Do you get regular computer support?
From time to time, we feature computer support questions and answers from our own inbox here at TUCU tech support in Toronto ON. Some of our stories go way back. Here we recall an oldie but goodie.
Back in college, I had a friend (let’s call him “Bob”) who wasn’t the best with cars. Smart guy, just bad with cars. Bob didn’t drive a lot and when he did it was his parent’s car or he would borrow a friends, sometimes mine. Bob was an only child, lavished up by his parents, and he never had to pay for gas, insurance or maintenance. A few years ago, Bob bought his first car, a brand new BMW convertible. He worked for it and liked to show it off.
9 months into car ownership, Bob mentioned his car was off. He was miffed because it was “brand new”. I asked him if he was sticking to the scheduled maintenance plan. His blank expression told me he had no idea what I was talking about.
Bob had never taken the car in for maintenance because he didn’t know he had to. He’d never learned from his parents, never had to maintain a car, and the dealer assumed he knew what he was doing. It was only when his car started to exhibit signs of strain that he realized something was wrong. I told him to go to the dealer and get an oil change that day, which he did, and he luckily avoided having his engine seize – a couple more weeks and it might have gone. No warranty would have covered that.
In the IT technology service business we run into a lot of “Bobs”. They are smart business people in their own right who rely on technology to run and sustain their business, but due to a lack of familiarity with technology and how fast it changes, they have no idea how to keep their tech running smoothly. They usually call us in when something has gone disastrously wrong. A laptop won’t start. A WiFi network won’t connect. The server has crashed. A database has become corrupted. They can’t find their backups. Someone has hacked into the web server and defaced it. Everything is running slow when it was running well. The list goes on and on.
Everyone Is Stressed By Insufficient Tech
These are stressful days for both us and “Bob”. Bob is upset because he can’t operate his business. His team can’t work. We’re under the gun to figure out what broke and to fix it yesterday. We’ll work nights and weekends to make sure that Bob gets back online but we have to charge more when we work after hours. This makes Bob unhappy even when we fix the problem and Bob begrudgingly pays us. Bob begins to associate us with bad things, and we suspect Bob doesn’t like us very much. (He does.) Overall, it’s a painful and uncomfortable position for both of us. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Susan Plays It Smart With A Monthly Computer Support Plan
Just like a car, a well maintained IT system will have fewer catastrophic issues that grind your business to a halt. We have an ideal client, let’s call her “Susan”, who has us come in once a month to optimize her office PCs, maintain her server and network, make sure the backups are working fine, go over the security logs, implement updates, install any new required software, etc. etc.
Susan’s experience is night and day from Bob’s.
She pays a set monthly fee, which is easy for her to budget.
She rarely has any major issues come up so she works with less stress and frustration.
Any minor issues we’ve been able to fix quickly and remotely are happily done for no extra charge.
She’s happier with the way her systems just work and keep her business running and we are happier because we get to spend time making sure things are working well, instead of playing “IT First Responder” at the worst possible time.
If IT is critical to the success of your business (and yes – it probably is), then don’t be a Bob – be a Susan. Talk to your IT provider today about a proactive, managed IT support plan.
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