on the list know what they are doing and there is no guessing. They must be doing something right to be able to be one of the top MSPs in the world.

Again, no matter what Managed Services Provider you choose, the above questions should help you select one that make sense for your business goals and employees. As an additional tip, I would suggest asking the MSP you’re considering for references.

Can you think of a question I didn’t mention? If so, please leave a comment below.

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