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What is a good response time for IT Support?

June 29, 2017

Whenever discussing IT support, the conversation always leads to response time.  Setting this expectation, is without a doubt, one of the most important elements when starting a new business relationship or when reviewing our performance on an existing account.

The ultimate goal of any business is to provide the best response time to its customer base.  In a perfect world, managed IT service providers have an endless amount of time and personnel to handle both their existing workload and the unexpected.  Critical and non-critical issues would get the exact, immediate response time, and services agreement would be one sentence long.

Before we get any further, let’s define response time as the time it takes a representative from your service provider to follow up with a plan of action.  This plan of action can be as simple as an email to schedule a time to work on an issue or jumping right in and trouble-shooting a major outage.

While we’re searching for that perfect world, a cohesive partnership is really the defining difference between an “effective” response time and just an “expected” response time.  All issues are important to you and your service provider, so now it is just a matter of prioritization to ensure support is delivered in a reasonable time frame.

What is a “Critical Issue?” 

This is a major interruption of standard business operations.

Examples:

What to do and what to expect as a customer

What is a “Non-Critical Issue?” 

These are issues that are solitary or confined to an individual or an activity or a program that seems to be not working properly or slowly.  Program functionality questions and/or modifications.

Examples:

What to do and what to expect as a customer

What kind of Service Level Contract do you need?  

There are three (3) standard types of contracts, and we define them below.  Make the right connection between your operational needs and requirements but make sure to understand and appreciate the partnership you are building with your managed service provider as well.  It will make for effective response times.

Technical Services Contract

Retainer Agreement / Contract

Pay As You Go Professional Services Contract

Both parties need to properly communicate what the contract covers and doesn’t cover and to set proper expectations for responsiveness.  This will ensure both parties are getting the most out of relationship.

Managed IT service providers truly want a seamless experience.  If they make the relationship a partnership for “effective” response times, there is no question that a perfect world can certainly feel within reach.

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