Ask These Questions to Potential MSPs During Interviews
The interview process is crucial when hiring a managed service provider to handle your company’s IT. Here are the top questions to ask each MSP candidate.
If you’re searching for the best managed service provider to work with, you’ve ideally already narrowed your candidates to the select few who you think will do the best job. The candidates you choose to interview should exhibit the following characteristics:
1. They should be local so as to allow for on-site care when you need it.
2. They should have experience working in your specific industry so that they know the latest software and hardware to recommend as well as digital trends to stay on top of.
3. They should be well-versed in cybersecurity. Cyber crime is on the rise, and it’s important that you have the proper security measures in place to protect your data. The IT company you ultimately choose should also be able to handle a comprehensive backup of your systems at regular intervals.
4. They should have a staff with expertise and experience in their respective fields, including certifications.
Once you’ve established at least three or four companies who can meet these criteria, you should set up interviews. At your interviews, we recommend asking the following critical questions.
Top Questions You Should Ask Potential MSPs During Interviews
1. What sets your managed services apart from those of other providers?
Likely, you’ll receive a generic response after asking this question, and that’s okay, but don’t hesitate to dig deeper. You want to know how each company delineates itself from the competition, and you want the response to be passionate and specific.
2. What is your helpdesk solution approach?
Managed service providers generally have business hours from around 8 AM to 5 PM. But they also usually have a “helpdesk” where you can call any time with questions, concerns, and other inquiries.
The best helpdesk solutions are open 24/7 with an actual person who will answer the phone when you call. Sometimes, this is only an option you will receive if you choose a higher tier of service. Be sure to inquire about each IT company’s unique helpdesk solutions approach.
3. What experience do you have in our industry?
Some organizations and businesses are able to work with Managed IT services companies who don’t necessarily specialize in their industry. However, if you happen to be in the healthcare industry, the transportation industry, education, etc., you may benefit greatly from only choosing an MSP who works exclusively in your field.
If this is a necessity for your organization, be sure that the MSPs you are considering are able to prove their expertise in catering to your industry. They should have a good handle on the latest technological advances, cyber security measures, network and cloud solutions, and software platforms.
4. How will our business improve after hiring you?
This is similar to the first question, but it’s more specific. Essentially, you want each MSP to deliver a response that’s catered directly to your industry and, specifically, to your company.
Their ability to properly answer this question will be evidence that they’ve done their research on your industry and company. It will also show that they’ve spent time developing an improvement approach that can set your business apart from the competition and on a path toward growth and expansion.
5. What will your response be like when and if we have a problem?
If you’ve already asked about their helpdesk solutions, you’ll know whether you’ll be able to speak with a real live individual if you have a problem in the middle of the night on a Saturday. However, it’s also important to know exactly what they’ll do in the event of an emergency.
Let’s say your systems crash on a weekend. Ask each potential MSP candidate what their response time would be like and what they would do to amend the problem as quickly as possible. You’re looking for an immediate and confident response and for them to be willing to go above and beyond to resolve any issue that comes your way.
You absolutely do not want an MSP who’s going to drop the ball or tell you you didn’t sign up for the right service plan to deserve their attention when a serious emergency is happening.
Ultimately, the managed service provider you choose should be able to help you meet your business goals and take your business to the next level. You should feel comfortable in their hands and like you have formed a business partnership with them as opposed to just feeling like you’ve hired a third-party service.