Your business is important to you, and you want to be sure that every aspect is handled with a high level of excellence and professionalism. But looking to an external service provider means relying on someone else, who might not share the same standards and work ethic as you. How can you pick a partner that will help you thrive?
• Do Your Homework — Do some research to get an idea of the provider’s experience and history. Reviews and ratings will provide insight into the quality of their work and service, as well as their reputation. Still feeling uncertain? Ask to talk to a reference; preferably a current client who can give you the real scoop.
• Get a Preview — Take a tour of their office or facility to get a sense of how they operate. You can also ask to see samples of reports that you’d be receiving as a client. Don’t forget to compare contracts and service level agreements: resolution targets, response times, exit terms, payment terms, and other policies.
• Understand Their Capacity — If your potential partner leverages a widely-used service platform, they can focus on you and not logistical minutiae. What kind of time will they dedicate to you? Would you be working with a single part-time individual or a fully-staffed agency? How will their staffing impact your wait times, and do they have the capacity to grow with you?
• Look for an Ethical Relationship — Your service partner should connect you with an account manager, not a salesperson. Their priority should be you. Make sure they have insurance to cover any potential damages, and stay away from too-good-to-be-true offers like unpaid software licenses.
• Clarify Agreements — Any agreement you have with a service provider should be clear and unambiguous. You’ll know exactly what’s included in your support services, such as escalation and prioritization of issues, and projects should have a clearly-defined scope. Likewise, billing practices should be clear, fair, and predictable.
• Talk to Your Potential Partner — An initial assessment or consultation is usually free and will give you the opportunity to see how the service partner can help your business be its best.
Golden Gate Office Solutions would love to partner with you for the success of your business. Please get in touch with us to learn how we will help you thrive!