If you plan to partner with Skyline IT Management or another firm you want to consider things which can directly affect the final cost of your services. Because support services which are outside of the scope of your maintenance plan are typically billed by the hour, you want to avoid situations that unnecessarily increase the time required to resolve your issues.
1. Passwords – When you do not have a needed password, it delays our work and takes extra time to do a password retrieval or call customer service for the provider. In my experience, lost passwords are by far the most common thing that needlessly increases a tech support bill. A secure password manager like Last Pass is recommended. And, for security’s sake DO NOT REUSE PASSWORDS!
2. Software License Codes – A related area to lost passwords, is lost software license codes. In order to prove that you own the rights to install and use a particular software application, the company you purchase it from provides a unique license or registration code to you at the time of purchase.
3. Software applications– You need to have the installation media available for the technician to use whether it is on a DVD/CD or a downloadable file. Typically, applications have to be installed and cannot simply be copied from computer to computer. If it requires a download, using #1 and #2 above are going to be involved as well.
4. Describing the Issue – It can be difficult to explain the computer problem that you are having but the more accurate and detailed you can be, the faster the technician will be able to determine what is happening. For example, a client says “my computer won’t do anything”. In reality, that explanation can mean that the computer literally won’t boot at all or to someone else it means the internet browser wouldn’t go to any websites. There is a big difference between these two problems. If you have been receiving an error message, write it down so that you can tell your technician. Try to describe exactly what you are doing when the problem happens or if it just happens at random times think of anything that may help, such as anything that has changed about your setup. Have you recently added any new hardware or software or did Windows recently report doing an update?
5. Seek Qualified Advice – I find that people and businesses often spend more money in the long term because they make ill-advised or unadvised purchases. That $300 laptop at Best Buy might seem like a good deal, but if it will not run your line of business application or has constant performance issues, it was a waste of money.